Performing well in math is generally a result of hard work, not innate skill

Source: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jordan-lloyd-bookey/getting-a-d-in-mathand-th_b_4220609.html

Recently, I read this article in The Atlantic about the myth of being innately “bad at math,” and how performing well in math is generally a result of hard work, not innate skill. By all accounts, I should have known this, but it only took that one semester to break down years of confidence in my aptitude. In the article, the author notes several patterns we see that reinforce this myth. The one that resonated most with me was as follows:

“The well-prepared kids, not realizing that the B students were simply unprepared, assume that they are ‘math people,’ and work hard in the future, cementing their advantage.”

And the B students (or in my case D student), well, they assume it’s about skill level and from that point forward it’s a self-fulfilling prophecy.

My mentor convinced me to apply to business school, and when he asked why I wouldn’t apply to Wharton, I said, “too quantitative.” I was scared. But he convinced me to apply, and after a crash course in Calculus, I learned that if I worked hard enough, indeed I could have success… even when my classmates were so-called quant jocks.

For me, it worked out, but for millions of kids in our education system, the ending isn’t so happy. Instead, parents determine at a very young age that a child has or does not have math skills. And, I would argue, they — we — do the same with reading. We decide that it’s one or the other, left or right brain. Instead, we can acknowledge our kids’ struggles with a particular subject, while continuing to encourage and remind them that a consistent effort can make a tremendous difference, but it takes perseverance.

What do I wish my teacher had done? I wish he had told me that I could do everything my classmates were doing, but I lacked the preparation before I ever stepped foot in his classroom.  If only he had instilled that confidence in me, that simple knowing that I could do better, who knows what else I might have tackled coming out of high school.

Study Tips for Mathematics

Here are some useful study tips for Mathematics. The key to acing Maths is to understand that practice is key for Mathematics!

Sincerely hope these tips help.

Please do not study Maths like studying History, Literature or Geography, the study method for Maths is totally different and opposite from studying Humanities. Reading a Maths textbook without practicing is not very helpful at all.

Once a student understands the basic theory of a certain topic (usually just one or two pages of information), he or she can move on to practicing actual questions immediately. While practicing, the student will then learn more and more knowledge and question-answering strategies for that Maths topic.

Even if you already know how to do a question, it is useful to practice it to improve on speed and accuracy.

The study strategy for Maths and Physics are kind of similar, hence usually you will find that students who are good in Maths will also be good in Physics, and vice versa.

Students from China usually do very well in Maths exams because they understand the strategy for studying Maths (which works very well up till JC level), namely a lot of practice with understanding. The strategy is called “题海战术” in Chinese, which means “immersing oneself in a sea of questions”.

Source for diagram below: Email from JobsCentral BrightMinds

maths mindmap

The ‘I’m bad at math’ myth

Source: http://www.dallasnews.com/opinion/sunday-commentary/20131108-the-im-bad-at-math-myth.ece?nclick_check=1

Dansk: Dedikeret til matematik

For high school math, inborn talent is much less important than hard work, preparation and self-confidence.

How do we know this? First of all, both of us have taught math for many years — as professors, teaching assistants and private tutors. Again and again, we have seen the following pattern repeat itself:

Different kids with different levels of preparation come into a math class. Some of these kids have parents who have drilled them on math from a young age, while others never had that kind of parental input.

On the first few tests, the well-prepared kids get perfect scores, while the unprepared kids get only what they could figure out by winging it — maybe 80 or 85 percent, a solid B.

The unprepared kids, not realizing that the top scorers were well-prepared, assume that genetic ability was what determined the performance differences. Deciding that they “just aren’t math people,” they don’t try hard in future classes and fall further behind.

The well-prepared kids, not realizing that the B students were simply unprepared, assume that they are “math people,” and work hard in the future, cementing their advantage.

Thus, people’s belief that math ability can’t change becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.

So why do we focus on math? For one thing, math skills are increasingly important for getting good jobs these days — so believing you can’t learn math is especially self-destructive. But we also believe that math is the area where America’s “fallacy of inborn ability” is the most entrenched. Math is the great mental bogeyman of an unconfident America. If we can convince you that anyone can learn math, it should be a short step to convincing you that you can learn just about anything, if you work hard enough.

Is America more susceptible than other nations to the dangerous idea of genetic math ability? Here our evidence is only anecdotal, but we suspect that this is the case. While American fourth- and eighth-graders score quite well in international math comparisons — beating countries like Germany, the U.K. and Sweden — our high-schoolers underperform those countries by a wide margin. This suggests that Americans’ native ability is just as good as anyone’s, but that we fail to capitalize on that ability through hard work.

In response to the lackluster high school math performance, some influential voices in American education policy have suggested simply teaching less math — for example, Andrew Hacker has called for algebra to no longer be a requirement. The subtext, of course, is that large numbers of American kids are simply not born with the ability to solve for x.

We believe that this approach is disastrous and wrong. First of all, it leaves many Americans ill-prepared to compete in a global marketplace with hardworking foreigners. But even more important, it may contribute to inequality. A great deal of research has shown that technical skills in areas like software are increasingly making the difference between America’s upper middle class and its working class. While we don’t think education is a cure-all for inequality, we definitely believe that in an increasingly automated workplace, Americans who give up on math are selling themselves short.

Too many Americans go through life terrified of equations and mathematical symbols. What many of them are afraid of is “proving” themselves to be genetically inferior by failing to instantly comprehend the equations (when, of course, in reality, even a math professor would have to read closely). So they recoil from anything that looks like math, protesting: “I’m not a math person.” And so they exclude themselves from quite a few lucrative career opportunities. This has to stop.

The Boy Who Loved Math: The Improbable Life of Paul Erdos (Hardcover)

The secret to being good at Maths (or any other subject) is to like it and enjoy it. This would make working hard and practicing Maths easier and more efficient. 2 hours can easily fly past while doing Maths if one is interested in it.

This is a storybook (suitable for young kids) about “The Boy Who Loved Math”, a true story about the Mathematician Paul Erdos.

The Boy Who Loved Math: The Improbable Life of Paul Erdos

Most people think of mathematicians as solitary, working away in isolation. And, it’s true, many of them do. But Paul Erdos never followed the usual path. At the age of four, he could ask you when you were born and then calculate the number of seconds you had been alive in his head. But he didn’t learn to butter his own bread until he turned twenty. Instead, he traveled around the world, from one mathematician to the next, collaborating on an astonishing number of publications. With a simple, lyrical text and richly layered illustrations, this is a beautiful introduction to the world of math and a fascinating look at the unique character traits that made “Uncle Paul” a great man.

In China, all parents know that maths is the number one subject in schools

Source: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/education/maths-reform/9338540/Numeracy-Campaign-What-we-can-learn-from-China.html

‘Above all, it is a cultural thing.” Professor Lianghuo Fan is reflecting on the differences he has noticed between maths education in China and Singapore, where he lived and taught for 40 years, and in Britain, where he is now based. “In China, all parents know that maths is the number one subject in schools, and they expect that in a modern society everyone must be comfortable with maths, even if that means they have to work hard at it.“That attitude is passed on to their children. But here in Britain, you can feel students’ attitude about mathematics is different. They feel all right if they say they don’t like mathematics.”

Professor Fan is not alone in highlighting this national phobia of ours about maths. The government has this week shown itself determined to tackle the problem head on with the unveiling of a new “back-to-basics” primary school maths curriculum, with a renewed emphasis on times-tables, mental arithmetic, fractions and rote learning.

Most people over 40 will see the proposals as a return to the classroom practice of their childhood – but in its introductory remarks the Department for Education claimed inspiration from Asian model that Professor Fan knows so well: “I never heard a child in China or Singapore say that they don’t like maths’,” he stresses, “without a sense of embarrassment.”

We are sitting in a café near Southampton University – where 50-year-old Professor Fan has been head of the Mathematics and Science Education Research Centre since 2010 – as we try to decide if anything lies behind the popular stereotype that Asian children are “naturally” better at maths than those in the West. It is, for example, in the core storyline of Safe, the recent Hollywood blockbuster, starring Jason Statham. An 11-year-old girl, Mei (played by Chinese-born actress Catherine Chan), is a maths prodigy who can decode number sequences at a glance – and therefore has to be protected from the baddies.

Math Mark

Chinese Math Students vs English Math Students

Source: http://toshuo.com/2007/chinese-math-students-vs-english-math-students/

This is a recent test used in England:

a diagnostic math test for first year university students in England

Here’s a Chinese math test:

a math question from a Chinese college entrance test

Now we know why students from China are so good at Maths!

The Aims of Additional Maths (New Syllabus)

Additional Mathematics is kind of important, if your child is intending to pursue any studies related to Mathematics in university. Business, Accounting, Economics, and of course Engineering and Physics are examples of courses requiring some Mathematics.

Source: http://www.seab.gov.sg/oLevel/2013Syllabus/4038_2013.pdf

AIMS
The syllabus is intended to prepare students adequately for A Level H2 Mathematics and
H3 Mathematics, where a strong foundation in algebraic manipulation skills and
mathematical reasoning skills are required.
The O Level Additional Mathematics syllabus assumes knowledge of O Level Mathematics.
The general aims of the mathematics syllabuses are to enable students to:
acquire the necessary mathematical concepts and skills for continuous learning in
mathematics and related disciplines, and for applications to the real world
• develop the necessary process skills for the acquisition and application of mathematical
concepts and skills
develop the mathematical thinking and problem solving skills and apply these skills to
formulate and solve problems
recognise and use connections among mathematical ideas, and between mathematics
and other disciplines
develop positive attitudes towards mathematics
make effective use of a variety of mathematical tools (including information and
communication technology tools) in the learning and application of mathematics
produce imaginative and creative work arising from mathematical ideas
• develop the abilities to reason logically, to communicate mathematically, and to learn
cooperatively and independently

Shifts must be made in education system to prepare young for future: Heng Swee Keat

Source: http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/shifts-must-be-made-in/879902.html

SINGAPORE: Education Minister Heng Swee Keat has said that two important shifts must be made in the education system in order to prepare the young for the future.

In a Facebook post on Friday evening, Mr Heng said firstly, the education system must help the young acquire deep skills and integrate theory with practice through applied learning.

Secondly, the system should make it easier for students to continue learning in their areas of strength and interest, and encourage lifelong learning.

Mr Heng said the education system needs to better link the interest and strengths of students to jobs of the future.

He explained that when students develop a deep interest, when their imagination is captured, they can go on to do wonderful things.

Maths Movie to look out for: Hollywood primed for film on Indian math genius Ramanujan

Look out for this movie on Indian math genius Ramanujan starring Dev Patel from “Slumdog Millionaire”!

Ramanujan was a self-taught maths genius from India who had little to no formal education. Yet he was able to come out with stunning formulas such as this approximation for Pi:

\displaystyle\frac{1}{\pi} = \frac{2\sqrt{2}}{9801} \sum_{k=0}^\infty \frac{(4k)!(1103+26390k)}{(k!)^4 396^{4k}}

Source: http://in.reuters.com/article/2013/07/25/ramanujan-mathematician-dev-patel-hollyw-idINDEE96O08H20130725

Actor Dev Patel arrives for the season 2 premiere of his HBO drama series ''The Newsroom'' in Hollywood July 10, 2013. REUTERS/Fred Prouser

(Reuters) – A new Hollywood film starring Dev Patel as Srinivasa Ramanujan will put the spotlight on the Indian math genius best known for his work on the theory of prime numbers.

Ramanujan, who died in 1920, was considered one of the brightest minds in mathematics, despite his lack of a formal education.

Patel, who caught Hollywood’s eye in 2008’s Oscar-winning film “Slumdog Millionaire”, has been cast as the lead. Filming begins in September with a British actor playing G.H. Hardy, the mathematician who recognized Ramanujan’s talent and brought him to England in 1914.

“The subject matter of Ramanujan is an Indian story but it is the story of the relationship of India and the West,” the film’s co-producer Edward Pressman told Reuters over the phone.

Continue reading at http://in.reuters.com/article/2013/07/25/ramanujan-mathematician-dev-patel-hollyw-idINDEE96O08H20130725

Study Strategy: THE POMODORO TECHNIQUE

Try out this simple and effective time management and study strategy, named the Pomodoro Technique.

It helps to break up big tasks into smaller tasks, so that we don’t feel so overwhelmed by the task. Sometimes, students feel overwhelmed by the huge amount of material to study, so they don’t feel like starting. Using this method may be effective for beating procrastination and increasing efficiency.

 

 

Recommended Calculus Book for Undergraduates

Thomas’ Calculus (12th Edition)

Thomas’ Calculus is the recommended textbook to learn Undergraduate Calculus (necessary for Engineering, Physics and many science majors). It is used by NUS and can be bought at the Coop.

Full of pictures, and many exercises, this book would be a good book to read for anyone looking to learn Calculus in advance.

Maths Skills to be a Doctor

Doctor and Lawyer are the top two favourite careers in Singapore. Do doctors need to use Maths? Read the below to find out.

Even if Maths is not directly needed, the logical thinking skills learnt in Mathematics will definitely be of great use. 🙂

I am not a medical doctor, but my two younger siblings are medical students, and the Mathematical knowledge and thinking skills have definitely helped them in their medical studies.

Source: http://www.rossu.edu/medical-school/students/Mathematics-in-Medicine-.cfm

Functional numeracy is as essential to an aspiring medical professional as functional literacy. As a physician, perhaps the most important mathematical skills you will need are:

1. Basic mathematical knowledge sufficient to calculate drug doses, concentrations, etc.

2. An understanding of the core statistical concepts most commonly represented in the medical literature.

3. Knowledge of algebra to understand calculations of acid–base status, etc.

4. Ability to appreciate whether or not results are mathematically plausible.    (Nusbaum, 2006)

The careful logical reasoning that is necessary for the study of mathematics is an essential element of clinical reasoning. Although you do not need higher mathematics to get through medical school, you will need the ability to manipulate numbers, including fractions, ratios, powers of 10 and logarithms. You will also need a basic understanding of probability, graphs and simple algebra. You will need to rearrange equations and convert between units of measure.

 

Source: http://everydaylife.globalpost.com/kind-math-work-doctor-know-26082.html

It’s often unclear from your interactions with a doctor how much math she is using in order to treat you. While not all doctors have to use math as directly and frequently as engineers do, all of them must understand the complex mathematical equations that inform different medical treatments in order to administer treatments correctly.

Dosages and Half-Life

One of the most common ways in which doctors use mathematics is in the determination of medicine prescriptions and dosages. Doctors not only have to use basic arithmetic to calculate what dosage of a particular drug will be effective for your height and body type over a specific period of time, they will also have to be aware of the medicine’s cycle through the body and how the dosage of one drug compares with the dosage of a similar type of drug. Sometimes doctors have to use calculus to figure out the right dosage of a drug. Calculus is the study of how changing variables affect a system. In the human body, the kidney processes medicine. However, people’s kidneys are at varying levels of health. Doctors can designate the kidney as a changing function in a calculus equation known as the Cockroft-Gault equation. This equation uses the level of creatine in a patient’s blood to find the level of the kidney’s functioning, which allows the doctor to determine the appropriate dose.

Cancer Treatment

When a doctor administers radiation therapy to a cancer patient, the radiation beams have to cross each other at specific angles, so that they harm the cancerous tumor without harming the surrounding healthy tissue. The precise numbers for these angles must be calculated mathematically. Cancer tends to respond to any drug by mutating so that its DNA is no longer affected by that drug. Oncologists and medical scientists have decided to target cancerous tumors with many different kinds of drugs at once so that the cancer is unable to respond adequately. They use complex mathematical models that plot the speed and timing of the cancer’s different mutations to figure out what combinations and dosages of different drugs should be used.

Medical Images and Tests

Doctors in medical imaging use two-dimensional images of a patient’s body taken from thousands of angles to create a three-dimensional image for analysis. Determining what angles should be used and how they will fit together requires mathematics. Medical researchers who study disease will analyze the mathematical dimensions of these images. Neurologists who run EEGs on patients to measure their brain waves must add and subtract different voltages and use Fourier transforms to filter out signal static. Fourier transforms are used to alter functions in calculus.

Treatment Research

Medical scientists working with cardiologists use differential equations to describe blood flow dynamics. They also build sophisticated computer models to find the ideal size of an artificial aorta and where to place it in an infant pending a heart transplant. Doctors have to read medical journals to keep up on the latest scientific findings for the benefit of their patients. In addition to describing the calculus used to model health conditions, medical journal studies also make heavy use of statistics and probability to describe the health conditions of whole populations and the likelihood that different treatments will be effective.

Maths Skills to be a Good Lawyer

Doctor and Lawyer are the top two favourite careers in Singapore. On the surface, Lawyers seem not to need much maths, but recent research shows that Mathematics skills and thinking may be crucial to becoming a better Lawyer.

Source: http://news.illinois.edu/news/13/0403numeracy_ArdenRowell.html

There is a “highly significant relationship” between law students’ math skills and the substance of their legal analysis, according to research from Arden Rowell, a professor of law and the Richard W. and Marie L. Corman Scholar at Illinois.

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — The stereotype of lawyers being bad with numbers may persist, but new research by two University of Illinois legal scholars suggests that law students are surprisingly good at math, although those with low levels of numeracy analyze some legal questions differently.

According to research from Arden Rowell and Jessica Bregant, there is a   “highly significant relationship” between law students’ math skills and the substance of their legal analysis, suggesting that legal analysis – and by extension, legal advice – may vary with a lawyer’s native math skills.

What the research shows is that math matters to lawyers more – and for different reasons – than people have realized,” said Rowell, a professor of law and the Richard W. and Marie L. Corman Scholar at Illinois. “People are only now starting to pay attention to the fact that lawyers and judges who are bad at math can make mistakes that ruin people’s lives. That implicates numeracy as a neglected but potentially critical aspect of legal education, because it’s not something that law schools have traditionally focused on when selecting students.”

JC Cut Off Points

JC Cut Off Points (COP)

To sign up for JC Tuition (subjects other than Math, e.g. GP Tuition): Check out this recommended tuition agency: StarTutor!

Aggregate Scores of Junior Colleges (JC) 

Outliers: The Story of Success This is a very inspirational book on why do some people succeed, and what makes high-achievers different? Famous author Malcolm Gladwell reveals the secret and how it is possible for average ordinary people to achieve the same results. (Best Seller on Amazon.com)

Check out our post on Recommended Graphical Calculator for JC.

Also check out our post on: Which JC is Good?

  1. RJC Cut Off Points: Arts 3, Science 3
  2. HCI Cut Off Points: Arts 3, Science 3
  3. VJC Cut Off Points: Arts 5, Science 4
  4. NJC Cut Off Points: Arts 5, Science 5
  5. ACS(I) Cut Off Points: Science 5
  6. ACJC Cut Off Points: Arts 7, Science 6
  7. TJC Cut Off Points: Arts 7, Science 6
  8. AJC Cut Off Points: Arts 10, Science 8
  9. MJC Cut Off Points: Arts 9, Science 9
  10. NYJC Cut Off Points: Arts 9, Science 9
  11. SAJC Cut Off Points: Arts 9, Science 9
  12. CJC Cut Off Points: Arts 10, Science 10
  13. SRJC Cut Off Points: Arts 13, Science 13
  14. TPJC Cut Off Points: Arts 13, Science 14
  15. JJC Cut Off Points: Arts 13, Science 16
  16. PJC Cut Off Points: Arts 16, Science 16
  17. YJC Cut Off Points: Arts 20, Science 20
  18. IJC Cut Off Points: Arts 20, Science 20

L1R5 aggregate scores/ Cut Off Points (with bonus points) of students admitted to JCs in the 2012 Joint Admissions Exercise (JAE).

Junior College

Arts

Science/IB

Anderson JC

10

8

Anglo-Chinese JC

7

6

Anglo-Chinese School (Independent)

5

Catholic JC

10

10

Hwa Chong Institution

3

3

Innova JC

20

20

Jurong JC

13

16

Meridian JC

9

9

Nanyang JC

9

9

National JC

5

5

Pioneer JC

16

16

Raffles Institution

3

3

Serangoon JC

13

13

St. Andrew’s JC

9

9

St. Joseph Institution

Tampines JC

13

14

Temasek JC

7

6

Victoria JC

5

4

Yishun JC

20

20

Source: http://www.moe.gov.sg/education/admissions/jae/files/jae-info.pdf

http://www.dunearn.edu.sg/students/junior-college-admission-cut-off-points-2013

JC Cut Off Points (Bonus Points)

For students seeking admission to JC/Poly/ITE and with the following CCA grades:a. Grades of A1 – A2 (2 points)b. Grades of B3 – C6 (1 point)
For students seeking admission to JC/MI courses and with grades of A1 to C6 in both their first languages (i.e. English and a Higher Mother Tongue). This is provided that these choices come before any Poly/ITE choices.(2 points)
For students seeking admission to JC/MI courses and with grades of A1 to C6 in Malay/Chinese (Special Programme) (MSP/CSP) or Bahasa Indonesia (BI) as their third language. This is provided that these choices come before any Poly/ITE choices.(2 points)
For students from feeder schools if they choose their affiliated Junior College course(s) as their:a. 1st choice, or b. 1st and 2nd choices. (2 points)

The bonus points can be deducted from their total points, and will be helpful to enter the JC (depending on the JC’s Cut Off Points). Theoretical Minimum Score is 0 points (if under CLEP or MLEP programme), otherwise minimum score is 2 points.

Sec 4 Maths Tuition

https://mathtuition88.com/group-tuition/

https://mathtuition88.com/

Maths Tuition @ Bishan starting in 2014.

Secondary 4 O Level E Maths and A Maths.

Patient and Dedicated Maths Tutor (NUS Maths Major 1st Class Honours, Dean’s List, RI Alumni)

Email: mathtuition88@gmail.com

O Level Maths Group Tuition

https://mathtuition88.com/group-tuition/

https://mathtuition88.com/

Maths Tuition @ Bishan starting in 2014.

O Level E Maths and A Maths.

Patient and Dedicated Maths Tutor (NUS Maths Major 1st Class Honours, Dean’s List, RI Alumni)

Email: mathtuition88@gmail.com

Mathematics homework

Teachers have profound effect on students, says Heng Swee Keat

Source: http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/teachers-have-profound/803528.html

Education Minister Heng Swee Keat said teachers “grow knowledge, instill beliefs, inculcate values, nurture passion, and in so doing, they shape the future” of students.

          File photo: Minister for Education Heng Swee Keat

SINGAPORE: Education Minister Heng Swee Keat said on Thursday “teachers affect all of us more deeply” than one can know.

In a Facebook post ahead of Teachers’ Day on Friday, Mr Heng sent his warmest thoughts and admiration to all teachers who dedicate themselves to bringing out the best in children.

In the tribute to all teachers, Mr Heng said they “grow knowledge, instill beliefs, inculcate values, nurture passion, and in so doing, they shape the future” of their students.

He added that every child who grows up confident and compassionate has been affected by a caring teacher in some way.

Mr Heng said in order to give every child a profound educational experience, every teacher must be a caring educator.

Continue reading at http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/teachers-have-profound/803528.html

O Level Formula List / Formula Sheet for E Maths and A Maths

E Maths Formula List / A Maths Formula Sheet

Attached below are the Formula Lists for E Maths and A Maths (O Level)

Do be familiar with all the formulas for Elementary Maths and Additional Maths inside, so that you know where to find it when needed!
Wishing everyone reading this all the best for their exams. 🙂

E Maths Formula List

A Maths Formula List

Click here to read about: How to prevent careless mistakes in math?


Maths Tuition

For Mathematics Tuition, contact Mr Wu at:

Email: mathtuition88@gmail.com

Tutor profile: About Tutor


Subscribe to our free newsletter, for updates on Math, Education and other General Knowledge topics!

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Math Doesn’t Suck: How to Survive Middle-School Math Without Losing Your Mind or Breaking a Nail

Secrets of Mental Math: The Mathemagician’s Guide to Lightning Calculation and Amazing Math Tricks

数学补习 (碧山)

https://mathtuition88.com/group-tuition/

明年2014数学补习班将会在碧山开始。

教O Level E Maths 和 A Maths.

想报名的学生请联络mathtuition88@gmail.com.

谢谢。

O Level E Maths and A Maths Tuition starting next year at Bishan

O Level E Maths and A Maths Tuition starting next year at Bishan
————————–
View Mr Wu’s GEP Testimonial at

https://mathtuition88.com/group-tuition/

Despite being in the Gifted Education Programme (GEP), Mr Wu is just an ordinary Singaporean. His secret to academic success is hard work and the Maths Techniques he has discovered by himself while navigating through the education system.

He would like to teach these techniques to students, hence choosing to become a full-time Mathematics tutor. Mr Wu has developed his own methods to check the answer, remember formulas (with understanding), which has helped a lot of students. Many Math questions can be checked easily, leading to the student being 100% confident of his or her answer even before the teacher marks his answer, and reducing the rates of careless mistakes.

Mr Wu’s friendly and humble nature makes him well-liked by students. Many of his students actually request for more tuition by themselves! (not the parents)

O Level E Maths and A Maths Tuition starting next year at Bishan, the best location in Central Singapore.

Timings are Monday 7-9pm, Thursday 7-9pm. Perfect for students who have CCA in the afternoon, or students who want to keep their weekends free.

Register with us now by email (mathtuition88@gmail.com). Vacancies will be allocated on a first-come-first-serve basis.

Thanks and wishing all a nice day.

Standard matrix in mathematics
Standard matrix in mathematics (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Maths Group Tuition at Bishan 2014

Maths Group Tuition starting in 2014!

Secondary to JC Classes for Maths Group Tuition starting in 2014!

Location: Block 230 Bishan Street 23 #B1-35 S(570230)

Google Map: http://goo.gl/maps/chjWB

Directions to Bishan Tuition Centre:

A) Via BISHAN MRT (NS17/CC15)

(10 minutes by foot OR 2 bus stops from Junction 8. From J8, please take bus numbers, 52, 54 or 410 from interchange. The centre is just after Catholic High School, just beside Clover By-The-Park condominium.

Other landmarks are: the bus stop which students alight is in front of Blk 283, where Cheers minimart and Prime supermarket are.)

It’s one street away from Raffles Institution Junior College (RIJC), previously known as Raffles Junior College (RJC). It’s also very convenient for students of Catholic Junior College (CJC), Anderson Junior College (AJC), Yishun Junior College (YJC) and Innova Junior College (IJC).

Other secondary schools located near Bishan are Catholic High School, Kuo Chuan Presbyterian Secondary School, and Raffles Institution (Secondary).

Additional Maths — from Fail to Top in Class

Really glad to hear good news from one of my students.

From failing Additional Maths all the way, he is now the top in his entire class.

Really huge improvement, and I am really happy for him. 🙂

To other students who may be reading this, remember not to give up! As long as you persevere, it is always possible to improve.

Studying at NUS Mathematics Department

Maths Group Tuition to start in 2014!

Source: http://ww1.math.nus.edu.sg/

The history  of the Department of Mathematics at NUS traces back to 1929, when science  education began in Singapore with the opening of Raffles College with less than  five students enrolled in mathematics. Today it is one of the largest  departments in NUS, with about 70 faculty members and       teaching staff supported  by 13 administrative and IT staff.  The Department offers a wide selection  of courses (called modules) covering wide areas of mathematical sciences with  about 6,000 students enrolling in each semester. Apart from offering B.Sc.  programmes in Mathematics, Applied Mathematics and Quantitative Finance, the  Department also participates actively in major interdisciplinary programs,  including the double degree programme in Mathematics/Applied Mathematics and  Computer Science, the double major       programmes in Mathematics and Economics as  well as with other subjects, and the Computational Biology programme. Another  example of the Department’s student centric educational philosophy is the   Special Programme in Mathematics (SPM), which is specially designed for a  select group of students who have a strong passion and aptitude for  mathematics. The aim is to enable these students to build a solid foundation  for a future career in mathematical research or state-of-the-art applications  of mathematics in industry.

The  Department is ranked among the best in Asia in mathematical  research.   It offers a diverse and vibrant program in graduate  studies, in fundamental as well as applied mathematics. It promotes  interdisciplinary applications of mathematics in science, engineering and  commerce. Faculty members’ research covers all major areas of contemporary  mathematics. For more information, please see research overview, selected publications, and research     awards.

Academic grading in Singapore: How many marks to get A in Maths for PSLE, O Levels, A Levels

Maths Group Tuition

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Academic_grading_in_Singapore

Singapore‘s grading system in schools is differentiated by the existence of many types of institutions with different education foci and systems. The grading systems that are used at Primary, Secondary, and Junior College levels are the most fundamental to the local system used.



Overcoming Math Anxiety

Featured book:

“If you’ve ever said ‘I’m no good at numbers,’ this book can change your life.” (Gloria Steinem)


Primary 5 to 6 standard stream

  • A*: 91% and above
  • A: 75% to 90%
  • B: 60% to 74%
  • C: 50% to 59%
  • D: 35% to 49%
  • E: 20% to 34%
  • U: Below 20%

Overall grade (Secondary schools)

  • A1: 75% and above
  • A2: 70% to 74%
  • B3: 65% to 69%
  • B4: 60% to 64%
  • C5: 55% to 59%
  • C6: 50% to 54%
  • D7: 45% to 49%
  • E8: 40% to 44%
  • F9: Below 40%

The GPA table for Raffles Girls’ School and Raffles Institution (Secondary) is as below:

Grade Percentage Grade point
A+ 80-100 4.0
A 70-79 3.6
B+ 65-69 3.2
B 60-64 2.8
C+ 55-59 2.4
C 50-54 2.0
D 45-49 1.6
E 40-44 1.2
F <40 0.8

The GPA table differs from school to school, with schools like Dunman High School excluding the grades “C+” and “B+”(meaning grades 50-59 is counted a C, vice-versa) However, in other secondary schools like Hwa Chong Institution and Victoria School, there is also a system called MSG (mean subject grade) which is similar to GPA that is used.

Grade Percentage Grade point
A1 75-100 1
A2 70-74 2
B3 65-69 3
B4 60-64 4
C5 55-59 5
C6 50-54 6
D7 45-49 7
E8 40-44 8
F9 <40 9

The mean subject grade is calculated by adding the points together, then divided by the number of subjects. For example, if a student got A1 for math and B3 for English, his MSG would be (1+3)/2 = 2.

O levels grades

  • A1: 75% and above
  • A2: 70% to 74%
  • B3: 65% to 69%
  • B4: 60% to 64%
  • C5: 55% to 59%
  • C6: 50% to 54%
  • D7: 45% to 49%
  • E8: 40% to 44%
  • F9: Below 40%

The results also depends on the bell curve.

Junior college level (GCE A and AO levels)

  • A: 70% and above
  • B: 60% to 69%
  • C: 55% to 59%
  • D: 50% to 54%
  • E: 45% to 49% (passing grade)
  • S: 40% to 44% (denotes standard is at AO level only), grade N in the British A Levels.
  • U: Below 39%

List of JCs in Singapore; H2 Maths Tuition

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_schools_in_Singapore#Junior_Colleges_.28JC.29

Junior Colleges (JC)

These offer two-year courses leading to the GCE A-level examination.

Code Zone College Name Established Address Type Special Programmes
English Chinese Abb.
0705 North Anderson Junior College 安德逊初级学院 AJC 1984 4500 Ang Mo Kio Avenue 6 Government
7001 West Anglo-Chinese School (Independent) IB World School 英华中学 (自主) ACS(I)-IBDP 2004 (IBDP) 121 Dover Road Independent IP, MEP
0803 West Anglo-Chinese Junior College 英华初级学院 ACJC 1977 25 Dover Close East Government-Aided MEP, DEP(TSD), LEP (EL)
0802 South Catholic Junior College 公教初级学院 CJC 1975 129 Whitley Road Government-Aided LEP (EL)
3101 East Dunman High School 德明政府中学 DHS 2005 – IP 10 Tanjong Rhu Road Autonomous IP, MEP, BSP, LEP (CL), AEP
0806 Central Hwa Chong Institution 华侨中学 HCI 1974 661 Bukit Timah Road Independent IP, HP, LEP (CL), AEP, BSP
0713 North Innova Junior College 星烁初级学院 IJC 2005 21 Champions Way Government LEP (ML)
0703 West Jurong Junior College 裕廊初级学院 JJC 1981 800 Corporation Road Government LEP (CL)
0712 East Meridian Junior College 美廉初级学院 MJC 2003 21 Pasir Ris Street 71 Government
0908 West Millennia Institute 励仁高级中学 MI 2004 60 Bukit Batok West Avenue 8 Government DTP
0805 North Nanyang Junior College 南洋初级学院 NYJC 1978 128 Serangoon Avenue 3 Government-Aided LEP (CL), AEP
0712 Central National Junior College 国家初级学院 NJC 1969 37 Hillcrest Road Government IP, HP, AEP, MEP, STaR
7801 West NUS High School of Mathematics and Science 新加坡国立大学附属数理中学 NUSHS 2005 20 Clementi Ave 1 Independent IP, DIP
0711 West Pioneer Junior College 先驱初级学院 PJC 1999 21 Teck Whye Walk Government
0704 South Raffles Institution 莱佛士初级学院 RI 1826 10 Bishan Street 21 Independent IP, HP, LEP (JL), LEP (EL), MEP, TSD
3103 West River Valley High School 立化中学 RVHS 1956 2006 – IP 6 Boon Lay Avenue Autonomous IP, BSP
0710 North Serangoon Junior College 实龙岗初级学院 SRJC 1988 1033 Upper Serangoon Road Government
0804 South Saint Andrew’s Junior College 圣安德烈初级学院 SAJC 1978 55 Potong Pasir Avenue 1 Government-Aided
0709 East Tampines Junior College 淡滨尼初级学院 TPJC 1986 2 Tampines Avenue 9 Government LEP (ML), TSD
0702 East Temasek Junior College 淡马锡初级学院 TJC 1977 22 Bedok South Road Government IP, HP, LEP (CL), MEP
0706 East Victoria Junior College 维多利亚初级学院 VJC 1984 20 Marine Vista Government IP, HP, TSD, NAV
0708 North Yishun Junior College 义顺初级学院 YJC 1986 3 Yishun Ring Road Government

Centralised Institutes (CI)

The only centralised institute is Millennia Institute (MI), which offers a three-year course leading to the GCE A-level examination in arts, science, and commerce.[3]

List of Secondary Schools in Singapore; A Maths Tuition

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_secondary_schools_in_Singapore

Mainstream schools

Name Type School code Area[2] Notes Website
Admiralty Secondary School Government 3072 Woodlands [1]
Ahmad Ibrahim Secondary School Government 3021 Yishun [2]
Anderson Secondary School Government, Autonomous 3001 Ang Mo Kio [3]
Anglican High School Government-aided, Autonomous, SAP Bedok
Anglo-Chinese School (Barker Road) Government-aided Novena
Anglo-Chinese School (Independent) Independent, IP Dover Offers the IB certificate
Ang Mo Kio Secondary School Government 3026 Ang Mo Kio
Assumption English School Government-aided Bukit Panjang
Balestier Hill Secondary School Government Novena
Bartley Secondary School Government 3002 Toa Payoh
Beatty Secondary School Government 3003 Toa Payoh
Bedok Green Secondary School Government Bedok
Bedok North Secondary School Government Bedok
Bedok South Secondary School Government Bedok
Bedok Town Secondary School Government Bedok
Bedok View Secondary School Government Bedok
Bendemeer Secondary School Government Kallang
Bishan Park Secondary School Government Bishan
Boon Lay Secondary School Government Jurong West
Bowen Secondary School Government Hougang
Broadrick Secondary School Government Geylang
Bukit Batok Secondary School Government Bukit Batok
Bukit Merah Secondary School Government Bukit Merah
Bukit Panjang Govt. High School Government, Autonomous Chua Chu Kang
Bukit View Secondary School Government Bukit Batok
Catholic High School Government-aided, Autonomous, SAP, IP Bishan
Canberra Secondary School Government Sembawang
Cedar Girls’ Secondary School Government, Autonomous 3004 Toa Payoh
Changkat Changi Secondary School Government Tampines
Chestnut Drive Secondary School Government Bukit Panjang
CHIJ Katong Convent Government-aided, Autonomous Marine Parade
CHIJ Secondary (Toa Payoh) Government-aided, Autonomous 7004 Toa Payoh
CHIJ St. Joseph’s Convent Government-aided Sengkang
CHIJ St. Nicholas Girls’ School Government-aided, Autonomous, SAP Ang Mo Kio
CHIJ St. Theresa’s Convent Government-aided Bukit Merah
Chong Boon Secondary School Government Ang Mo Kio
Chua Chu Kang Secondary School Government Chua Chu Kang
Church Secondary School Government-aided
Chung Cheng High School (Main) Government-aided, Autonomous, SAP Marine Parade
Chung Cheng High School (Yishun) Government-aided Yishun
Clementi Town Secondary School Government Clementi
Clementi Woods Secondary School Government Clementi
Commonwealth Secondary School Government, Autonomous Jurong East
Compassvale Secondary School Government Sengkang
Coral Secondary School Government Pasir Ris
Crescent Girls’ School Government, Autonomous Bukit Merah
Damai Secondary School Government Bedok
Deyi Secondary School Government Ang Mo Kio
Dunearn Secondary School Government Bukit Batok
Dunman High School Government, Autonomous, IP, SAP Kallang
Dunman Secondary School Government, Autonomous Tampines
East Spring Secondary School Government Tampines
East View Secondary School Government Tampines
Edgefield Secondary School Government Punggol
Evergreen Secondary School Government Woodlands
Fairfield Methodist Secondary School Government-aided, Autonomous Queenstown
Fajar Secondary School Government Bukit Panjang
First Toa Payoh Secondary School Government 3208 Toa Payoh
Fuchun Secondary School Government Woodlands
Fuhua Secondary School Government Jurong West
Gan Eng Seng School Government Bukit Merah
Geylang Methodist School (Secondary) Government-aided Geylang
Greendale Secondary School Government Punggol
Greenridge Secondary School Government Bukit Panjang
Greenview Secondary School Government Pasir Ris
Guangyang Secondary School Government Bishan
Hai Sing Catholic School Government-aided Pasir Ris
Henderson Secondary School Government Bukit Merah
Hillgrove Secondary School Government Bukit Batok
Holy Innocents’ High School Government-aided Hougang
Hong Kah Secondary School Government Jurong West
Hougang Secondary School Government Hougang
Hua Yi Secondary School Government Jurong West
Hwa Chong Institution Independent, IP, SAP Bukit Timah
Junyuan Secondary School Government Tampines
Jurong Secondary School Government Jurong West
Jurong West Secondary School Government Jurong West
Jurongville Secondary School Government Jurong East
Juying Secondary School Government Jurong West
Kent Ridge Secondary School Government Clementi
Kranji Secondary School Government Chua Chu Kang
Kuo Chuan Presbyterian Secondary School Government-aided Bishan
Loyang Secondary School Government Pasir Ris
MacPherson Secondary School Government Geylang
Manjusri Secondary School Government-aided Geylang
Maris Stella High School Government-aided, Autonomous, SAP 7111 Toa Payoh
Marsiling Secondary School Government Woodlands
Mayflower Secondary School Government Ang Mo Kio
Methodist Girls’ School (Secondary) Independent Bukit Timah
Montfort Secondary School Government-aided Hougang
Nan Chiau High School Government-aided, SAP Sengkang
Nan Hua High School Government, Autonomous, SAP Clementi
Nanyang Girls’ High School Independent, IP, SAP Bukit Timah Affiliated to Hwa Chong Institution
National Junior College Government, IP Bukit Timah
Naval Base Secondary School Government Yishun
New Town Secondary School Government Queenstown
Ngee Ann Secondary School Government-aided, Autonomous Tampines
Northlight School Independent
North View Secondary School Government Yishun
North Vista Secondary School Government Sengkang
Northbrooks Secondary School Government Yishun
Northland Secondary School Government Yishun
NUS High School of Mathematics and Science Independent, IP, Specialised Offers the NUS High School Diploma
Orchid Park Secondary School Government Yishun
Outram Secondary School Government Central
Pasir Ris Crest Secondary School Government Pasir Ris
Pasir Ris Secondary School Government
Paya Lebar Methodist Girls’ School (Secondary) Government-aided, Autonomous Hougang
Pei Hwa Secondary School Government Sengkang
Peicai Secondary School Government Serangoon
Peirce Secondary School Government Bishan
Ping Yi Secondary School Government Bedok
Pioneer Secondary School Government 3062 Jurong West
Presbyterian High School Government-aided Ang Mo Kio
Punggol Secondary School Government Punggol
Queenstown Secondary School Government Queenstown
Queensway Secondary School Government Queenstown
Raffles Girls’ School (Secondary) Independent, IP Central Affiliated to Raffles Institution
Raffles Institution Independent, IP Bishan
Regent Secondary School Government Chua Chu Kang
Riverside Secondary School Government Woodlands
River Valley High School Government, Autonomous, IP, SAP Jurong West
St. Andrew’s Secondary School Government-aided 7015 Toa Payoh
St. Patrick’s School Government-aided Bedok
School of Science and Technology, Singapore Independent, Specialised Clementi
School of the Arts, Singapore Independent, Specialised Offers the IB certificate
Sembawang Secondary School Government Sembawang
Seng Kang Secondary School Government Sengkang
Serangoon Garden Secondary School Government Serangoon
Serangoon Secondary School Government Hougang
Shuqun Secondary School Government Jurong East
Si Ling Secondary School Government Woodlands
Siglap Secondary School Government Pasir Ris
Singapore Chinese Girls’ School Independent Novena
Singapore Sports School Independent, Specialised
Springfield Secondary School Government Tampines
St. Anthony’s Canossian Secondary School Government-aided, Autonomous Bedok
St. Gabriel’s Secondary School Government-aided Serangoon
St. Hilda’s Secondary School Government-aided, Autonomous Tampines
St. Margaret’s Secondary School Government-aided, Autonomous Bukit Timah
St. Joseph’s Institution Independent Novena
Swiss Cottage Secondary School Government Bukit Batok
Tampines Secondary School Government Tampines
Tanglin Secondary School Government Clementi
Tanjong Katong Girls’ School Government, Autonomous Marine Parade
Tanjong Katong Secondary School Government, Autonomous Marine Parade
Teck Whye Secondary School Government Chua Chu Kang
Temasek Academy Government, IP Affiliated to Temasek Junior College
Temasek Secondary School Government, Autonomous Bedok
Unity Secondary School Government Chua Chu Kang
Victoria Junior College Government, IP
Victoria School Government, Autonomous
West Spring Secondary School Government Bukit Panjang
Westwood Secondary School Government Jurong West
Whitley Secondary School Government Bishan
Woodgrove Secondary School Government Woodlands
Woodlands Ring Secondary School Government Woodlands
Woodlands Secondary School Government Woodlands
Xinmin Secondary School Government, Autonomous Hougang
Yio Chu Kang Secondary School Government Ang Mo Kio
Yishun Secondary School Government Yishun
Yishun Town Secondary School Government, Autonomous Yishun
Yuan Ching Secondary School Government Jurong West
Yuhua Secondary School Government Jurong West
Yusof Ishak Secondary School Government Bukit Batok
Yuying Secondary School Government-aided Hougang
Zhenghua Secondary School Government Bukit Panjang
Zhonghua Secondary School Government, Autonomous Serangoon

Number Theory Notes – Art of Problem Solving

Source: http://www.artofproblemsolving.com/Resources/Papers/SatoNT.pdf

Excellent notes on Olympiad Number Theory!

Preface:

This set of notes on number theory was originally written in 1995 for students

at the IMO level. It covers the basic background material that an IMO

student should be familiar with. This text is meant to be a reference, and

not a replacement but rather a supplement to a number theory textbook;

several are given at the back. Proofs are given when appropriate, or when

they illustrate some insight or important idea. The problems are culled from

various sources, many from actual contests and olympiads, and in general

are very difficult. The author welcomes any corrections or suggestions.

 

Advice to Students

Source: http://www.math.union.edu/~dpvc/courses/advice/welcome.html

Advice to Students:

Over the years, I have collected some information that I hope will help  students, particularly beginning math students, to improve their study  and learning habits.  An important part of what you learn at college is  how to learn, so that you can carry that on for the rest of your  life.  Find out what works for you and what doesn’t.

These observations are centered around first-year calculus courses, so not  everything may apply to you, but even more advanced students can benefit  from some of them.

As you develop your own learning habits, please think carefully about the  following topics:

Continue reading at http://www.math.union.edu/~dpvc/courses/advice/welcome.html

Student Advice: Comments on Perseverance

Source: http://www.math.union.edu/~dpvc/courses/advice/perseverance.html

Comments on Perseverance:

One source of confusion for students when they reach college and begin to  do college-level mathematics is this:  in high school, it is usually pretty  apparent what formula or technique needs to be applied, as much of the  material in high school is computational or procedural.  In college,  however, mathematics becomes more conceptual, and it is much harder to  know what to do when you first start a problem.  As a consequence of this,  many students give up on a problem too early.

If you don’t immediately know how to attack a problem, this doesn’t mean you  are stupid,


If you already know how to do it, it’s not  really a problem.

or that you don’t understand what’s going on; that’s just how  real problems work.  After all, if you already know how to do it, it’s not  really a problem, is it?  You should expect to be confused at first.   There’s no way you can know ahead of time how to solve every problem that  you will face in life.  You’re only hope, and therefore your goal as a  student, is to get experience with working through hard problems on your  own.  That way, you will continue to be able to do so once you leave  college.

One of the first steps in this is to realize that not knowing how, and the  frustration that accompanies that, is part of the process.  Then you have  to start to figure out the questions that you can ask to help you to break  down the problem, so that you can figure out how it really works.  What’s  really important in it?  What is the central concept?  What roles do the  definitions play?  How is this related to other things I know?

Continue reading at http://www.math.union.edu/~dpvc/courses/advice/perseverance.html

There’s more to mathematics than grades and exams and methods

Source: http://terrytao.wordpress.com/career-advice/there%E2%80%99s-more-to-mathematics-than-grades-and-exams-and-methods/

When you have mastered numbers, you will in fact no longer be reading numbers, any more than you read words when reading books. You will be reading meanings. (W. E. B. Du Bois)

When learning mathematics as an undergraduate student, there is often a heavy emphasis on grade averages, and on exams which often emphasize memorisation of techniques and theory than on actual conceptual understanding, or on either intellectual or intuitive thought. There are good reasons for this; there is a certain amount of theory and technique that must be practiced before one can really get anywhere in mathematics (much as there is a certain amount of drill required before one can play a musical instrument well). It doesn’t matter how much innate mathematical talent and intuition you have; if you are unable to, say, compute a multidimensional integral, manipulate matrix equations, understand abstract definitions, or correctly set up a proof by induction, then it is unlikely that you will be able to work effectively with higher mathematics.

However, as you transition to graduate school you will see that there is a higher level of learning (and more importantly, doing) mathematics, which requires more of your intellectual faculties than merely the ability to memorise and study, or to copy an existing argument or worked example. This often necessitates that one discards (or at least revises) many undergraduate study habits; there is a much greater need for self-motivated study and experimentation to advance your own understanding, than to simply focus on artificial benchmarks such as examinations.

Continue reading at http://terrytao.wordpress.com/career-advice/there%E2%80%99s-more-to-mathematics-than-grades-and-exams-and-methods/

How to Make Online Courses Massively Personal

How thousands of online students can get the effect of one-on-one tutoring

Source: http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=how-to-make-online-courses-massively-personal-peter-norvig&WT.mc_id=SA_SA_20130717

Educators have known for 30 years that students perform better when given one-on-one tutoring and mastery learning—working on a subject until it is mastered, not just until a test is scheduled. Success also requires motivation, whether from an inner drive or from parents, mentors or peers.

Online learning is a tool, just as the textbook is a tool. The way the teacher and the student use the tool is what really counts.

The Key To Career Success

Source: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/brooks-mccorcle/the-key-to-career-success_b_3511254.html

“The essence of mathematics is not to make simple things complicated, but to make complicated things simple.” ~ Stan Gudder, Mathematician

Math, at its core, is about solving problems — about breaking a challenge into its basic elements to be investigated, tested, manipulated and understood. Math can give you the tools to find a winning formula. And, it can create the path to your career.

Math is the key to unlocking possibilities. It frees you up to think creatively about solutions and to focus your attention on what truly matters at the end of the day.

Finally, math empowers you to be a better leader and to remain open to new ideas. It sparks creativity and learning. It gives you confidence and conviction to say “YES!” when you’re asked to take on a new challenge. It helps you attract and energize the people you hire to help you.  In a marketplace that’s moving so fast, it’s important to constantly listen, learn, analyze and formulate new ways to serve customers.  Math provides the foundation for doing just that.

Want to succeed? It’s simple … math.

EDUC115N: How to Learn Math (Stanford Online Maths Education Course )

I will be attending this exciting online course by Stanford on Math Education. Do feel free to join it too, it is suitable for teachers and other helpers of math learners, such as parents.

stanford-maths-tuition

EDUC115N: How to Learn Math 

(Source: https://class.stanford.edu/courses/Education/EDUC115N/How_to_Learn_Math/about)

About This Course

In July 2013 a new course will be available on Stanford’s free on-line platform. The course is a short intervention designed to change students’ relationships with math. I have taught this intervention successfully in the past (in classrooms); it caused students to re-engage successfully with math, taking a new approach to the subject and their learning.

Concepts

1. Knocking down the myths about math.        Math is not about speed, memorization or learning lots of rules. There is no such  thing as “math people” and non-math people. Girls are equally capable of the highest achievement. This session will include interviews with students.

2. Math and Mindset.         Participants will be encouraged to develop a growth mindset, they will see evidence of  how mindset changes students’ learning trajectories, and learn how it can be  developed.

3. Mistakes, Challenges & Persistence.        What is math persistence? Why are mistakes so important? How is math linked to creativity? This session will focus on the importance of mistakes, struggles and persistence.

4. Teaching Math for a Growth Mindset.      This session will give strategies to teachers and parents for helping students develop a growth mindset and will include an interview with Carol Dweck.

5. Conceptual Learning. Part I. Number Sense.        Math is a conceptual subject– we will see evidence of the importance of conceptual thinking and participants will be given number problems that can be solved in many ways and represented visually.

6. Conceptual Learning. Part II. Connections, Representations, Questions.        In this session we will look at and solve math problems at many different  grade levels and see the difference in approaching them procedurally and conceptually. Interviews with successful users of math in different, interesting jobs (film maker, inventor of self-driving cars etc) will show the importance of conceptual math.

7. Appreciating Algebra.        Participants will learn some key research findings in the teaching and learning of algebra and learn about a case of algebra teaching.

8. Going From This Course to a New Mathematical Future.        This session will review the ideas of the course and think about the way towards a new mathematical future.

Mathematics is an art

Taken from http://www.maa.org/devlin/lockhartslament.pdf

The first thing to understand is that mathematics is an art. The difference between math and the other arts, such as music and painting, is that our culture does not recognize it as such. Everyone understands that poets, painters, and musicians create works of art, and are expressing themselves in word, image, and sound. In fact, our society is rather generous when it comes to creative expression; architects, chefs, and even television directors are considered to be working artists. So why not mathematicians? Part of the problem is that nobody has the faintest idea what it is that mathematicians do. The common perception seems to be that mathematicians are somehow connected with science— perhaps they help the scientists with their formulas, or feed big numbers into computers for some reason or other. There is no question that if the world had to be divided into the “poetic dreamers” and the “rational thinkers” most people would place mathematicians in the latter category. Nevertheless, the fact is that there is nothing as dreamy and poetic, nothing as radical, subversive, and psychedelic, as mathematics. It is every bit as mind blowing as cosmology or physics (mathematicians conceived of black holes long before astronomers actually found any), and allows more freedom of expression than poetry, art, or music (which depend heavily on properties of the physical universe). Mathematics is the purest of the arts, as well as the most misunderstood. So let me try to explain what mathematics is, and what mathematicians do. I can hardly do better than to begin with G.H. Hardy’s excellent description: A mathematician, like a painter or poet, is a maker of patterns. If his patterns are more permanent than theirs, it is because they are made with ideas.

.

Maths Resources available for sale!

Do check out our Maths Resources available for sale! All Maths notes and worksheets are priced affordably, starting from just $0.99!
All the resources are personally written by our principal tutor Mr Wu.

https://mathtuition88.com/maths-notes-worksheets-sale/

 

 

Ten Year Series: How many questions or papers to practice for Maths O Levels / A Levels?

This is a question to ponder about, how many questions or papers to practice for Maths O Levels / A Levels for the Ten Year Series?

If you searched Google, you will find that there is no definitive answer of how many questions to practice for Maths O Levels/ A Levels anywhere on the web.

For O Level / A Level, practicing the Ten Year Series is really helpful, as it helps students to gain confidence in solving exam-type questions.

Here are some tips about how to practice the Ten Year Series (TYS):

1) Do a variety of questions from each topic. This will help you to gain familiarity with all the topics tested, and also revise the older topics.

2) Fully understand each question. If necessary, practice the same question again until you get it right. There is a sense of satisfaction when you finally master a tough question.

3) Quality is more important than quantity. It is better to do and understand 1 question completely than do many questions but not understanding them.

Back to the original query of how many questions or papers to practice for Maths O Levels / A Levels for the Ten Year Series, I will attempt to give a rough estimate here, based on personal experience.

5 Questions done (full questions worth more than 5 marks) will result in an improvement of roughly 1 mark in the final exam.

(The 5 Questions must be fully understood. )

So, if a student wants to improve from 40 marks to 70 marks, he/she should try to do 30×5=150 questions (around 7 years worth of past year papers). Repeated questions are counted too, so doing 75 questions (around 3 years worth of past year papers) twice will also count as doing 150 questions. In fact, that is better for students with weak foundation, as the repetition reinforces their understanding of the techniques used to solve the question.

If the student starts revision early, this may work out to just 1 question per day for 5 months. Of course, the 150 questions must be varied, and from different subject topics.

Marks improved by Long Questions to be done Approx. Number of years of TYS OR (even better)
10 50 2 1 year TYS practice twice
20 100 4 2 year TYS practice twice
30 150 6 3 year TYS practice twice
40 200 8 4 year TYS practice twice
50 250 10 5 year TYS practice twice

This estimate only works up to a certain limit (obviously we can’t exceed 100 marks). To get the highest grade (A1 or A), mastery of the subject is needed, and the ability to solve creative questions and think out of the box.

When a student practices TYS questions, it is essential that he/she fully understands the question. This is where a tutor is helpful, to go through the doubts that the student has. Doing a question without understanding it is essentially of little use, as it does not help the student to solve similar questions should they come out in the exam.

Hope this information will help your revision.

积少成多: How can doing at least one Maths question per day help you improve! (Maths Tuition Revision Strategy)

We all know the saying “an apple a day keeps the doctor away“. Many essential activities, like eating, exercising, sleeping, needs to be done on a daily basis.

Mathematics is no different!

Here is a surprising fact of how much students can achieve if they do at least one Maths question per day. (the question must be substantial and worth at least 5 marks)

This study plan is based on the concept of 积少成多, or “Many little things add up“. Also, this method prevents students from getting rusty in older topics, or totally forgetting the earlier topics. Also, this method makes use of the fact that the human brain learns during sleep, so if you do mathematics everyday, you are letting your brain learn during sleep everyday.

Let’s take the example of Additional Mathematics.

Exam is on 24/25 October 2013.

Let’s say the student starts the “One Question per day” Strategy on 20 May 2013

Days till exam: 157 days  (22 weeks or 5 months, 4 days)

So, 157 days = 157 questions (or more!)

Each paper in Ten Year Series has around 25 questions (Paper 1 & Paper 2), so 157 questions translates to more than 6 years worth of practice papers! And all that is achieved by just doing at least one Maths question per day!

A sample daily revision plan can look like this. (I create a customized revision plan for each of my students, based on their weaknesses).

Suggested daily revision (Additional Mathematics):

Topic

Monday

Algebra

Tuesday

Geometry and Trigonometry

Wednesday

Calculus

Thursday

Algebra

Friday

Geometry and Trigonometry

Saturday

Calculus

Sunday

Geometry and Trigonometry

(Calculus means anything that involves differentiation, integration)

(Geometry and Trigonometry means anything that involves diagrams, sin, cos, tan, etc. )

(Algebra is everything else, eg. Polynomials, Indices, Partial Fractions)

By following this method, using a TYS, the student can cover all topics, up to 6 years worth of papers!

Usually, students may accumulate a lot of questions if they are stuck. This is where a tutor comes in. The tutor can go through all the questions during the tuition time. This method makes full use of the tuition time, and is highly efficient.

Personally, I used this method of studying and found it very effective. This method is suitable for disciplined students who are aiming to improve, whether from fail to pass or from B/C to A. The earlier you start the better, for this strategy. For students really aiming for A, you can modify this strategy to do at least 2 to 3 Maths questions per day. From experience, my best students practice Maths everyday. Practicing Ten Year Series (TYS) is the best, as everyone knows that school prelims/exams often copy TYS questions exactly, or just modify them a bit.

The role of the parent is to remind the child to practice maths everyday. From experience, my best students usually have proactive parents who pay close attention to their child’s revision, and play an active role in their child’s education.

This study strategy is very flexible, you can modify it based on your own situation. But the most important thing is, practice Maths everyday! (For Maths, practicing is twice as important as studying notes.) And fully understand each question you practice, not just memorizing the answer. Also, doing a TYS question twice (or more) is perfectly acceptable, it helps to reinforce your technique for answering that question.

If you truly follow this strategy, and practice Maths everyday, you will definitely improve!

Mathematics homework

Hardwork \times 100% = Success! (^_^)

There is no substitute for hard work.” – Thomas Edison

How to avoid Careless Mistakes for Maths?

Many parents have feedback to me that their child often makes careless mistakes in Maths, at all levels, from Primary, Secondary, to JC Level. I truly empathize with them, as it often leads to marks being lost unnecessarily. Not to mention, it is discouraging for the child.

Also, making careless mistakes is most common in the subject of mathematics, it is rare to hear of students making careless mistakes in say, History or English.
Fortunately, it is possible to prevent careless mistakes for mathematics, or at least reduce the rates of careless mistakes.

From experience, the ways to prevent careless mistakes for mathematics can be classified into 3 categories, Common Sense, Psychological, and Math Tips.

Common Sense

  1. Firstly, write as neatly as possible. Often, students write their “5” like “6”. Mathematics in Singapore is highly computational in nature, such errors may lead to loss of marks. Also, for Algebra, it is recommended that students write l (for length) in a cursive manner, like \ell to prevent confusion with 1. Also, in Complex Numbers in H2 Math, write z with a line in the middle, like Ƶ, to avoid confusion with 2.
  2. Leave some time for checking. This is easier said than done, as speed requires practice. But leaving some time, at least 5-10 minutes to check the entire paper is a good strategy. It can spot obvious errors, like leaving out an entire question.

Psychological

  1. Look at the number of marks. If the question is 5 marks, and your solution is very short, something may be wrong. Also if the question is just 1 mark, and it took a long time to solve it, that may ring a bell.
  2. See if the final answer is a “nice number“. For questions that are about whole numbers, like number of apples, the answer should clearly be a whole number. At higher levels, especially with questions that require answers in 3 significant figures, the number may not be so nice though. However, from experience, some questions even in A Levels, like vectors where one is suppose to solve for a constant \lambda, it turns out that the constant is a “nice number”.

Mathematical Tips

Mathematical Tips are harder to apply, unlike the above which are straightforward. Usually students will have to be taught and guided by a teacher or tutor.

  1. Substitute back the final answer into the equations. For example, when solving simultaneous equations like x+y=3, x+2y=4, after getting the solution x=2, y=1, you should substitute back into the original two equations to check it.
  2. Substitute in certain values. For example, after finding the partial fraction \displaystyle\frac{1}{x^2-1} = \frac{1}{2 (x-1)}-\frac{1}{2 (x+1)}, you should substitute back a certain value for x, like x=2. Then check if both the left-hand-side and right-hand-side gives the same answer. (LHS=1/3, RHS=1/2-1/6=1/3) This usually gives a very high chance that you are correct.

Thanks for reading this long article! Hope it helps! 🙂

I will add more tips in the future.

Recommended Maths Book:

Math Doesn’t Suck: How to Survive Middle School Math Without Losing Your Mind or Breaking a Nail

This book is a New York Times Bestseller by actress Danica McKellar, who is also an internationally recognized mathematician and advocate for math education. It should be available in the library. Hope it can inspire all to like Maths!