This e-book is the abridged version of the first of three volumes of the soon to be printed “30 Master Strategies in Computing” which was specially written to celebrate the 30th anniversary of our school, MSC Institute of Technology.
It contains explanations, more examples, exercises and competition questions about the first 10 “MATH-Inic Specials for Christmas”
Originally planned to be titled “30 More Short Cuts” we started writing this book in the mold of our highly successful “25 Math Short Cuts”(which I wrote for our 25th anniversary) – one particular technique per chapter.
But then I was constantly reminded of my observations while conducting seminars with teachers and students during these past 5 years. Many students and teachers rely on memorized formulas and procedures including shortcuts in calculations without really understanding how those were derived. So we have to memorize different formulas for the areas of squares, rectangles, parallelograms, trapezoids, etc. We also have to remember several divisibility tests specific for some numbers but not for larger prime numbers. In trigonometry, we are literally flooded with formulas. So if we forgot the formulas, we can not solve the problem.
Sometimes because of memorized procedures, our way of “getting the answer” is different from our way of “solving the problem”. I remember a question I asked during a seminar with math coaches. “The sum of five consecutive numbers is 125. What is the middle number?”. Many can compute the correct answer, 25, mentally. But when I asked them to solve the problem algebraically, Most of them began with Let x = the smallest number…, x + 2 = the middle number, etc. They later realized how different their written procedure is from the mental solution.
We thought then that a better approach for this book would be to start with some basic principles and see how it can be applied to various applications. So we decided that instead of discussing 30 particular short cuts, we will discuss 30 “strategies” mostly based on Vedic Math Sutra or word formulas. On most chapters we will start with simple arithmetic exercises progressing into word problems and polynomial equations.
There are also many fast and easy solutions to problems usually given in math competitions, including review questions for the coming International Vedic Math Olympiad.
We hope that through the 3 volumes of this book, we can show that Math can be Fun, Fast and Easy if learned through understanding the principles not by memorizing formulas.