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#101 slackermom

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Posted 14 January 2015 - 02:40 AM

Thanks for sharing this, wapiti.  :)  The part I bolded just speaks so loudly to me!

 

Dd and I went to Math Prize together, and this is exactly what it was like for the girls there. It's just the sort of program that young women who love math and desire a math career need to keep them going.

 

Is Ravi B around here still? If so, big thanks to you for all your work in establishing & running MPfG!
 

 

I took dd10 to see RR speak at the most recent MPfG (thanks to Ravi B for the open invite!).  It was very inspiring.

 

RR did say some interesting stuff about math being one of the best ways to teach problem-solving, so the study of math was of great value even if one was not anticipating a career as a mathematician.

 

And yes, the majority of the audience were from Asian families, which prompted some discussion of cultural attitudes.

 

This thread is full of so many interesting thoughts! 

 

I'll just add that dd, who is very vs, thinks of math as a language, or multiple languages. She also enjoys studying foreign languages, playing the fiddle, and Irish dance, which requires her to learn fairly complex steps performed so quickly there is no time to think it through.


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#102 Runningmom80

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Posted 14 January 2015 - 10:05 AM

This thread has been a fascinating read!



#103 dauphin

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Posted 14 January 2015 - 11:45 AM

DH has several co-workers from India, and one of the things that DD bonded with their girls over is that they ALSO had a schoolroom at home and were doing the same sort of math work ;). Except that for their girls, this was all after a day of school, and for my DD, it WAS a day of school!


This for me begs the question of:if the public (or private?) education their children are receiving is so significantly lacking, requiring several MORE hours of "school" to supplelement, why do more of these families not pursue educational alternatives like homeschooling (acknowledging that many may not have the financial freedom to but for those who do.....we knew friends, 1st or 2nd gen from India who afterschooled (paid tutoring) even though their DDs were receiving fairly differentiated instruction, as this was a Montessori school, and my DD was never offered this even though she was in their same instructional group...).

#104 Gratia271

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Posted 14 January 2015 - 11:49 AM

In my particular family context, one of the parents would never go for that despite having children who would benefit from it tremendously.  So I "help" with things.



#105 dmmetler

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Posted 14 January 2015 - 11:52 AM

This for me begs the question of:if the public (or private?) education their children are receiving is so significantly lacking, requiring several MORE hours of "school" to supplelement, why do more of these families not pursue educational alternatives like homeschooling (acknowledging that many may not have the financial freedom to but for those who do.....we knew friends, 1st or 2nd gen from India who afterschooled (paid tutoring) even though their DDs were receiving fairly differentiated instruction, as this was a Montessori school, and my DD was never offered this even though she was in their same instructional group...).

 

In this case, I think a big part of it is that it's culturally uncommon. In both cases, the co-workers have a stay at home parent (the wife has a H1B, the husband does not), so it seems like homeschooling would be a reasonable response to a school system that really isn't teaching what the kids need, especially since they also want to maintain home language and culture/history, but it's just not considered an option.


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#106 SKL

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Posted 14 January 2015 - 11:59 AM

Regarding why some Asians who might be good candidates for homeschooling don't, I think they view school as their kids' opportunity to learn about and "blend in" with the local culture / language.  And of course their kids make friends there, etc.  I also agree that homeschooling may be a harder sell culturally for a group that puts so much stock in how the kids are doing "in school."


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#107 maize

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Posted 14 January 2015 - 12:06 PM

Regarding why some Asians who might be good candidates for homeschooling don't, I think they view school as their kids' opportunity to learn about and "blend in" with the local culture / language. And of course their kids make friends there, etc. I also agree that homeschooling may be a harder sell culturally for a group that puts so much stock in how the kids are doing "in school."


Some Asian cultures also have a strong emphasis on conformity; I think that would work as a disincentive to consider non-standard educational models such as homeschooling.

#108 Arcadia

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Posted 14 January 2015 - 12:14 PM

This for me begs the question of:if the public (or private?) education their children are receiving is so significantly lacking, requiring several MORE hours of "school" to supplelement, why do more of these families not pursue educational alternatives like homeschooling (acknowledging that many may not have the financial freedom to but for those who do.....we knew friends, 1st or 2nd gen from India who afterschooled (paid tutoring)


Even if the school is fantastic academically, they will still afterschool.

In my area, Asians touring private schools would look at the school's academic team competition ranking like FLL, Vex Robotics, Intel Science Fair, Siemens Science Competition, Google Science Competition. It is why certain school districts and certain private schools here are popular among Asians. Forming a homeschool team just isn't on their radar when they can form a few teams in public/private schools.


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#109 Arcadia

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Posted 14 January 2015 - 12:22 PM

I myself was over 60 when I first learned of Liu Hui.


Have you read Jia Xian's Nine Chapters on Mathematical Arts? Wondering if it's worth buying a copy.
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#110 Binip

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Posted 14 January 2015 - 12:23 PM

 

Even if the school is fantastic academically, they will still afterschool.

 

Yes. Our school is fantastic, but you want your kids to be ahead of the other kids.

 

Also, I'd love to homeschool, but (a) the parent-as-teacher-model does not work for our family for extended lengths of time and (b) free daycare so (c ) I get to have a career I love rather than spending my entire middle age in early and primary education, which is something that quite frankly, I intentionally avoided during my university career because I don't like it.

 

I mean if you like it, go for it, but I am pretty sure I speak for many of us working parents when I say, it should be a choice, not the requirement.

 

As for rankings and awards, honestly, I think a lot of that comes from a very small circle of people who spend a lot of time congratulating their own. Harvard prof awards other Harvard prof a Harvard lifetime award, therefore making Harvard the most awarded university, that type of thing. It doesn't mean they aren't drawing on other sources.



#111 Laura Corin

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Posted 16 January 2015 - 03:30 PM

Whilst I agree that there is a difference in how female and male brains process math, especially in visual/spatial form, I think there is a huge cultural component in the US. 

 

And in the UK.  Girls tend to do better academically in single sex schools, partly because they do better at 'boy' subjects (maths and science).

 

L


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#112 idnib

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Posted 16 January 2015 - 06:33 PM

Just adding something I've discussed with my SE Asian parents.

 

They come from a society in which men and women are very separated and it was much more so in the 1960s, when my parents attended university. My mom told me once she was shocked when she came to the U.S. and women were all nurses, teachers, or secretaries. She thought it was terrible. She and all of her (numerous!) sisters have Masters degrees or PhDs in mathematics or science. 

 

I asked her why she thought it was different in her home country and she said segregation was a part of it. They had many more female doctors because it was completely out of the question for a woman to go to a male doctor. Females went to females for accounting services, medical services, etc. I'm not saying it's a great idea to segregate the sexes but having done so, that society had many more opportunities for women than in the west. Even the public universities were segregated by gender and therefore all of the professors in all subjects were female and all the students in the classes were female. 

 

I don't know how the data may have changed since things have become more integrated, but it would be interesting to look at the data.

 

 


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#113 Lawyer&Mom

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Posted 16 January 2015 - 07:53 PM

I got A's in high school math. But I don't regret pursuing it further. As a lawyer I have an office filled with smart people, half of whom are women. We are perceived as full equals. Perhaps smart girls are making rational choices about their options?
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#114 SeaConquest

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Posted 16 January 2015 - 08:55 PM

I got A's in high school math. But I don't regret pursuing it further. As a lawyer I have an office filled with smart people, half of whom are women. We are perceived as full equals. Perhaps smart girls are making rational choices about their options?

 

You must be at a fabulously family-friendly firm. From my hindsight perspective as a Biglaw burnout, the length of the partnership track and paucity of truly part-time positions, pyramid/up or out structure, and percent of female equity partners at most AMLAW100 firms makes the legal profession look highly irrational to me.   


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#115 mathwonk

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Posted 16 January 2015 - 10:41 PM

@Arcadia;  I have not read it, but learned of it too at the same time as of Liu Hui, who perhaps commented on it.  I am newly interested in seeing it after this discussion, since I benefited so much from reading Euclid recently.  The man who introduced me to both Chinese authors, David Mumford (Fields medalist, former Harvard professor and personal acquaintance), used that book and its similarity to Euclid, to argue that mathematics is a universal truth because in all cultures the same phenomena are observed.  So I would be interested to see how the nine chapters develop geometry.


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#116 Arcadia

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Posted 16 January 2015 - 10:55 PM

Idnib,

This thread reminded me of Maryam Mirzakhani, the Iranian lady now in Stanford who is the first woman to ever win the Fields Medal

Mathwonk,

I am tempted to look for a Chinese copy of the Nine Chapters. The first time I read it was the part on Pascal's triangle.
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#117 mathwonk

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Posted 17 January 2015 - 01:32 AM

sadly, the only copies i see for sale are priced at over $400.  I will not pay that.  I would rather seek it in a university library.



#118 Tattarrattat

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Posted 17 January 2015 - 10:44 AM

I am tempted to look for a Chinese copy of the Nine Chapters. The first time I read it was the part on Pascal's triangle.

 

Some online Chinese versions:

 

http://ctext.org/nine-chapters/zhs

 

On wikisource

 

On google books


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#119 Tattarrattat

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Posted 17 January 2015 - 10:51 AM

sadly, the only copies i see for sale are priced at over $400.  I will not pay that.  I would rather seek it in a university library.

 

I searched up and saw two English versions available on this website (never bought from them before)

 

Bilingual version

 

The more expensive one (seems to be the same version as the one on Amazon, but cheaper)

 

The bilingual version is much cheaper on Chinese book website (about US $26 plus shipping), but it seems they don't ship it outside China.



#120 shawthorne44

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Posted 17 January 2015 - 11:08 AM

I would have loved a math competition.  I never heard the words put together until this board.  I also would have loved mythology test.  I could have knocked that one out of the ballpark.  But, no, the only competitions for kids I ever heard about before here were:  Athletic, elite musical groups, speech and the Academic Decathlon.  The last two I did.  


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#121 Arcadia

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Posted 17 January 2015 - 11:58 AM

Ruth,

Something I thought of this morning because of this thread and Julie's thread on IQ scores.

When I was in my own country's govt-run gifted education programme, I was in the pioneer batches for middle school. Every year 40 girls and 60 boys made it into the country's 7th-10th grade gifted programme. (ETA: suppose to be the top 100 scorers for the screening tests) Why the 2:3 ratio when all the 6th grade high scorers for the national exams took the gifted programme screening tests?
The gifted programme wasn't co-ed. Girls hosted in an elite all girls school and boys in an elite all boys school.

Also when we were in 8th grade, we were split into a class of LA strong kids and a class of Math strong kids based on 7th grade scores and teacher feedback. Some of the "LA kids" went on to be doctors, programmers and engineers :lol:
Didn't understand the need to stream but the math expectations for the "LA kids" were still very high. I don't think my country participated in IMO at that time so it wasn't for the purpose of forming a math national team.
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#122 madteaparty

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Posted 17 January 2015 - 01:00 PM

I got A's in high school math. But I don't regret pursuing it further. As a lawyer I have an office filled with smart people, half of whom are women. We are perceived as full equals. Perhaps smart girls are making rational choices about their options?

I feel the same, having had experience in biglaw. Everyone complains about being an attorney but ime the practice of corporate law sometimes feels like a great equalizer. (I realize the data may not bear this out. I was never great at math and am talking about my own experience ;))
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#123 kiwik

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Posted 18 January 2015 - 06:04 AM

I tried to break into a completely male dominated trade but I was the one who got broken. Groups who don't want you there can make you doubt yourself and destroy your self confidence. Jokes about rape, constant sexual innuendo and put downs. And it comes from the top. You will get more women in things if the people at the top really want them there.
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#124 Lawyer&Mom

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Posted 18 January 2015 - 03:04 PM

I'm nowhere near BigLaw. I chose government. Less money, less stress, way way more family friendly. I know I'm standing on the shoulders of women who broke into a male dominated profession, but my organization feels very balanced between men and women. We don't always pursue the same roles in equal numbers, but men and women are valued equally.
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#125 wapiti

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Posted 22 January 2015 - 12:19 PM

FWIW, in RR's talk at the 2014 Math Prize for Girls, in the Q&A session, there was a question asked about encouraging participation of girls and non-Asians in math competitions, starting at 1:07:20  and a little more about women toward the end of the Q&A around 1:38 or so http://techtv.mit.ed...richard-rusczyk


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#126 RoundAbout

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Posted 23 January 2015 - 11:00 AM

Not sure if this has been brought up, but I speak Mandarin and I've wondered if the way they say numbers gives a small advantage. Instead of having words for twenty, thirty, etc. you say "two ten" or "three ten." So 28 would be said as "two ten eight." This seems to give an inherent understanding of place value and regrouping that is linguistically lacking from English. Obviously this is a small part of mathematics but may confer an advantage in early grades that leads to confidence and talent recognition that snowballs from there. Not sure about other Asian languages.
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#127 Arcadia

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Posted 23 January 2015 - 11:24 AM

Not sure if this has been brought up, but I speak Mandarin and I've wondered if the way they say numbers gives a small advantage.

Asian languages are pictorial (ETA: I was referring to the traditional script not the romanized versions. I am too lazy at the moment to google for percentage of asian languages that are "pictorial".). Reading and remembering simple words at preschool age already require discipline. The discipline from memorizing asian written words does give a small advantage when memorizing multiplicaion tables.

People don't generally ask preschoolers to memorize sight words for phonetic languages.
English numbers are reasonably systematic except for the teens. German numbers are systematic except for 11 and 12.

The Caucasians that I know who gets their kids to do memory work whether in language arts or math or music do have a slight advantage in kindergarten for B&M schools.
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#128 RoundAbout

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Posted 23 January 2015 - 04:09 PM

English numbers are reasonably systematic except for the teens.
.


Sure, but not nearly as systematic as Chinese which actually explains what the number means in how you say it:

12 shi er (literally "ten two")
21 er shi yi ("two ten one")

The understanding of place value seems more built in. If you had to actually say "nine tens" every time you saw "90" it really sinks in what it means. In fact I think I remember RightStart did this a little bit in level A or B? Though again, I think this is a small advantage.

Not sure I would say generically that Asian languages are pictorial. Most, including Korean, Hindi, and many others are definitely written phonetically. Even Chinese is not quite what most people think - each character encodes a morpheme instead of a phoneme, but not necessarily a word. But definitely does require much more memorization.
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#129 Arcadia

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Posted 23 January 2015 - 04:41 PM

Not sure I would say generically that Asian languages are pictorial. Most, including Korean, Hindi, and many others are definitely written phonetically.

12 十二 (Chinese) 열둘 (Korean) १२ बारह (Hindi)
Sankrit, Pali, Javanese, Nihongo, Hiragana, Tagalog are all pictorial (ETA: don't know the correct linguistic term, symbolic sound wrong too :( ). There are romanized versions of course.

I'm not saying all asian languages are pictorial of course since Bahasa Melayu for example is romanized version though some Malays do learn the traditional Arabic script. Maybe I should add a disclaimer/clarification to my other post to prevent miscommunication.

Ruth's sons can read Chinese anyway :)

ETA:
My kids can write chinese numerals before preschool anyway, no effect on their math that I can think of.

#130 RoundAbout

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Posted 23 January 2015 - 09:43 PM

12 十二 (Chinese) 열둘 (Korean) १२ बारह (Hindi)
Sankrit, Pali, Javanese, Nihongo, Hiragana, Tagalog are all pictorial. There are romanized versions of course.f.


Not relevant, and a total tangent :) but just to satisfy my curiosity, wondering if someone who knows could specifically comment on Korean because it was my understanding that Hangul is an alphabet of 24 letters and is actually easier to read than most western languages, despite looking somewhat similar to Chinese characters.
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#131 calbear

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Posted 23 January 2015 - 11:07 PM

Jumping in on this conversation...to just add that if you have not read Ch. 8 of Malcolm Gladwell's outliers, he tackles the question about Asians and math ability. It is a fascinating theory as to what is going on culturally, historically and by extension values that are carried forward.

 

I am first generation Chinese born in the US even though my family has in here for 5 generations. I am completely aware that I work hard with my son and have high expectations. I am nowhere near as hard (tiger mom) as some immigrant families that I know. I do know that I push and require more of my son than the average but not really that much more than what is commonly seen around here on the WTM boards. Among my Asian friends from Cal, I know that I work my son much harder than they do with their kids, but I do also know they work their kids much harder than their Caucasian peers. 
 

 


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#132 quark

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Posted 24 January 2015 - 02:31 AM

12 十二 (Chinese) 열둘 (Korean) १२ बारह (Hindi)
Sankrit, Pali, Javanese, Nihongo, Hiragana, Tagalog are all pictorial. There are romanized versions of course.

 

Slight hijack/ tangent...could you define what you mean by pictorial? Do you mean symbols? I learned my language as a script, and the characters don't stand for pictures. Every stand alone letter in my alphabet is syllabary and I believe Tagalog, Hindi etc are the same.



#133 Arcadia

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Posted 24 January 2015 - 03:23 AM

Slight hijack/ tangent...could you define what you mean by pictorial? Do you mean symbols? .

Yes. I was using "pictorial" to mean symbols in contrast to romanized version. Don't know how to describe in linguistic terms.
For example, Hangul is a phonetic language. When reading an unknown word, my Korean ex-colleagues (30s, 40s in age) could phonetise. However for writing/spelling, they are doing "sight words" style and sometimes checking their dictionary. They were teaching me Hangul during tea breaks. No idea about the younger generation of South Koreans.

I could guess how an unknown chinese word sound based on "word stems" but I can't guess how to write it.

I'm probably making it muddier with my explanation of what I was trying to say. I am now reading Britannica's description of chinese language and being utterly confused.

RR answers for the Q&A portion (Wapiti's post #125) was interesting.
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#134 1053

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Posted 24 January 2015 - 12:42 PM

As usual with these things, the situation is a complex mixture of all three (1) nature (2) nurture (3) personal choice, and plenty of explanations are given in this thread (and not everything is easily classified).

 

FWIW, in RR's talk at the 2014 Math Prize for Girls, in the Q&A session, there was a question asked about encouraging participation of girls and non-Asians in math competitions, starting at 1:07:20  and a little more about women toward the end of the Q&A around 1:38 or so http://techtv.mit.ed...richard-rusczyk

 

In several countries the IMO teams have become notably more Asian over time. I think it's clear that this is due to immigration into these countries of a highly intelligent, educated, motivated population who choose to go to these countries to study, work, live. (This includes OP and also me, except we're not Asian, and I'm not motivated.) People move around for all kinds of reasons, but one reason is university study, particularly graduate level study, and academic jobs, and similar reasons. Such people will obviously be significantly more intelligent than average, and their children will be too.

 

That said, I think the demographics of the NZ math camp suggest that NZ is not identifying all of its talent. Math competitions are actually a good way of identifying talent, but kids have to have the chance to take these tests. Kids also need to be allowed to be comfortable being succesful at academics, rather than sports or other non-academic expectations.
 

While some people may work hard to do well in math contests or get into math camps, there is a limit to how much hard work can overcome differences in talent. The NZ math camp would be about the top 0.01% of kids. But the top 0.1% in pure ability have a chance to work for that goal, while the bottom 99.9% aren't really in contention. (The numbers may not be quite right but it gives the idea.) The demographics of the top 0.1% in ability may be different to the top 0.01% in achievement, and it would be interesting to know what it is.

 

By the way, people shouldn't worry too much about their absolute level in math contests. Just have fun and do your best. Hard work and encouragement pay off (at least they should) and they are things we can control. But it is absolutely impossible to hothouse and average ability kid to an IMO gold (and somewhat less extreme gains are also impossible).


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#135 daijobu

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Posted 26 January 2015 - 11:57 PM

Boys versus girls:

 

I have read that boys seem to be wired for unabashed geekiness.  (Wish I could find a link to an article.)  They throw themselves into pursuits of all sorts: math, electronics, comic books, Star Wars, robotics.  When they find a kindred spirit they engage in a kind of geeky competitiveness.  They don't view it negatively, but they strive to know more and be better at whatever it is than their friends.  It's friendly, but also has the effect of driving them toward excellence.  I don't think girls respond the same way to friendly competition.

 

Asians versus Americans:

 

I also think it's interesting that many Asians deliberately immigrate to the US because of deficiencies they see in the Asian educational systems.  They seem to hate the soul-destroying competitiveness as much as they find it hard to leave behind.  



#136 Binip

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Posted Yesterday, 12:39 AM

Yes. I was using "pictorial" to mean symbols in contrast to romanized version. Don't know how to describe in linguistic terms.
For example, Hangul is a phonetic language. When reading an unknown word, my Korean ex-colleagues (30s, 40s in age) could phonetise. However for writing/spelling, they are doing "sight words" style and sometimes checking their dictionary. They were teaching me Hangul during tea breaks. No idea about the younger generation of South Koreans.

I could guess how an unknown chinese word sound based on "word stems" but I can't guess how to write it.

I'm probably making it muddier with my explanation of what I was trying to say. I am now reading Britannica's description of chinese language and being utterly confused.

RR answers for the Q&A portion (Wapiti's post #125) was interesting.

 

Both Korean and Hindi are phonetic written systems. The symbols you see--like symbols we use in Latin script, or Cyrillic, or Greek--stand for sounds, not ideas.

 

 

 

Yes. I was using "pictorial" to mean symbols in contrast to romanized version. Don't know how to describe in linguistic terms.

 

But Latin, Greek, Cyrillic (really a form of Greek), Hindi, Persian / Arabic, and Korean all have symbols that stand for sounds.

 

I'm not sure I understand what point you're trying to make. Kanji and Simplified/Traditional Chinese are ideagrams. If you can read one, you can very roughly read the other without being able to speak the language. So I know a man who can read Japanese headlines but he doesn't speak Japanese. He speaks Mandarin.

 

On the contrary, I can actually read Greek without speaking the modern language (I am rusty at reading Biblical/Platonic Greek). Same with Hindi and I know at least one person who studied enough Korean to read it, but who cannot speak it. She can read it aloud, though.

 

About Hindi:

 

http://www.omniglot....iting/hindi.htm

 

About Korean:

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hangul(<- actually an unusually phonetic alphabet)

 

When people say Kanji, for example, is pictoral, they mean the picture represents an idea that is unrelated to a sound. There are thousands of pictograms in Simplified Chinese. There are a very limited number of letters in Arabic, Hangul, Hindi, Urdu, etc. Nonetheless there is still some connection between sound and pictogram in even Simplified Chinese. Not as much as in English but some. You can use pinyin to roughly guess how a word will be represented.

 

That said--can I just say, I really think this distinction is overblown? When a child receives hundreds of hours of instruction in tens and ones, they internalize the term "twenty" as two tens. We explicitly spell it out for them.

 

Some of the worlds top mathematicians are Germans, who have a number system that is about as morphed as English, English themselves, Chinese people, Koreans, and Russians. Russian is exceedingly phonetic thanks to years of spelling reform.

 

But Russians paid mathematicians to live. So they did a lot of math.

 

Hard work. Repeat 10,000 times.


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#137 Arcadia

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Posted Yesterday, 01:12 AM

Asians versus Americans:

I also think it's interesting that many Asians deliberately immigrate to the US because of deficiencies they see in the Asian educational systems. They seem to hate the soul-destroying competitiveness as much as they find it hard to leave behind.

My opinion is that unfortunately there is enough "critical mass" in my area for a milder form (compared to homeland) of competitiveness to persist. My school district students is about 1/3 Asians. Secular private schools are also having plenty of Asians. Some public school districts like Cupertino, Fremont have higher percentages of Asians.

Below is a portion of the 2013 data for public school children for my county just to give an idea.
Asian. 76,398 27.6%
Hispanic/Latino. 108,349 39.2%
White (not Hispanic). 58,986 21.4%
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#138 Arcadia

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Posted Yesterday, 01:23 AM

I'm not sure I understand what point you're trying to make.
...
That said--can I just say, I really think this distinction is overblown? When a child receives hundreds of hours of instruction in tens and ones, they internalize the term "twenty" as two tens. We explicitly spell it out for them.

Hard work. Repeat 10,000 times.

That being used to the hard work of memorising for any languages can come in useful for memorising multiplicaion tables, squares, cubes and prime numbers. (no snark/insults intended)

Thanks for the linguistic explanations.

ETA:
Off-topic: in my area kids are often taught phonics in the school district preschool and the 1000 Frys words and the Dolch word lists in public school kindergarten. So there is memorization for languages arts on top of phonics instruction.
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#139 calbear

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Posted Yesterday, 01:52 AM

lol Arcadia. I used to live in Fremont. I knew Caucasian families that lived in the more Asian/Asian Indian dominated schools who didn't want to be that way. Since they were so many kids whose families were that way, their kids felt pressure via osmosis from their schoolmates. There are quite a lot of schools I can think of in the Bay Area that have a significant Asian population that are high pressure and competitive.

 

I live in a certain area in SD that is increasingly headed in that direction because the same population group is hitting above 30% now. I saw pictures of the UCSD Math Circle. The team pictured at the top has a Chinese coach. Of the 11 members. there were 9 boys and 2 girls. The ethnic breakdown, 1 Asian Indian, 2 mixed Asian, 1 Caucasian, 8 Asian.

 

I just started a Math Circle for home school kids, it is blessed very mixed. Nearly even with girls and boys. Asians were no more than 20% of the group if that. I actually saw several Hispanic family names on my sign in sheet. Refreshing.

 

 

 



#140 Binip

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Posted Yesterday, 11:55 AM

That being used to the hard work of memorising for any languages can come in useful for memorising multiplicaion tables, squares, cubes and prime numbers. (no snark/insults intended)

Thanks for the linguistic explanations.

ETA:
Off-topic: in my area kids are often taught phonics in the school district preschool and the 1000 Frys words and the Dolch word lists in public school kindergarten. So there is memorization for languages arts on top of phonics instruction.

 

But many English-speaking children do less hard work in reading and more hard work in math with the time saved. Wouldn't that give you an advantage, in theory?

 

Of course that is not the reality. But I don't see why memorizing a bunch of characters would automatically confer an advantage.

 

Also, my kids can do math without glasses because they spend a ton of time outdoors! So they have really excellent eyesight. We will never make up that practice time for math but at least they have their eyes.

 

UCSD math circle... hmmmm....



#141 quark

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Posted Yesterday, 03:00 PM

That being used to the hard work of memorising for any languages can come in useful for memorising multiplicaion tables, squares, cubes and prime numbers. (no snark/insults intended)

Thanks for the linguistic explanations.

ETA:
Off-topic: in my area kids are often taught phonics in the school district preschool and the 1000 Frys words and the Dolch word lists in public school kindergarten. So there is memorization for languages arts on top of phonics instruction.

 

Thank you for explaining Arcadia. I understand not being able to express it in the most accurate terms you want to. I guess the memorizing part can also be cultural...for example, I grew up in a system that insisted on memorization and I thought that was what was best for DS but his resistance proved to me that it is highly dependent on each child/ family's viewpoint. Most times, such things are memorized anyway from repeated exposure out of love/ passion for numbers and patterns so any exposure through language per se might not be necessary for most. But if it was a case of wanting it done very early in the child's life for whatever reason a parent has, language exposure might be useful?

 

Anyway, just wanted to say thanks for expressing your viewpoint so gracefully.

 



#142 quark

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Posted Yesterday, 03:01 PM


Also, my kids can do math without glasses because they spend a ton of time outdoors! So they have really excellent eyesight. We will never make up that practice time for math but at least they have their eyes.

 

Sidetrack...I spent a lot of time playing outside as a kid...I have astigmatism. My kid spends very little time in comparison, playing outside and LOTS of time  reading small print in textbooks. He has excellent eyesight. Genetics and all that. :D
 


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#143 Binip

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Posted Today, 11:54 AM

Genetics is only part of it:

 

http://articles.lati...r-play-20111024

 

Asia's rate of myopia did not get where it is by a sudden shocking reverse-evolution of the human eye, just like our metabolic disorder rate did  not get where it is by a sudden shocking reverse-evolution of humans' ability to digest calories.

 

"...culled the findings of eight studies that explored the relationship between outdoor time and myopia in more than 10,000 children. The researchers, led by Dr. Anthony Khawaja of the University of Cambridge, found that for every extra hour per week a child spent in outdoor activity, his or her likelihood of suffering from nearsightedness declined 2%. Compared with kids with normal eyesight or who were farsighted (meaning they had trouble focusing on things close up), children with nearsightedness spent an average of 3.7 fewer hours per week outside."

 

(I am sorry about your astigmatism! I hope your son's eyesight continues to develop normally.)


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#144 Greenmama2

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Posted Today, 09:08 PM


 

That said, I think the demographics of the NZ math camp suggest that NZ is not identifying all of its talent. Math competitions are actually a good way of identifying talent, but kids have to have the chance to take these tests. Kids also need to be allowed to be comfortable being succesful at academics, rather than sports or other non-academic expectations.
 

 

I think that this is one of the most insightful comments in this thread. Well said.




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