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:

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

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

Math drives Biology

Does it ring a bell to biologists that viruses are mathematically structured objects ? such as the deadly SARS virus with a beautiful icosahedral symmetry.

Icosahedron corresponds to the “Unsolvable Quintic equation (degree 5 and above) with no radical root”, which led the 19 CE young French math genius Evariste Galois to invent “Group Theory” – a revolutionary foundation of the Modern Math.

The problem is few biologists or doctors are good in math, and rare are mathematicians knowledgeable in Biology and Medicine.

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)。

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