CCA Previews ’23: Mathematics Club

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By Andrew Yar (23S06S, Chairperson)

“Mathematics”. Just the mention of this one word and immediately, your mind conjures up the excruciating emotions engendered by the rote, excessive and seemingly pointless exercises of H2 Mathematics. Stop right there. In Math Club, nothing could be further from the truth.

Mathematics, rightly viewed, possesses not only truth, but supreme beauty—a beauty cold and austere, […] yet sublimely pure, and capable of a stern perfection such as only the greatest art can show.

Bertrand Russell, a very famous mathematician

What do we do during sessions?

Our weekly 2-hour sessions on Tuesday (4.15-6.15pm) are succinct, offering you a perfect time to relax and unwind as our dedicated in-house team of enthusiastic math explorers leads you on an exhilarating expedition to unpack the elegance of this quantitative discipline.

Speaking of elegant problems (and really, what is an article about the pursuit of mathematics without a math question?!), take a moment and consider the following problem:

Using only the numbers 3, 3, 8, 8 and the operations () + − × ÷, obtain the number 24.

(READ TILL THE END FOR AN ANSWER REVEAL!)

Yes, 24 is actually a cool card game we play from time to time to keep our mathematical instincts sharp!

Besides exciting theoretical expeditions, Math Club also boasts a strong hands-on origami tradition. Every year, we devote one session to fold complex origami figures – an embodiment of symmetry and regularity that lends itself to beauty – to experience the assurance of structure and organisation that mathematics embodies in a tangible, concrete way.

Outside of the weekly sessions, members are not required to put in any form of additional effort to pursue mathematics. In that regard, mathematics club seeks to be a space merely to spark interests of its members – any further exploration beyond sessions is up to themselves! 

As artefacts are to museums, the humble buckyball (an elegant intersection between mathematics and nature!) aptly captures the spirit of the endeavours of Math Club.

Why Math Club?

At the risk of sounding cliché–the most compelling reason to join Math Club would arguably be its unparalleled community. A weekly gathering of the most passionate and mathematically-inclined individuals through a cross-pollination of ideas and insights provides  an environment of intellectual stimulation that is second to none. Prospective club members can even look forward to the annual Math Club Camp that will finally be revived this year following a three-year covid-induced interregnum. Yay!

Free bubble tea to commemorate the last session of Math Club for the Y6s! :D

Outside of official club sessions, the techniques and problem-solving analyses gleaned from valuable mathematical discussions can be put into practice in prestigious, challenging and fulfilling individual competitions–including, but not limited to the Singapore Mathematical Olympiad and the American Mathematics Competition. (These are completely optional of course but our members routinely achieve stellar results in these events and have spoken highly of their own competition experiences regardless of the result!)

Prize winners for the 2019 Singapore Mathematical Olympiad – physical prize presentations have been put on hold since then due to the pandemic

Excited to join us? Fret not, for we have absolutely NO PREREQUISITES REQUIRED–the focus is on the distance you are willing to go, and not on how far you have already come. There is a place for everyone regardless of prior  backgrounds–from the decorated Olympian to the humble amateur math hobbyist, all are welcome! We only ask that you arrive with an open mind, an inquisitive attitude, and most importantly, a burning passion for mathematics! And of course, to leave the preconceived notions and stereotypes of H2 Mathematics at the door.

Hope to see you soon!

Now for the answer reveal! (a smiley face for you for making it this far 😊)

24 = 8/(3−8/3)

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