By Aishwarya R. Iyer
Honestly, maths and math's sisters - Algebra and Geometry are the only subjects majority of the students hate. We hate it when our teacher ask us to find that small, irritating and vulnerable 'x' in those theories. Students are like 'why can't that 'x' do its work on own'. Hah! Jokes apart, we are now digging into the 'real' reason why, math is and can be one of the best subject anyone can learn/practice! Talking to Manan Khurma, Founder & CEO of Cuemath, a curriculum which takes Maths to another different level. Manan, via Cuemath ensures that children not only master math but also fall in love with it. In an interaction with the Afternoon D&C, he sheds light on some of the interesting facts on the subject and shares his journey...
Before anything, tell us how your interest developed in the subject Math?
"My whole life has been about math. My love affair with math started when I was a young kid. Working on math problems has been like an adventure which has given me infinite opportunities to explore and discover. The joy that you receive after getting the solution to a problem cannot be matched with the joy of anything else. Maths lack ambiguity and I like that thing about the subject. Math has that objectivity, that precision which makes it timeless."
'Math is the basic of all scientific knowledge.' How much of it is true?
"Math explains the most basic of natural phenomena; aspects like gravity, electricity, atomic structure to the most complex ideas like the birth and evolution of the universe.
It gives an expression to diverse ideas. Take for example acceleration. There can be an endless commentary on what acceleration is and how it is determined. However, the precision is added by an elegant equation that sums up an entire concept.
Mathematics is not satisfied with experimental or empirical evidence. In mathematics, the abstract language we build using logic allows us to build rigorous proofs that will stand the test of time and be immensely more powerful than the best of experimental evidence. This is why we believe that mathematics is the most basic of all scientific knowledge."
As a student everyone hated the subject as everything taught bounced back. What do you thing about that 'boring/difficult' subject?
"Even back when I was young, I used to wonder why kids find math boring or difficult - because for me, it was always a very beautiful subject. The general perception is that math is all about calculations or solving templatised problems based on a well-defined set of facts and formulas. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Math is one of the greatest intellectual art-forms. It is super-critical to move beyond the clichéd perceptions about math that are widely prevalent among adults as well as children. Math is the most beautiful language to understand the universe and things far beyond that. The fun, the struggle involved in finding a solution to a problem or creating a mathematical problem in itself is a sheer adventure!"
What is this unique thing in Cuemath? Tell us the difference between Cuemath and School Math.
“Math is the skill of the future. Given the way technology is evolving, the most valuable ability in just a few years from now will be that of complex problem-solving, and the best way to build that ability is to build a strong and holistic math foundation. Schools, by design, cater to only a limited subset of math. Although many of them do a good job at it, our children need much more. Cuemath takes math excellence to a wholly different level. Through its multi-format tech-enabled learning system, Cuemath ensures that children not only master math but also fall in love with it.”
We heard that Cuemath is not exam based. So what does this lead to?
“Cuemath not only prepares students for exams but caters to a more pressing need of building their fundamentals strong to prepare them for the jobs of the future. From a more practical point of view, it suffices to say that there are different kinds of mathematics, and the Cuemath approach strives to address the richness of mathematics while keeping it relevant for its target audience: K-8 students. In a simplified and unique approach, Cuemath has identified three different kinds of mathematics:
The math of concepts (or School Math)
The math of agility (or Mental Aptitude)
The math of logic (or Creative Reasoning)
This three-layer approach to math forms the basis of Cuemath’s tech-enabled learning system which is engaging, powerful and personalized.”
Education in general has lack of upgradation. The lessons the students learn today is designed years back. For the tech-savvy generation, these syllabus isn't enough. Is it the same way when Cuemath is lined, or different?
“It is absolutely different for Cuemath. During my time at IIT Delhi (as a student myself), I set up a venture where I taught math to school students preparing for the JEE entrance exam. Over the next few years, I taught math to over 10,000 students of all abilities. I realized first-hand how both school-learning and after-school learning leave a lot to be desired when it comes to building a strong math foundation, which is quite unfortunate given how fundamental a skill math potentially is to a student’s future.”