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Updated: August 31, 2013 15:19 IST

Carpenters’ tricks will help you crack maths

Mithosh Joseph
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Easy Maths. Photo: S. Ramesh Kurup
The Hindu
Easy Maths. Photo: S. Ramesh Kurup

Sudheesh Minni, a young mathematics teacher from Vadakara, has came out with a self-learning book that incorporates the traditional calculation methods of carpenters and astrologers.

Mathematics is a hard nut to crack for many a student, and the challenge before teachers is to arouse the interest of students through easy and entertaining methods. Faced with the situation, Sudheesh Minni, a young mathematics teacher from Vadakara, tried several methods and finally came out with a self-learning book which unravels the secrets of learning mathematics in an entertaining way.

Unlike ordinary math-learning tools, Mr. Sudheesh has tried a totally different method, which incorporates the traditional calculation methods of carpenters and astrologers. The technique, explained in the form of easy exercises, helps students make problem-solving in mathematics, including addition, subtraction, multiplication and average calculation, an exhilarating experience. A student can solve the exercises himself.

“Ancient traders and carpenters did calculations quickly and properly. Their process of additions and subtractions were logically fit and accurate, but we ignored those traditions,” says Mr. Sudheesh.

He points out that the Indian method of addition and subtraction were done by ‘Sankalana Vyavakalanabhyam’ sutra, which carries out addition and subtraction together.

An easy exercise given in the book is sufficient to kindle one’s curiosity to mine further. Finding the answer for the problem — 63+42+34+52+43-36 — will be a quick tool to explain the method. At first, add the right side digits of all numbers to be added (3+2+4+2+3) and then subtract the last right side digit (6).

The answer will be 8. In the next step, add the left side digits of all numbers to be added (6+4+3+5+4) and deduct the left side digit of the number to be subtracted (3). The answer will be 19. When we write together both these figures in the left and right side, the final answer will be 198. Several similar interesting tools are explained in the book. The book titled ‘Easy Maths’ has five levels, and Mr. Sudheesh plans to publish all of them within two years. Request has been forwarded to the Central Board of Secondary Education to consider the scope of including the new work in the school curriculum in such a way to help students from Class V to XII.

“For preparing the book, I have spent several hours in discussion with carpenters and astrologers. To incorporate their techniques in a scientific way, I referred works including ‘Vasthusasthram,’ ‘Aryabhadeeyam,’ ‘Leelavathi’ and ‘Brihat Samhitha,” says Mr. Sudheesh. He has made some corrections in the book taking into account students’ suggestions. Thousand copies of the book have been distributed among the students on an experimental basis and according to Mr. Sudheesh, the work is evoking a very positive result. For details, call: 96458 24103.

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