To improve the level of undergraduate students who desire to plan their career in Mathematics, the Department of Mathematics, Bharathidasan University, will commence on Friday its Advanced Training Camp in Mathematics (ATCM), a two-week training programme.

Funded by the National Board of Higher Mathematics (NBHM), the programme by exposing bright young minds to the excitement of learning the subject, equips them for the national-level ‘Mathematics Training and Talent Search Programme’, according to the programme coordinator M. Marudai, Reader in the Department.

The objectives of the programme to be conducted under the directorship of S. Kumaresan, Professor, Department of Mathematics, University of Hyderabad, are to teach mathematics in an interactive way and promote active learning wherein teachers ask questions and develop the theory based on answers and typical examples paving way for participants to explore, guess and formulate definitions and results; to promote independent thinking in Mathematics; and to provide a platform for talented students to interact with peers and experts to understand better their academic standing.

Seminars by students and problem solving sessions will form integral part of training that will be inaugurated by the Vice-Chancellor M. Ponnavaikko. The very purpose of the programme is to initiate discussion, said N. Ramanujam, Professor and Head of the Department and Dean, Faculty of Science, Engineering and Technology, Bharathidasan University.

"The precise and linear exposition of a typical textbook often leads students to believe that Mathematics is a dry, rigid and unchanging subject. It does not exhibit the vibrant nature and the essential unity of the subject. The most exciting part of Mathematics is the process of invention and discovery. The aim is to introduce this process to the students. Looking at examples, searching for patterns in those examples and making out reasons behind those patterns will develop one’s own Mathematical ideas," Dr. Ramanujam explained.

The programme is a hit with participants. Students pursuing higher studies have been providing a feedback about the impact of the training programme. "Some of them who are now teachers in colleges are able to do better justice to their jobs," said Dr. Ramanujam.