Thursday, January 7, 2010

CHINESE MATHEMATICS


As posted by Dr. Mahathir Mohamad at Che Det on January 1, 2010 4:06 AM

1. The Chinese understand numbers. Very early they invented the computer - not the electronic one - but the abacus.

2. The abacus in the hands of experts can outrun the electronic calculator.

3. The ability to calculate fast contributes much to the skills in business. The brain deduces problems much faster.

4. When I was Prime Minister a Chinese expert demonstrated to me how pre-school children could be taught to mentally multiply or divide big figures almost instantaneously. They know how to use the abacus for quick calculations. When asked to add, subtract, multiply or divide, they mentally move the beads of the computer in their minds. That way they were able to almost immediately give the answers.

5. The professor told me that the children were ordinary children, It was his system of mental calculation which enabled them to perform.

6. I asked the Ministry of Education to use Prof Xu Si Zhong's method for our primary schools. I don't really know the results.

7. The Professor came to see me recently to introduce improvements he had made to his method. I must say that his new method is even better.

8. Since I am now no longer in the Government I cannot persuade the Ministry of Education to adopt his system. It strikes me that if someone were to invest a small sum of money to put up a classroom for pre-school children to be taught mathematics using this method, there might be parents interested to send their children for a few hours a week to learn. I think the children will enjoy learning mathematics and the use of the abacus.

9. I will be happy to put interested private kindergartens and primary schools in contact with Prof Xu Si Zhong.