A Prime Factor
A series of inspiring and engaging articles, from teachers and parents about discussion on mathematics with children.
A new article out every Thursday.
What is your idea of heaven? The Quran describes heaven as a beautiful garden with nice people, where one’s wishes are fulfilled. As a kid, my idea of heaven was an endless summer vacation: no school, no classes, no homework; full freedom to explore whatever I wanted. Now, imagine getting paid a stipend every month to live in this heaven!!! That is what life in IISc looks like.
Math is super fun and cool as long as you understand it. We both love math. Algebra is our favorite math topic, along with data handling and ratios. Sometimes we spend hours playing math based video games like Prodigy. However, we often hear from kids during online classes that they are bored or find everything confusing.
The journey began towards the end of my 7th grade, a journey that I still traverse and one that brought me to where I am today. It is, in retrospect as I recall and as you will read, one of hard work, serendipity, and an ability to sense a good opportunity when it knocks.
A friend of mine recently shared with me a thought-provoking question which commenced a journey through the diverse domains of mathematics and other sciences: Discuss this claim with reference to two areas of knowledge. “The process of gaining knowledge is more valuable than reaching an end result.”
In the latest post at APF is something fresh,
Vaageesan pens a poem with absolute finesse!
While we cant get even the first few lines to rhyme,
He pens with ease about math from ancient time!
Love how carefully with each word he treads,
We think this deserves even more reads!
Have a wonderful poetic read!
I vividly remember my walking style when I was in primary school. It was hardly ever a straight-line walk. The tiles on the school floor brought to life a world of patterns- checker-like patterns, chess knight-steps, skipping over tiles, what not. I could not resist walking along these patterns! However, what I did not realise at the time was how deeply this was tied to Mathematics.
Start your journey to crack the most prestigious of all the Mathematics competitions with Raising A Mathematician Foundation’s Regional Mathematics Olympiad Online Training Program (RMO OTP). Meet twice a week with expert teachers to tackle the rigorous course of study that is required for the Olympiads.
Hello 👋. In this article, I will share my journey about how I got into Artificial Intelligence (AI) and related research as a high school student and consequently, a couple of things I have learned that might help you as well. However, do note that this blog is not one about getting started with AI or research.
Hello, brave traveler of the interwebs! You have had a long journey so far. You have witnessed the vast lands of quora questions, sailed through the endless oceans of blogs, traversed the cold deserts of Facebook posts and trekked the high mountains of YouTube videos. I see, you are still unsatisfied. You have not found the answers you were looking for.
The period of lockdown was the most challenging time for students as well as for teaching professionals. Teachers struggled a lot wondering if each and every student was understanding whatever they taught and whether they were moving in the right direction to complete the course or not. Students also struggled to maintain the pace of coursework, overcoming the challenges of online classes, screen time and much more.While conducting lectures for my engineering students, I was unaware of a few (indirect) students of mine!
Read an eye opening article by Vinay Nair where he articulately paints his own experiences and points out how conscious questioning and reading between lines can go far in life and how mathematical thinking helps to see clear through the doubts of emotions that clouds our mind in such crucial circumstances. Clearly a compelling read in such a scam-filled era.
Mondays through Fridays are especially hectic in this Thane household. Mother is up by 5 am so that she can drop off her 10-year-old to school, then heading to the office and trying to wind up by 2 pm so as to pick her back from school and drive her to chess coaching. A group of parents waiting outside any activity class is a wonderful place for exchange of information and sharing resources related to children.
The moment you glance at any problem, familiar words start catching your eye : ‘remainder’ makes your brain replay all the Number Theory you have learnt at supersonic speed. You see the word ‘roots’ and graphs start forming, and curving up and down in your mind’s eye. ‘In how many ways’ gets you all pumped up as you instinctively search for combinatorial tools to use. ‘Tangent’ and ‘angle’ makes your hair stand up as you furiously begin drawing the diagrams.
Throughout middle and high school, math has been presented to me in three different flavours, so to speak: school math, competition math, and “real” math. School math is your typical high school sequence: algebra, geometry, trigonometry/precalculus, and perhaps calculus. If there’s one thing I have found unsatisfactory with these classes, it’s that they focus too much on rote learning of mathematics, without much sense of motivation or purpose.
It was a hot summer morning in the middle of May. I sat there on the classroom bench and I thought, “Hopefully today would be more action-packed than yesterday.” I say ‘action-packed’ because the life of an aspiring young mathematician is no less than a Bollywood Action film.How was yesterday, you ask? Well, we spent around 2 hours debating about the proof of a simple probability problem, so it was pretty eventful.
From a very young age, I was very interested in Math. My Mother looked for camps and classes that would suit my interest. Five years ago, when I was 7, my Mother found out about Epsilon USA. When I went to Epsilon USA, it was a very fun experience. I learned a lot about Math. I worked together on homework with my friends, and played games with them during the night.
It was a hot summer afternoon and I was returning home from my children’s school in an autorickshaw. I felt a tremendous sense of relief and certainty about the most important decision I had ever made for my son. I had officially taken my son out of school. This trip from my son’s school, perhaps the biggest turning point in his education, is clearly etched in my memory.
Having a mathematically gifted sibling has been a boon as well as a bane for me. During my younger years, whenever he would discover a pattern in numbers, I used to get frustrated. Math was like a mountain for me. While I’d still be at the bottom, he would have reached the top. It bugged me that he was able to solve the questions from my ‘textbook’ despite him being five years younger than me.
It’s 10:30 PM, and you have just finished all your work and preparations for the next day, when you hear “Hey, I found a new conjecture; let me check if it is proposed by anybody before!” This is not surprising for a mom of a math loving teenager. We agree on a settlement and he goes to bed after texting his best friend about his discovery and deciding to meet to discuss it the next day.
In conventional education or customary schools, the learning design – the topics to be studied, the activities to be done, the design of the furniture, the displays on the walls – is all teacher centered delivery. That is efficient for students, receivers of information, but if we do it as a whole, we are depriving our students of opportunities to learn how to design their own learning curve for themselves
The beauty of nature’s creation is that each living being is unique. Though the characteristics of each human being are different, a right environment will facilitate development of skills that a person may not possess innately. Personally, I understood that parents should acknowledge that each of their kids is different and it is certainly wrong to compare their capabilities.
When I look back to the time I was not more than 8 years old, one of the things which appealed to me the most was nature and natural patterns. I had an inexplicable affinity towards things like petals of specific flowers, pictures of snowflakes and spirals. I thought of them to be beautiful in some sense, but could not describe it in words.
I like to think that Maths was my best subject in school. My mother is an avid lover of math and logical thinking problems. She constantly encouraged me to explore and learn maths. Truth be told, I didn’t always have an affinity towards maths. I would find it quite difficult in primary school and would constantly try to put off studying maths.
What comes to mind when you think of the word math? If the associated words are numbers, symbols, formulae, rules, calculation, proof, logic, steps – then you fall in the majority of the population. And if ‘right answer’ is the image that stands out in your mind, then I am writing for you!
It is said that when a child is born, a mother is born too. Nowadays we see that both parents take equal responsibilities in raising their kids, at times even complement each other very well while nurturing their little babies. In today’s world, I would like to modify this statement to say, when a child is born, parents are born too!
When my son was about four and a half, we often took city buses and walked a LOT (we lived downtown at the time). So he was familiar with the idea of looking at bus numbers and enjoyed reading them. While driving to somewhere once, I noticed a bus in the next lane and pointed it out to him. This conversation followed –
If you have ever read about the explosive growth that happens in the human brain in the early years of life, you will be marvelled at the innumerable capabilities that need to evolve. I am talking about ‘the normal child you are raising’. However, we do not appreciate it because we lack awareness. Just like how we did not value the ‘normal life’
Many years ago, my son was reading some concept in Science from an encyclopaedia and he asked me a few questions on that concept. I replied, “I don’t know”. He asked “Did they teach you this in school days? Did you learn it in the past? Did you understand and forget? Or was it that you never learnt this at all?”
As you are reading our blog, you may have figured out that the teaching and learning experiences through Raising A Mathematician Foundation (RAM) may be unique. Our classes focus on enabling mathematical inquiry in our learners, through building various skills like mathematical thinking, reasoning, logical thinking,
Sometimes, we cannot imagine that a simple activity which we start off as a fun game can actually teach us so many things. When my son was around 3 years old, a store keeper in our premises was shutting down his store. In his pile of unsold items that he
Over the last few years, we have had the opportunity to work with many bright and gifted students in mathematics. Some of them were lucky to get great teachers but most of them were lucky to have parents who played a major role in kindling their interest in mathematics through mostly non-routine ways. When we interacted with such parents we felt that these experiences and learning should be shared with more people so that more parents are equipped with different ways to create a love for the subject of mathematics in their children.
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We would like to invite articles from parents and teachers who wish to share some of their unique and profound experiences of teaching and learning mathematics in conventional or non-conventional ways.
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