Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Napolean's Theorem

Napolean's Theorem is about drawing equilateral triangle and joining the mid points of each of those triangle and one gets another equilateral triangle.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Maurice is here

It was so exciting to see Maurice here in Siem Reap. We met the tour to Halong Bay and shared the room on the cruise and later at Cat Ba island.

Lunch with Oliver at Abacus

Yesterday I went to Abacus and I had this

My year 8

I had so much fun teaching this class and the realizing that so many of them don't view math as a boring subject anymore

Catching up with Julia

Monday, May 28, 2012

My good friend Keqian Mei

 There are few people you met in life who you truly like to call friend. Keqian Mei is among one of those very few. I met Mei when I was in Carbondale. I still vividly remember my first meeting. I had twisted my knee and Akina came to get me so we all could go to KFC for 5 pm dinner. Mei was sitting on the back and from that day we forged a friendship. There are lots of things I admire about him. He is intelligent, funny, super kind and the most soft spoken person I know. I cherish the days when we use to play ping pong together. I had the good fortune of meeting his mom who was herself a smashing ping pong player. She even got me an excellent paddle. They say that out of sight translates to out of mind. Yes its very true there have been lots of people you meet and after a while you let them fade away in the sand of time but there are special who continue to impress deeper into the recesses of your mind. Its a good feeling to know such nice people.

Why we should go full throttle for alternative energy sources

   I just read an article in "The Cambodia Daily" titled "Center of gravity for Petrol Production Shifts to Americas". While its good that this tectonic shift is happening and leading to a prosperous South America.  However its atrocious that these companies are destroying the environment in disguise of meeting the energy needs of the people. The real motive is just to make quick money no matter what its human and environment cost. Its amusing that they justify their cost by misinforming consumers that the energy derived from fossil fuels is cheap. They do not include the cost of rendering the property useless, the harmful effect of toxic gases they spew into the environment, the economic subsidies they demand from the government and keeping the cost of energy artificially high. Otherwise how come none of the gas companies are ever bankrupt. On the contrary they always make billions of dollars of profit. If they really care for the people how come they have such massive profits and why don't they channel some of the profit into cleaner energy.
    Wind, Solar, Tidal and Biomass can readily bring down the cost of energy production to the fraction of the cost we pay for energy if these Oil Companies don't misinform and hamper the development by their lobbying. Our generation will be judged by the future as being one of the most selfish generation for not exhausting the fossil fuels but for taking so long to realize that we could have easily met our energy demands manifolds just by having a collective will to exploit the renewable resources we have. There have been few steps in the right direction but we can decisively change it if we all come together and that will lead to a more prosperous, healthy and spiritual world.

Friday, May 25, 2012


This formula allows one to count the number of regions when number of points of intersection, number of lines are given on an enclosed surface. So both pizza slicing and moser's circle problem can be solved by this. It's easy to observe that in pizza slicing P is C(n,2), N is n. So number of slices are C(n,2)+n+1 and for the moser's circle P is C(n,4), N is C(n,2). Therefore the formula is C(n,4)+C(n,2)+1

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Teaching trig

We did bearings using cosine rule. They liked it that how easy it becomes using cosine rule revisiting the problems where they had to previously break it down into multiple right angle triangle or use scale drawing.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Catching up with Jackie

It was good to see Jackie tonight. We met at Viva and I had this beautiful ice coffee besides the vegetarian Pizza.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Chinese Rem Theorem

This is an important idea in Math and today I exposed my year 7 and year 8 students to this beautiful theorem. To guess a number between 1 and 1000. All you need are these 7 numbers.
7,11,13, 715,364,924 and 1001. First you find the remainder of your unknown number with 7, 11 and 13 and then you multiply these remainder with the number 715,364 and 924 respectively. You add all the numbers and then divide by 1001 and viola you have your unknown number.

My fruit intake so far today

 My food habits took a decisive U turn after I read "Fit for Life". My friend Nishit Kapadia loaned that book to me in 2005. So its now almost 7 years that I made that dramatic turn around. Of all the advises the one which I have been able to follow more diligently is the one about eating only raw fruits and vegetables in the morning. Since morning today I had 1. Peeled Rambutan 2. Papaya 3. Few Mangosteen and 4. Small tray of Watermelon.
   I am eager to try what Viki has had experienced with. She does sun dried raw fruits and vegetable. Though at first it does go against the basic tenet of eating raw fruits and vegetable as fresh because of the water content. However we are not cooking them and her enthusiasm and experience with this diet is certainly infectious. So after 7 year I am open to experiment with this sun dried raw food. 

Teaching at common ground

Yesterday we covered topics from prime factorization. Once you know prime factorization of a particular number its easy to find several things. You can count all the factors of that particular number. You can even find the sum of all those factors and also count of the numbers that are less than it and that relative prime to it. Ofcourse prime factorization allows you to quickly find HCF and LCM of two given numbers once you have found the prime factorization of each of those numbers

Saturday, May 19, 2012


I am thinking about doing a presentation on Mersenne Primes and putting those large number in perspective because its hard to realize in their exponential notation about the real size of these numbers

Pizza with Ralph Aquino at Le Tiger in Siem Reap

Here is Ralph and I at Le Tigre for the Pizza. I have known Ralph for now almost 10 months and he was the first faculty member I met when I moved here. It is his first job teaching overseas. Over the period of time I have come to appreciate him more and more as a good colleague. He is always Jolly and has a positive outlook which makes it a pleasure to work with him.

School graffiti

What would you do if you find out a graffiti about yourself. It will be amusing. I think here the drawing was first rate.

Crickets ki bhaji

One thing I have discovered in Cambodia is that if you want to eat left overs its best to have Thai Green Curry. It doesn't curdle like Indian curries which are usually cooked in Palm oil. So during my lunch break usually buy steamed rice and eat if with the curry. Ofcourse they sell a lot of other things than just rice and this is one of that other things.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Holiday day 3

It wad the last day and I really wanted to catch up on my sleep and boy I did sleep. Good way yo energize myself. Have found a couple of interesting books by sawyer and he is quite a dude. His take on teaching is similar to Polya. By reading these people you realize that intelligence id quite relative. We all are pretty much similar. All it matters was who was your teacher. So when people christen kids as being precocious they forget to see who were the teacher behind that child.

Holiday day 2

Day 2 was good. I spent my afternoon at river side's swimming pool. Met an interesting person. She has experienced past life regression. Has done a retreat where she had only raw fruits and vegetables for over 2 months. Has dabbled in Reiki and an overall happy go lucky person. Definitely enjoyed knowing her.

A topic I was teaching to my year 10 today

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Holiday: day 1

 Today was the first day of my 3 day vacation. I wanted to go to Sinhoukville but then I decided against it. I really wanted a break when I would do nothing (may be reading). The trip required putting in 11 hrs one way and so it was going to be way too much time spent just reaching the destination. On saturdays I help Cambodian students learn some math. Today we went over the idea of how to derive the sum of first n^3 natural number. I showed them the idea which I found on Polya's book. I think its neater because once you have learned to add first n numbers then its a natural to ask what is the sum of first n^2 and n^3 and they can be easily derived by looking at the ratio Sn^2/Sn and Sn^3/Sn. We also went over some standard geometric constructions and transverse line idea. Then I briefed them about perfect numbers and their connection with the Mersenne prime numbers. I wanted to talk about Fermat primes and Sophie Germain primes but ran out of time. I am pinning my hope that I am able to give some solid foundation to these kids and get them excited about Math. I am glad that after the very first class which was suppose to be a trial class they overwhelmingly voted to have me as a teacher. I hope when I look back I will be happy to have made a positive contribution to the enhancement of their math skills and thinking.

Milli Vinali fan

 There are things you grow up and you get nostalgic when you hear them again. I clearly remember how much of a fan I was of this band but somehow they became outcast because of the issue surrounding the original artist. This was indeed a big-big hit in the later half of 1980s. I think probably around 1988 when I was in grade 7 or 8. I do recollect the day when Rinoo and I decided not to blast crackers on diwali evening. We were sitting on the ramp opposite badminton court where rinoo had his new aiwa walkman and I had mine sony and we were listening to Mili Vinali and discussing the harmful affects of pollution and justifying our choice of not to burn crackers. So here is a sampling of some of my all time favorite music.

Tu Tu hai wahi remix

 I don't remember if I really liked the original version of this hindi song but I do remember the remix version and it was awesome to play it on my 5 speaker set. No matter what the critics say sometimes the remix could be better than the original one. I remember some of my Korean friend also took a liking to this song after having heard at my place. 

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

My year 12

Jenny and John.

This was a very small class and I to finish the course way ahead of time. They both put a lot of effort to keep up. Wonderful students it was a pleasure to help then learn.

Monday, May 07, 2012

My year 11

Clint, Panha, Nicholas, Sandrine, Davon and myself.

This was a pretty good class. I enjoyed teaching because I think they all stepped up their effort and were willing to learn. I could see the remarkable progress they all made.

Sunday, May 06, 2012

My neighborhood pagoda murals

Pagoda opposite star mart

Saturday, May 05, 2012

Visit to temple

Vietnamese style dumping

Mit's half hearted support to open coursework

It is preposterous that Mit claims themselves to be committed for open learning. If one goes to their website one find only a dozen course which can be used by students to enhance their learning. Most of these courses are very basic and one can find better modular courses over the net. There are no video lectures for the advanced courses and which is a pity considering the outstanding faculty that they have. If Mit wants to be really serious about pushing the education standard worldwide instead of just shamelelssly bragging about its little contribution to OCW movement they should take a leaf out of much smaller school like UCCS or India's nptel model. Where they post all the video lectures on YouTube. It seems that Mit's OCW bosses are milking big foundations instead of really being committed to the cause they drum at all open coursework sites. They have the opportunity to really stand out instead if being follower.

Moment over an espresso

 I am at common grounds cafe right now. I had an espresso and today I taught few interesting things including Polya's way of deriving the sum of first n square numbers. I also jotted down my thoughts on bachet's conjecture (special case) which Polya does in his book. I am reading the insight where you can find the sum of any divisors by using previous divisors. At first it looks intimidating that how Euler came to think about such weird pattern of recursive way to derive the sequence but as you read on his insight about generating function makes it easy to follow. It sure is an interesting book.

Special case of Bachet's conjecture

9 point circle

 One if tge beautiful result in geometry is 9 point circle. We all know that given any three non-collinear  points we can always draw a circle which passes through those 3 points and if given 4 random points the chances are pretty slim that we can find a circle which will pass through all 4 points and so its pretty amazing that we can draw 9 points and find a circle which passes through all those 9 points. The following construction I did for my grade 7 students and it illustrates the idea of 9 point circle. First start with any triangle its better if its an acute angled one (but it doesn't matter).  The breakdown of these 9 points are
3 points which are the mid points of the sides of the triangle
3 points which are the foot of the altitudes
3 points are the mid points between orthocenter and the vertex of the triangle

Sum of squares, Polya's way

I found this in Polya's book on plausible reasoning and I think it was fun

Wedding dip at Chamka in Siem Reap

So i checked out this vegetarian restaurant in Siem Reap and it was amazing. Like most Khmer dishes it has sugar in it however they also give you chills alongside. Thumbs up for this sumptuous creation.

Grass Jelly Drink

Yes it has Jelly inside the Can.
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