ISSUE No. 73
A warm welcome to our new subscribers.
Vedic Mathematics is becoming increasingly popular as more and more people are introduced to the beautifully unified and easy Vedic methods. The purpose of this Newsletter is to provide information about developments in education and research and books, articles, courses, talks etc., and also to bring together those working with Vedic Mathematics. If you are working with Vedic Mathematics - teaching it or doing research - please contact us and let us include you and some description of your work in the Newsletter. Perhaps you would like to submit an article for inclusion in a later issue or tell us about a course or talk you will be giving or have given. If you are learning Vedic Maths, let us know how you are getting on and what you think of this system.
This issue's article is by Richard Blum, an actuary living in Florida, who has done a great deal in disseminating Vedic Math.
HOW VEDIC MATH BENEFITS EVERYONE
The purpose of this article is to explain why learning Vedic Math (VM) is a benefit to all who study it. I have been studying and teaching VM for about 12 years. During that time, I have tried to interest various segments of the general public to learn and appreciate VM. I would like to describe some of the experiences I have had so that any budding VM teachers might learn from my experiences.
The first group that I approached was, in my estimation, the most logical and the one with the greatest impact on our youth: the public school system. I was woefully mistaken in that I thought they would be greatly interested. The example that I typically give, to sum up the response I have received over the years is this: let us assume that there is a student that has been shown the traditional methodology to add and subtract fractions and they do not and cannot understand it. They have honestly tried to figure out how to solve problems of this type using the tools their teacher has provided them, but, to no avail. They just cannot figure out how to do it. By continuing to "beat their head against the wall" trying, to no avail, to understand the teacher's approach, they are frustrated and have started down the road of hating math for the rest of their lives. I explain within one minute how they can solve problems of this type using Vedic techniques. They can now just look at the fraction problem and immediately just state the answer in five seconds or less. You would think that the teacher observing this would shout "please tell me what you told him so I can take it back to all of my other students having the same misery with fraction problems." Unfortunately, this is not what I hear. The response I receive over and over is "I don't like this approach." When I ask why, they tell me "how do I know that the student knows what he is doing if he doesn't write anything down." I have two responses for the teacher. The first response is that the student got the right answer. The second response is that I only explained how the method works; it will take another minute or two to explain why it works. As unbelievable as it may seem, they will not accept my reasons. They would rather have the student not be able to do fraction problems, be incredibly frustrated and start to hate math with a passion. Maybe this is the reason that almost everyone in every class I have been invited to raises their hands when I ask how many of them hate math. It is a terrible situation when students aged 13-15 have to rely on a calculator to multiply single digit numbers. I have been in classes where I will ask literally, "what is 6 times 4" and they cannot give an answer. One student actually started counting on her fingers in an attempt to get an answer. This is a pervasive problem that the United States has been suffering with for some time. In the 2009 PISA Study, which tested 15 year olds in math, reading and science from the top 65 industrialized countries in the world, the United States ranked 31st in Math and not much better in the other areas. Until the education establishment in the United States realizes that their current approach to teaching math does not work and are willing to examine alternative approaches, I have the feeling that this situation will only get worse.
There are groups that are willing to listen to alternative approaches to learning math. One very responsive group has been homeschoolers. I have given VM workshops to these groups with very positive results. By the end of the workshop, the students feel "empowered" with the knowledge that they can now do certain types of math problems faster than they ever thought they could do before (more about the concept of "empowerment" later on). The parents in these classes usually have mixed emotions regarding my presentation. On the one hand, they are just as amazed as their children with their new found ability in mathematics, but, on the other hand, they are angry that they were never shown these techniques when they went to school. I have found that there are certain ethnic groups that appear to place a higher importance on education than others. These groups are Indians, Orientals and Jews. The parents from these groups will be open to anything they feel will enable their children to better compete in the world. Obviously, there will always be exceptions, but, these groups show a remarkably solid concern towards the importance of education.
I have found two additional groups that appreciate the benefits of Vedic Math. Just recently, I gave two workshops for the hearing impaired in my community. Never presenting to the deaf before, I was a little anxious as to how both the material and I would be received. To my delight, the time I spent with them was a success. They understood what I was explaining to them and by the time the workshop was over, they all had smiles and felt "empowered." The other group that I have become involved with are the unemployed in my community. They is a company in my community that will help the unemployed receive all types of financial aid to get into educational/vocational programs to better position themselves to get jobs. Before they can avail themselves of this valuable resource, they need to pass a standardized exam in reading and in math. About 60% - 65% fail this exam with almost 95% failing specifically due to poor performance on the math portion. I have been providing workshops in VM to help them pass this exam. Passing this exam can make the difference between getting a job or not; between being able to feed their families or not; even being able to keep their families together or not. VM is helping to change people's lives for the better. When they pass their exam, they feel "empowered."
Several times above, I had used the term "empowered." Let me now tell you about the true power of VM. The first question you should ask yourself is "with all of the negativity in the world, why would any child (or adult) even want to learn Vedic Math?" Society seems to be more interested in promoting and admiring rock stars, athletes, sex and violence than they are of scholars. Schools have stopped teaching math and are now teaching "calculator." Parents are more interested in getting their kids to soccer practice than to make sure they understand the very basics society demands: knowing how to read and do math. The media is more interested in promoting their economic and political agendas at the expense of our children. Our children and our children's peers are more interested in playing video games, being on the internet, texting messages on their cell phones and going out with their friends then making sure their homework is done properly and completely understood. Keeping your child happy is more important than assuring that they are educated. Everyone is failing: society, schools, teachers, parents, the media and, most of all, our children. Again, I ask, with all of this negativity, why would a person want to learn Vedic Math? I will now tell you why. In every individual, there are certain undeniable traits that exist irrespective of the degree of negativity that surrounds the person. These traits are: the need to feel admired, the need to be envied, the need for the feeling one gets from being able to do something better than anyone else and the need to feel good about oneself. Learning VM meets these needs almost immediately. In almost no time at all, a student learns a VM technique and can suddenly multiply large numbers, add and subtract fractions, square numbers, etc. faster than they ever thought possible; faster than anyone they know; and most likely faster than anyone in their community. These positive feelings are immediately felt during a VM workshop. I can't tell you how many times I have seen a student go from withdrawn and looking either bored or about to cry when I start a workshop and are smiling and very positive by the end. They feel like they can take on the world. And why not? They have just realized that one of the biggest obstacles in their lives, mathematics, is now a stepping-stone to help them reach the next higher level in their lives that they thought was previously unattainable. By proving to them that they can do math, which they considered the hardest subject for them to learn, maybe life's other obstacles will seem a little less insurmountable.
Learning Vedic Math will definitely enhance a person's ability to do mathematics, but, as I have detailed above, that is such a small part of the benefits that can be derived from VM.
MATH MONKEY FLOURISHES
In a surprise turn of events Mobius Mathematics, owner of the Math Monkey trademarks in the USA, has applied for bankruptcy. The Math Monkey centres, spread around the US are still functioning though, and by all accounts they are doing exceedingly well, and will continue to do so.
Elsewhere, Math Monkey in Asia are also succeeding in a big way with branches in five countries, with 23 centres and several new centres in the pipeline. This success is due partly to the amazing system of Vedic Mathematics, which continues to put a smile on every face, and also to the hard work and commitment of the franchise owners who have been developing new materials/games/lessons with the aim of teaching Vedic Math to this part of the world.
We frequently hear of the reaction of students and parents to the Math Monkey classes and this is always extremely encouraging. Students continue to be awed by the simplicity of the Vedic methods and love the games, and parents are delighted by the progress that their children are making. With the growth of Math Monkey centres, Vedic Math continues to be accepted and appreciated in the USA and Asia.
There is no doubt that Vedic Math has the answer to the problems that face mathematics education nowadays, and combining this with a games-based approach that appeals to all children, the program cultivated by Math Monkey is sure to be attractive and immensely beneficial to pupils, parents and teachers alike.
ARTICLE: MULTIPLICATION WITH THE VEDIC METHOD
Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences, Volume 8. 2010, Pages 129-133
International Conference on Mathematics Education Research 2010 (ICMER 2010)
Syed Azman bin Syed Ismai and Pumadevi a/p Sivasubramniama
Faculty of Mathematics, Raja Melewar Teacher Training Institute
This paper describes an action research that aimed at improving pupils' performance in doing multiplication involving times tables more than five, which is the six, seven, eight and nine times tables. This study involved five Year 4 Malaysian Primary school pupils who were selected from 30 pupils who had sat for a test consisting of questions on multiplication. The study examines the use of the "Vedic Method" to do multiplication problems involving times tables more than five by making use of times tables from zero to five. Hence, the five participants chosen were pupils who demonstrated an ability to recall their one to five times table but had difficulties recalling the six to nine times tables. The participants of the research were able to overcome their difficulties with the use of the "Vedic Method"
See the full article here:
If anyone knows of applications of Vedic Mathematics in quantitative finance, equities & derivatives please contact Mangesh Bailur at: email@example.com
ARTICLE ON THE EKADHIKENA METHOD FOR DIVISIBILITY TESTING
Title: A Scalable Reconfigurable Architecture For Divisibility Testing Of Variable
See the full article here:
ARTICLE ON RICK BLUM AND ONE OF HIS COURSES
"Instructor develops formula for success" by Audrey Parente:
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Editor: Kenneth Williams
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6th March 2011