Through his innovative method T.R. Jothilingam caught the attention of both young and old at the fun maths programme

Learning mathematics can be made simple. It all depends how you approach the subject. Once you bring in the fun element, then learning any subject is easy. This was the point of discussion at the ‘Fun Maths and Mind Games’ programme by T. R. Jothilingam, an expert in number games. “Why should people hate Mathematics? Is it not the subject that makes your brain active?” he asked and assured how inadequacies could be addressed to get rid of the strong dislike for the subject among students.

It was fun as he unfolded one game after the other involving theaudience. He explained how 75x75 could be multiplied in at least 10 different ways in an attempt to make people understand mathematics is like any other subject where solutions can be arrived at innovatively by every individual. “There are several fast computation methods for rapid mental calculation too like the Trachtenberg system,” he said .

Holding teachers and parents responsible for a child’s poor performance in maths, he says, interesting games should be devised to make the children understand the the importance of numbers.

He also introduced the participants to the world of magic squares, chess and number puzzles. He demonstrated the making of a magic square where the sum of the numbers in any horizontal, vertical and diagonal line remains constant.

In his opinion, fun maths and mind games areuseful for students above eighth standard. “. “It may be useful for some extraordinary talent in elementary section also,” he adds.

K.N. Nikitha Shree, a class VIII student said she liked attending the session as she never thought mathematics could be so easy. “The shortcut methods are useful for cross checking the answers. Our teachers at school always insist on how we arrive at the answer.”

“In number puzzle you don’t need another player. e . It is an addiction. You can do it leisurely or at your own pace,” says Jothilingam.

School teacher T.Vanaja found the finger multiplication interesting. “He introduced us to short cut methods for addition, multiplication, and division.”

Jothilingam is now on a mission to spread his love for numbers. . He has already lectured in more than 130 schools and addressed more than 25,000 students. His main objective is to help students shed off their maths phobia.

The Gandhi Memorial Museum organised the event.