Vinod Krishnamoorthy, a high school student who has served as a volunteer math teacher for non-profit organizations in San Diego, Calif., advocates an analytic approach to problem solving rather than a rote memorization of techniques. In the preface to his new book, “Competitive Math for Middle School,” Krishnamoorthy describes it as a “compilation of important concepts used in competitive mathematics in Algebra, Counting/Probability and Number Theory.”
His mastery of these subjects is self-evident in this book. Krishnamoorthy uses his own considerable experience in the field and gently guides his students into a creative approach. The guidance the Indian American gives them is both thorough and intense. Certainly it would give students training not only in understanding the subject matter but also give them valuable lessons using simple tricks to solve difficult mathematical problems.
Krishnamoorthy says he was compelled to write the book after witnessing his students’ endless fascination with the field of mathematics as much as he did. Dr. Prasad Gudem of Qualcomm Technologies Inc., who has reviewed the book, says, "Math tutor at the fingertips of middle school students! An excellent book for learning mathematics through numerous examples." The 39 self-contained sections of this book present sample problems categorized by their level of difficulty as Bronze, Silver, and Gold to help them gage their own progress. The manual can, therefore, be used as a guide for self-study and also a textbook.
It is clear Krishnamoorthy ‘s main interest lies in enticing school children to delve deeper into the intricacies of math while learning new concepts not otherwise taught in traditional public schools. He advocates an analytic approach to problem-solving rather than a rote memorization of techniques. He offers numerous examples to provide the necessary practice needed to fully understand the concepts and apply it.
Dr. Alladi Venkatesh, a professor at the University of California, Irvine, says, "Vinod Krishnamoorthy has produced a handy learning tool for aspiring students as well as those accomplished in the subject. It is bold, imaginative, and user-friendly."
In recent years SAT tests have been modified toward creative problem solving that employ principles used in competition math. Krishnamoorthy gently guides his students into a creative approach by introducing them to a variety of scenarios in order to attain the best solutions. School children competing in math contests in Algebra, Counting/Probability, and Number Theory would find unique methods and simple tricks in the book that give them a better understanding of the subject, and greater confidence in their ability to solve mathematical problems.
It is a Herculean task first all to write a book, any book. But to deliver a book on mathematics for middle and high school students, who need to be taught the basics before being introduced to advanced mathematical theories, is indeed a valiant endeavor. Krishnamoorthy must be lauded for not only undertaking such a challenging and arduous task, but for completing it in time and getting it published by a reputed publisher.
Barath Sethuraman, a professor at Cal State University, Northridge, has reviewed his book. He writes, “Krishnamoorthy has written an amazing book, one that I certainly would have loved to have during my middle school and high school days! This is an impressive collection of problems, ideas and tricks.”