Free Ebook: Singapore’s Scientific Pioneers

Source: http://www.asianscientist.com/pioneers/

The non-commercial book Singapore’s Scientific Pioneers, sponsored by grants from the SG50 Celebration Fund and Nanyang Technological University, is dedicated to all scientists in Singapore, past, present and, most of all, aspiring. Read more from Asian Scientist Magazine at: http://www.asianscientist.com/pioneers/

The free downloadable book also includes a Mathematician from National University of Singapore, Professor Louis Chen, one of the discoverers of the Chen-Stein method.

To download the ebook, click here to download (official mirror).

The Chen-Stein method is part of the branch of Mathematics known as Probability. Advanced probability requires a lot of Measure Theory, another type of Math classified under Analysis.

In the book, Professor Chen mentioned one of his favourite books is “One Two Three . . . Infinity: Facts and Speculations of Science (Dover Books on Mathematics)“.

It turns out that this book is very inspiring, and many reviewers on Amazon said that after they read this book during their childhood, they became inspired to become mathematicians/scientists!

Sample review (from Amazon): “It seems that almost all the reviewers had the same experience: we read this book at an early age, and it was so fascinating, so inspiring, and so magical that it directed us into math and science for the rest of our lives. In my case the book was loaned to me when I was about 12, by my best friend’s father.”

Hence, if you are looking for a Math/Science book for your child, this book may be one of the top choices. 🙂

Math and Motivation

Like many human endeavors, Math is one subject that requires motivation to excel.

There is this inspirational story that I found on https://schoolbag.sg/story/from-rock-bottom-to-top-of-the-class

With no interest in studying and thoroughly convinced he will never do well, M Thirukkumaran was on a downward spiral in secondary school and was almost retained in Secondary One and Two.

Fast forward nearly 10 years, Thiru, 23, is now studying Business Analytics at the National University of Singapore (NUS) under NEA and PUB’s National Environment and Water (NEW) Scholarship.

What turned Thiru a full 180 degrees around? It was the first taste of success, through the efforts of a teacher, Mr Tan Thiam Boon.

In Secondary Three at Monfort Secondary School, Thiru felt that he had hit rock bottom. During a rudimentary algebra test, he scored one mark out of a total score of 50. Instead of shaking his head in disbelief and despair, his mathematics teacher, Mr Tan, went out of his way to coach Thiru after school. But his efforts were in vain.

“Mentally, I had already accepted that I would not be able to do it,” said Thiru.

Undeterred, Mr Tan encouraged Thiru to pay full attention for the next topic, Trigonometry. Dejected and with little left to lose, Thiru came early to sit at the front of the class and followed the lesson attentively. About a week later, Mr Tan distributed the results of a test starting from the lowest to the highest scorers.

Thiru recalled the incident with great clarity.

“Naturally, I had expected my name to be the first to be called. But it was not and I was afraid my paper was lost. But instead, it was the last name called! I still remember the smile on Mr Tan’s face, and the confusion on everyone else’s that day. I sat dumbfounded. Mr Tan had managed to do what nobody else had. In one fell swoop, he eliminated the negative labels that society and I had placed on myself, and reinstated my confidence.  More importantly, he showed me that I was capable, that I wasn’t a “delinquent” or a failure. It was akin to recovering from blindness.”

That initial spark ignited a passion, drive and desire to test his potential and accomplish what he did not even dare to imagine before. Thiru topped his class in mathematics and did well at the N-level and O-level examinations. At Tampines Junior College, his teachers gave him the opportunity to take H2 physics and mathematics, even though he did not take the prescribed secondary school subjects. Thiru’s hard work and determination paid off, often in the top 5% of the cohort for the regular examinations, and emerging as one of the college’s top students at the A-level examinations.

As a tutor, I know this is not easy. I have coached students from Fail to A grade. However,  1/50 is a really bad fail, and to achieve A in a matter of months requires extreme effort short of a miracle. For Thiru to overcome his challenges and extremely weak Math foundation to achieve his amazing accomplishments, required a motivational figure in the form of his Math teacher.

Such motivational teachers are rare, and I am glad that Thiru has found his mentor.

Helen Exley — ‘Books can be dangerous. The best ones should be labeled This could change your life.’ Books are another source of motivation. For those who have not yet found their motivational figure, do not wait as true motivational teachers are few and far between. To encounter one like Thiru requires luck and good fortune. However, good motivational books are there and available if you look for it. I have compiled a list of Motivational Books for the Student, which is available by clicking on the link.

In Math, you must always believe that you can solve the answer, in order to solve it. Just like Thiru, if you believe in yourself, you can do it! A nice book to read about Math and Motivation is Math Doesn’t Suck: How to Survive Middle School Math Without Losing Your Mind or Breaking a Nail. Ideal for teenagers, this book features an award winning actress who struggled with math, but later overcame her fears to be one of the top in UCLA Math faculty. Even Terence Tao praised her.

[News] NUS makes it easier for students in three faculties to qualify for honours

More than 80 or 90 per cent of students on four-year direct honours programmes at publicly-funded universities here graduate with honours or the equivalent. But only 60 per cent of those in the three-year arts and social sciences, business and science degree courses at the National University of Singapore (NUS) qualify for the fourth year of study, which allows them to graduate with honours.

To close the gap, NUS is lowering the grade to qualify for the honours year in these three schools, which are among the larger faculties in the university and take in some 3,600 students a year. This means another 10 to 15 per cent – 400 to 500 students- from these three faculties can move on to the fourth year to study for their honours.

Previously, students in the three faculties require a Cumulative Average Point (CAP) of 3.5 and above to qualify for honours study. With the change, they need only 3.2. NUS, though, will stick to its policy of keeping the the three plus one structure. Students who fail to notch up a score of at least 3.2 will have to exit the course.

NUS Provost Tan Eng Chye said the university decided to lower the requirement as the quality of students has gone up over the years. Students need As and Bs to enter most of the courses now. Last year, for example, students needed a ABB to enter the arts and social sciences course and those entering business needed triple As.

Source: NUS makes it easier for students in three faculties to qualify for honours


Featured book:

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

 

 

Education News Update

The Straits Times holds its first Education Forum on Sunday
Straits Times
The Straits Times’ first Education Forum on May 4, 2014, held at the Singapore Management University’s Mochtar Riady Auditorium. — ST PHOTO: …
All 300 places at The Straits Times’ first education forum this Sunday taken up
Straits Times
Mr David Hoe, an undergraduate at the National University of Singapore (NUS), is one of the speakers at the inaugural The Straits Times Education …
Many turn up at E Plus International Education fair
The Hindu
The aspirants evinced keen interest in countries like Holland, Singapore, New … Official boards of all the countries presented seminars on education …
Tuition and divorce
The Independent Singapore News
In September 2013, The Independent Singapore reported on Senior Minister of State for Education Ms Indranee Rajah’s observation on the perceived …
NS committee may propose changes to IPPT management
TODAYonline
SINGAPORE — Suggestions to improve the management of the Individual … Veterans’ League, which was founded to promote National Education.
Should India Embrace Socialism, Singapore Style?
Businessinsider India
This is because the Singapore government only borrows to develop a … What offers a ray of hope to Indian educators is that Singapore’s education …
How does one of the top-performing countries in the world think about technology?
The Hechinger Report
SINGAPORE—Forty students in bright yellow shirts hunched over their … Investments in education technology have been a key part of Singapore’s …
Why Indonesian education is in crisis
Jakarta Post
Does anyone seriously believe “education” in Indonesia is on par with the west, or even Asian countries like Japan, Korea or Singapore? Ask the …
Are you getting a little crazy in your classroom?
T.H.E. Journal
We have asked Dr. Zachary Walker, an assistant professor at the National Institute of Education, Singapore, an American who is traveling the world …
GEMS Education eyes expansion in the region
Business Times (subscription)
GEMS Education, the world’s largest operator of private schools, aims to … from kindergarten to pre-university, will open in Singapore later this year.

SG Education News: Even Saudis are learning Singapore way of Teaching

Saudis learning the Singapore way of teaching
Straits Times
Since last October, the National Institute of Education (NIE) has taken leadership trainers from the kingdom under its wing, training them in curriculum …
All 300 places at The Straits Times’ first education forum this Sunday taken up
Straits Times
Mr David Hoe, an undergraduate at the National University of Singapore (NUS), is one of the speakers at the inaugural The Straits Times Education …
Singapore Plows Ahead of US With Tech in Schools
NBCNews.com
In the late 1990s, the Singapore Ministry of Education unveiled its master plan for technology. The first phase was spent building up infrastructure and …
Govt mulls more recognition for NSmen in housing, health, education
Channel News Asia
SINGAPORE: More recognition could be given to National Servicemen (NSmen) in areas such as housing, healthcare and education. Defence …
Singapore to beef up nuclear technology expertise
Channel News Asia
Singapore is beefing up its nuclear technology expertise with a newly-announced programme. The 10-year Nuclear Safety Research and Education …
Many turn up at E Plus International Education fair
The Hindu
The aspirants evinced keen interest in countries like Holland, Singapore, New … Official boards of all the countries presented seminars on education …
AWARE’s pushback on more benefits for NSmen ignites debate
TODAYonline
SINGAPORE — The Government’s plan to enhance housing, healthcare and education benefits for operationally ready national servicemen has …

Tung Soo Hua 董素华 Honours Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics

Tung Soo Hua (Chinese: 董素华; pinyin: Dǒng Sùhúa, Dong Suhua) is an award-winning television news anchor and current affairs presenter with MediaCorp TV Channel 8 and Channel U. (Wikipedia)

Tung won the Best Chinese-language News Presenter award for Star Awards in 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009 and 2011 Star Awards.

Tung studied in Nanyang Girls’ High School, and graduated with a Masters degree in Social Sciences (International Studies) from the National University of Singapore, after obtaining her first Honours Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics.

Source: http://www.science.nus.edu.sg/science-alumni/alumni-awards/science-alumni-awards-2014/30-alumni/369-osa-2011-tung-soo-hua

Outstanding Science Alumni Award 2011 TUNG Soo Hua
BSc (Hons) 1997, M.Soc.Sci. 2007
Presenter/Senior Producer, Chinese News, MediaCorp Pte Ltd

Ms Tung Soo Hua is an award-winning television news and current affairs presenter with MediaCorp, Singapore’s leading media company. Currently, she co-hosts “Evening News at 10pm” on the most watched Mandarin channel in Singapore, Channel 8, and fronts “Money Week”, a weekly financial programme on Channel U. She started her journalism career in MediaCorp as a Chinese-language news producer in 1997.

Ms Tung was named the “Best News/Current Affairs Presenter” for six times between 2004 and 2011 in “Stars Awards”, which is MediaCorp’s gala event recognising its talents for their excellence. She graduated with a Masters degree in Social Sciences (International Studies) from the National University of Singapore, after obtaining her first Honours Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics.

Read more at: http://www.science.nus.edu.sg/science-alumni/alumni-awards/science-alumni-awards-2014/30-alumni/369-osa-2011-tung-soo-hua

Recommended Math book:

Currently in its eighteenth printing in Japan, this best-selling novel is available in English at last. Combining mathematical rigor with light romance, Math Girls is a unique introduction to advanced mathematics, delivered through the eyes of three students as they learn to deal with problems seldom found in textbooks. Math Girls has something for everyone, from advanced high school students to math majors and educators.

NUS Top 21 in latest World Reputation Rankings

Source: http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/nus-rises-one-spot-to-21/1022252.html

The National University of Singapore sits in 21st spot in the 2014 World Reputation Rankings published by the Times Higher Education, up one from last year’s 22nd place.

Read more at: http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/nus-rises-one-spot-to-21/1022252.html

 

What is the Difference between H1 Mathematics, H2 Mathematics and H3 Mathematics?

Source: http://www.temasekjc.moe.edu.sg/what-we-do/academic/mathematics-department

Note: Additional Mathematics is very helpful to take H2 Mathematics in JC!

Curriculum

There are three mathematics syllabi, namely H1 Mathematics, H2 Mathematics and H3 Mathematics.

Students who offered Additional Mathematics and passed the subject at the GCE ‘O’ level examination may take up H2 Mathematics. Students posted to the Arts stream and did not offer Additional Mathematics at the GCE ‘O’ level examination are not allowed to take H2 Mathematics but may consider taking up H1 Mathematics. However, students who are posted to the Science stream but did not offer Additional Mathematics at the GCE ‘O’ level examination are advised to offer H2 Mathematics if they intend to pursue Science or Engineering courses at a university. Students who wish to offer H3 Mathematics must offer H2 Mathematics as well.

The use of a Graphing Calculator (GC) without a computer algebra system is expected for these Mathematics syllabi. The examination papers will be set with the assumption that candidates will have access to GCs.

H1 Mathematics

H1 Mathematics provides a foundation in mathematics for students who intend to enrol in university courses such as business, economics and social sciences. The topics covered include Graphs, Calculus and Statistics. A major focus of the syllabus would be the understanding and application of basic concepts and techniques of statistics. This would equip students with the skills to analyse and interpret data, and to make informed decisions.

H2 Mathematics

H2 Mathematics prepares students adequately for university courses including mathematics, physics and engineering, where more mathematics content is required. The topics covered are Functions and Graphs, Sequences and Series, Vectors, Complex Numbers, Calculus, Permutations and Combinations, Probability, Probability Distributions, Sampling, Hypothesis Testing, and Correlation and Regression. Students would learn to analyse, formulate and solve different kinds of problems. They would also learn to work with data and perform statistical analysis.

H3 Mathematics

H3 Mathematics offers students who have a strong aptitude for and are passionate about mathematics a chance to further develop their mathematical modeling and reasoning skills. Opportunities abound for students to explore various theorems, and to read and write mathematical proofs. Students would learn the process of mathematical modeling for real-world problems, which involves making informed assumptions, validation and prediction. Students may choose from the three H3 Mathematics modules, namely the MOE-UCLES module, the NTU Numbers and Matrices module and the NUS Linear Algebra module.

The MOE-UCLES module is conducted by tutors from our Mathematics Department. The three main topics to be investigated are Graph Theory, Combinatorics and Differential Equations. This module would be mounted only if there’s demand.

The NTU Numbers and Matrices module is conducted by lecturers from the Nanyang Technological University (NTU). Students would have to travel to Hwa Chong Institution to attend this module.

The NUS Linear Algebra module is conducted by lecturers at the National University of Singapore (NUS). Students who offer this module would have to attend lessons together with the undergraduates at the university.

NUS Maths Alumnus Dr Yeo Sze Ling mentioned in National Day Rally 2013

Ad: Maths Group Tuition available in 2014

Dr Yeo Sze Ling is sincerely a good example of perseverance for all Maths students, including myself!

(Go to 01h18m50s)

Source: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=06PdmOSrboU#t=01h18m50s

Quote: http://sg.news.yahoo.com/pm-lee-tears-up-at-emotional-national-day-rally-with–heart–160531376.html

But perhaps the most memorable moment of all was when Lee became visibly emotional after sharing the heartwarming success story of visually handicapped A-star researcher Dr Yeo Sze Ling.

“Sze Ling proves that you can do well if you try hard, no matter what your circumstances, and that is also how we can contribute back to society, to keep the system fair for all,” said Lee, who then visibly teared and choked up,  but quickly composed himself.

PM Lee was emphasising the importance of meritocracy in Singapore’s education system, which he acknowledged needed more changes — for example, it can be more holistic and less competitive.

 

You can reach for the stars with Jaws, Braille and determination, mathematics whiz Yeo Sze Ling tells HELLEN TAN

Maths Group Tuition starting in 2014!

Source: http://ww1.math.nus.edu.sg/News%20Archive/2005,%2024%20May%20-%20Counting%20on%20her%20mind%20-%20Yeo%20Sze%20Ling.htm

Counting on her mind

1,248 words 24 May 2005 Digital Life English (c) 2005 Singapore Press Holdings Limited

You can reach for the stars with Jaws, Braille and determination, mathematics whiz Yeo Sze Ling tells HELLEN TAN

Given that multiple degrees are common today, the fact that Miss Yeo Sze Ling has two degrees in mathematics, and is working on her doctorate in the same field, is probably not news.

Until you find out that she is blind.

The 27-year-old who earned her Bachelor’s degree (Honours) and a Master’s degree from National University of Singapore (NUS) is now into research on coding mathematics theories and cryptography.

These are used in computing algorithms to protect passwords or data from being stolen when they are zipped from computer to computer.

The field is an interest she shares with John Nash Jr, a mathematical genius who won a Nobel Prize, portrayed in the Oscar-winning movie, A Beautiful Mind.

Certainly, like Nash, her achievements should mean a lot.

He was a schizophrenic who thought he was doing secret cryptography work for the American government.

She has been blind from the age of about four when glaucoma struck. Glaucoma is a condition that increases pressure within the eyeball causing sight loss.

Technology has come in handy.

On campus, she totes a laptop.

At home in a four-room HDB flat in Bishan, her desktop Compaq PC holds today’s tech staples – e-mail and MSN Messenger for exchanging notes with friends.

The Internet is her source for research as well as for online newspapers or electronic books like A Beautiful Mind.

Continue reading at http://ww1.math.nus.edu.sg/News%20Archive/2005,%2024%20May%20-%20Counting%20on%20her%20mind%20-%20Yeo%20Sze%20Ling.htm

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.

Youngest NUS graduates for 2012 – 08Jul2012

Source: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q-53rIy7RGg

Published on Jul  9, 2012

SINGAPORE – Douglas Tan was only seven years old when he discovered a knack for solving mathematical problems, tackling sums meant for the upper primary and secondary levels.
He went on to join the Gifted Programme in Rosyth Primary School and, in 2006, enrolled in the National University of Singapore High School of Math and Science (NUSHS). At 15, he was offered a place at the National University of Singapore (NUS) Faculty of Science to study mathematics.
Tomorrow, the 19-year-old will be this year’s youngest graduate at NUS, receiving his Mathematics degree with a First Class Honours. This puts him almost six years ahead of those his age.
Douglas, who is currently serving his National Service (NS), said the thought of going to prestigious universities overseas never occurred to him. “I was just happy doing what I was doing – solving math problems,” he said.
In every class he took, Douglas was the youngest but it was neither “awkward nor tough to fit in”, he said. In fact, his age was a good conversation starter and his classmates, who were typically three to five years older, would take care of him.
Seeing that he could complete his degree before he entered NS, Douglas took on three modules a semester and completed the four-year course in just two and a half years.
The longest he had ever spent on a math problem was 10 hours over a few days. “I’m a perfectionist. When I do a problem, I try to do it with 100 per cent,” he noted.
Douglas aspires to be a mathematician and is looking into a Masters degree but he has yet to decide if he wants to do it here or overseas.
Another young outstanding graduate this year is 20-year-old Carmen Cheh, who received her degree in Computer Science last Friday with a First Class Honours and was on the dean’s list every academic year of the four-year course.
Offered a place at the NUS School of Computing after three and a half years in NUSHS, Carmen was then the youngest undergraduate of the programme at 16.
She was introduced to computer science and concept programming at 11 by her father, a doctor who also challenged her to solve puzzles he created. Her inability to solve them spurred her interest in the subject.
Carmen, who is from Perak in Malaysia, said she decided to study for her degree in Singapore as she wanted to study in a country she felt “comfortable” in. At the same time, she was awarded an ASEAN scholarship to study in the Republic.
Next month, Carmen will begin her doctoral programme in Computer Science with a research assistantship at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
The youngest ever to enrol into the NUS undergraduate programme is Abigail Sin, who entered the Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music at 14. She graduated in 2010 at age 18 with First Class Honours. She also received the Lee Kuan Yew gold medal.
This week, NUS celebrates the graduation of 9,913 students, its largest cohort in six years.
http://www.todayonline.com/Singapore/EDC120709-­0000039/Theyre-ahead-of-the-class