Monday, January 14, 2019

Fun with Maths

It's Exam time at home... My elder son currently doing his Prelims before his tenth standard board exams.... and the younger one in Grade Four. 

And as I opened up the Economic Times this morning, this article - Fun With Maths just jumped out at me....

 Fun With Maths

Manjul Bhargava is the first person of Indian origin to have won the coveted Fields medal in Mathematics for this path-breaking work in Number Theory. This professor of Mathematics at Princeton University discusses various issues with the Infosys founder NR Narayana Murthy.

When I asked the students of the MBA class I take about Mathematics the other day, only around 10% of them said they like it. Most of the others detested it. Years ago, I recall another MBA graduate in my office struggling with basic Arithmetic. Maths is an integral part of our everyday life. From waking up to the alarm clock... to train timings... to the price we pay for breakfast... it's all about Mathematics. We work with sheets and charts.... and get a salary at the end of the week or the month.... for which we need to know our numbers right... Yes indeed, That's Mathematics.


You liked that song by Tom Lehrer... we'll get him to give us a lesson a little later on. But first we'll do it very easy... ABC is as easy as One Two Three...

Well, the number 'three' reminds me of this song, a song my uncle Denzil used to sing... back in the day, Jake the Peg (Rolf Harris). 

That version did not have my favorite verse of the song.... the one about counting.... on fingers and toes...

Are you ready for the Maths lesson with Tom Lehrer.... on the New Math...

Didn't that song make Maths fun.... 

I put some thought into it... and recalled that I knew to read the time at age 5.... I learnt my tables in regular school.... and in class VI when I opened up a chapter on Bills and Receipts, I instead said Rec-i-pes, and had the entire class burst into laughter.... I was fairly good at Maths through school... though I slipped up when it came to Maths in college.... My Stats teacher in First Year B.Com was quite a terror and predicted based on past experience that more than half the class would end up struggling to Pass. I put my head down to it, and did extremely well. In B=School, I was actually coaching some of my weaker batchmates on Statistics... which made me one of my closest friends in the batch, that I'm still in active contact with. Working in data has been an absolute treat and the current trend of analytics absolutely amazes me.... 

I could go on and on.... which my stories on numbers.... but I'd rather just leave you with this song on advice for life... a sure formula to get the maximum out of life.... 
Acc-en-tu-ate the Positive. 

P.S. I've got another post on this blog on Maths... in fact the very first one.... Check out Music and Math

Sunday, January 6, 2019



Another year has gone by... 2018 and what a year it was.... Lots of work, opportunities, music, events.... but a lot less blogging. 

2018 for me took me to a lot of new places. While ten years ago (2008) was the year I did the most international trips (from Dubai to London, US and Canada), 2018 was a year of a different kind of journeys... My travel in 2018 was all within India and related to work and learning. During this year I visited Gurgaon, the foothills of the Himalayas (in Dehradun) and the serenity of the Gandhi ashram along the banks of the Sabarmati river (in Ahmedabad). While the first trip was part of an official assignment, the latter two trips were related to sharing knowledge and education - the first at UPES (University of Petroleum and Energy Services) and the more recent to MICA - The School of Ideas. Before we take off on the year 2019, let's take a little Sentimental Journey.

That song first released in the year 1944 (that's 75 years ago)... That's a year during World War II. And while there was death looming all over, the year also saw births of some really famous people. Among them Erno Rubik (inventor of the Rubik cube), officials like Ban Ki-moon (former Secretary-General of the United Nations), Rudy Giuliani (former Mayor of New York city). But before them all, on the first day of the year, in the little town of Mangalore was born a wonderful teacher of Maths and Science (who spent over 25 years in St. Anthony's Girls High School Chembur), but a great teacher on the values of life to her six children (me and my siblings). 


Living in my childhood home at present, everyday I come across someone or the other who has been touched by my mum. Last week I was traveling by bus to work and happened to meet another student. The previous week one of her superstar students conveyed their regards to my mum to my wife when she visited an event organised by the alumni. 

Over the past 250+ posts on this blog, I've made a few honorable mentions of my mum. Thought it would be a good idea to recount these on this special day. 

Music and Math (2015)

Was a casual afternoon, and I had to put together a short article as part of an exercise at the Digital Marketing class I was taking. Bang! out of nowhere came this post on Music and Math.

My Radio Days (and Nights) - Remembering Saturday Date (2018)

During my days as a Radio Jockey on All India Radio, my best constructive critic was none other than my dear Mummy. Though not an authority in music, she shared some interesting inputs to help me improve my clarity and diction on the show... and across life. Now 30 years later we've had an interesting reversal of roles.... While I've spent a fair amount of time teaching (what she did for over 25 years), while she had her moment in the sun as a guest on Susegad Danpaar on 104.6 FM

Earlier today, my siblings in Auckland got together to celebrate her birthday with some of her new friends in the land where she now resides... Saw some glimpses of the get together, a celebration of her seventy five fantastic years. Saw some glimpses of the party including some of the toasts raised by my siblings, paying tribute to her commitment and dedication over the years to give us the very best. 

We thank the Lord for our Mummy, who truly called the shots to make our family and each of us - her children - what we are today. of my Pistol Packing Mama



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