I started this Mag to show my then-5-year-old son that math is not only NOT boring, but a lot of FUN. I remember how I got attracted to math and science by reading interesting stories when I was a kid. There aren't much organized materials like that for young kids. So I decided to create a Mag to show my son how interesting math is. The goal here is not to teach young kids specific math knowledge, but to overwhelm them with the fun in math. As long as they link math with the word "fun", we have achieved our goal. Interest is the best teacher. It's true for all subjects, including math.

Why are manhole covers round?

January 15, 2022

I was jogging outside with my son on the street and we saw a manhole. I recalled this famous interview question first popularized by Microsoft in the early days and then adopted by other companies: Why are manhole covers round? So I asked my son. “Because it looks nice?” “It’s more than that. There is […]

Mobius Band

September 4, 2021

“How many sides does a paper have?” I asked my son, who is watching TV. “2” “What if I tell you I can make a paper have ONLY one side?” “No Way!” “Come and I will show you how to make a Mobius Band.” Well we are in the year 2021, so there is a […]

How tall is the Great Pyramid?

January 8, 2022

This is the second episode of the Greek mathematicians series. Today’s mathematician’s name is Thales. He is also a philosopher and astronomer. He is considered “the first” Greek philosopher and is sometimes referred to as the Father of Science. After the introduction, I started to tell my son the story of Thales. “Thales loved travelling. […]

Archimedes’ Eureka Moment

January 8, 2022

Son is very interested in ancient Greek and its famous people. So I decided to give him a mini-series on Greek Mathematicians. Archimedes was the first. Archimedes was one of the greatest scientists of ancient Greek, from the city state of Syracuse in Sicily, then a Greek colony. His achievements spanned mathematics, physics and astronomy. […]

General Tian’s Horse Race and Game Theory

September 28, 2021

Son loves stories. So this episode is a story. Tian (last name) Ji (first name), a prominent Chinese general 2000 years ago in the Kingdom of Qi, loved horse racing. One day, he raced with the King of Qi. They each had three horses, ranked as “fastest”, “faster” and ”fast”. They held three matches. Whoever […]

Binary Numbers And Computers

January 22, 2022

“Can you explain how computers work?” Son was using an ipad and asked me all of a sudden. “That’s going to be a long lesson. How about I start with the basics: the binary numbers. Everything on your computers are represented in binary numbers.” “Oh, really? What are binary numbers?” I moved to a floor […]

Morse Code

January 22, 2022

Continuing the topic of binary numbers, I asked my son, “Do you know Morse code?” “Ah, I do! It’s used in telegraph.” “Right, telegraph is no longer used in regular communications these days, but the story about Morse code is still interesting. I explained, “Electrical telegraph was invented in the nineteenth century and was the […]

Sphinx’ New Riddles

January 9, 2022

“Have you heard of the Riddle of the Sphinx?” I asked my son. “No, can you tell me!” “In ancient Egypt and Greece myths, Sphinx is a monster creature with a lion’s body and a human’s head. The most famous statue of Sphinx is the one you often see next to the Great Pyramid. “Legend […]

An Investment Class For 7-year-olds

January 7, 2022

Son is turning 7. It’s time for an investment class. OK, not really. But it doesn’t hurt to try, right? So I gave him a 100 dollar bill. “Let’s say if you put this bill in a bank, the next year you will have 110 dollars in your bank account.”  (Well, this is very hypothetical, […]

The Stories of Little Carl

January 1, 2022

Year 1784, Town of Braunschweig, Germany. It was a hot day. In the town’s elementary school, a hundred or so 7-year-olds were studying in the first grade classroom. It was a typical-sized class of that age. When I say studying, they were reading, talking and mostly making noises. The teacher became impatient while trying to […]

24 Game Episode 2 – Odd and Even Numbers

August 29, 2021

After some practice runs of the card game 24, son became very interested and played more. He noticed sometimes the solution is simply adding the values of the 4 cards to get the number 24. “I can tell if the total of the 4 cards is not 24, in 1 second, without adding the numbers” […]

24 Game

July 25, 2021

My son enjoyed it a lot playing the card game 24 with me. I found it a fun game to improve his basic math calculation skills at his age. For those who don’t know the game: it’s a simple game using an ordinary deck of playing cards.  Remove all the face cards. Aces have the […]

Dice, Probability and Bell Curve

September 29, 2021

I was playing The Settlers of Catan (a board game) with my son. The game uses two dice. Each time a player rolls the two dice and records the sum.  A simplified summary of the rules If the number matches the label on a land of yours, you can get some type of building materials. […]

Rice on the Chessboard

July 18, 2021

My son is a pretty big chess fan. So he was glad when I told him this story. Legend has it that Sissa from India invented chess. He presented his new invention to his king. The king was very pleased with this entertaining game, and offered Sissa a gift. The king let Sissa name his […]

Preface

July 6, 2021

When my son was in Kindergarten, one day he was working on a math worksheet with dozens of simple addition problems, and he raised his head and said to me, “Dad, math is boring.” “Wait a minute,” I said. “Math is NOT boring. It’s a lot of FUN!” I remember when I was about 10, […]