Symmetry, Algebra and the “Monster”

Very good introduction of Modern Math concept “Group” to secondary school math students by an American high school teacher.

https://www.quantamagazine.org/symmetry-algebra-and-the-monster-20170817/

Summary:

  • Symmetry of a Square
  • Isometry (*) or Rigid Motion (刚体运动) = no change in shape and size after a transformation
  • What is a Group (群 “CAN I” ) ? = Closure Associative Neutral Inverse
  • Monster Group = God ?
  • String Theory: Higgs boson (玻色子) aka “God Particles”

Note (*): “保距映射” (Isometry),是指在度量空间 (metric space) 之中保持距离不变的”同构“关系 (Isomorphism) 。几何学中的对应概念是 “全等变换”

UK Textbooks à la Chinese / Singapore Math Style

[Original Financial Times Article] Google: UK maths books fail DfE test

\boxed {\text {Ideal Math = (Chinese + English) * French }}

UK, USA, France are copying Chinese Math (from which the “Singapore Modeling Math” derived) in Primary schools, this proves my above-mentioned “Ideal Math” formula is correct. The 2 Asian countries were top in 2015 PISA Math Test for 15-year-old students, while UK was ranked 27th.

It remains to see if China / Singapore reciprocate the French Math theoretical foundation rigor in High Schools (Junior Colleges) and in the first 2 years of undergraduates for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) students.

Compared with Fields Medals (equivalent to Nobel Prize in Math), the picture is reversed – where USA, France and UK are top. The secret lies in the formula : the multiplying factor – (* French), ie the math theoretical foundation notably in French Math.

Note: 2 Chinese Fields Medalists are listed in the nationalities of “British / HK, now China” (ST Yau 丘成桐), Australia (Terence Tao 陶哲轩 ).

How (not) to memorise mathematics

Many excellent Math students after leaving universities more than 10 years forget 90% of math they learned, save some primary school arithmetics – few could do Singapore PSLE Modelling Math or solve quadratic equations.

The “Story-Telling” memory technique via “Signposts” can be used to reconstruct math from first principles:

https://medium.com/@fjmubeen/how-not-to-memorise-mathematics-98fef71aefcf

Note: Lewis Carroll: the author of “Alice in wonderland”

Cambridge Professor Tim Gowers (Fields Medalist) suggested the similar pedagogy of “Memorise by First Principles”.

Ideal Math Education

\boxed { \text {Ideal Math Education } = (C + E) * F}

C = Chinese 中文 = Primary school Arithematics sans “Algebra” (= Singapore Modeling Math). Abacus-Algorithmic thinking.

E = English = Secondary School Math
=> Applied, Tricky, Math Olympiad-style
=> Engineering, Business, Applied Science.

F = Français (French) = High-school / Baccalaureate & University Math = Theoretical, Abstract
=> Rigorous Math Philosophy for Advanced Concepts
=> New frontier Scientific Research.

Why (C+E) ?
C + E = Basic Math Foundation.

Why * F ?
If multiply by Theoretical F, like flying with added wings (如虎添翅)。

However,
if (C+E) -> 0 (less applied), or
if F -> 0 (lack theories),
then Total Math Education -> 0.