Tag: Asia

Using maths to outsmart mosquitoes – BBC News

Image copyright SPL

Researchers at Strathclyde university are working to combat a deadly tropical disease – using mathematics.

Dengue fever is caused by a virus carried by Aedes mosquitoes.

The number of cases has grown dramatically in recent years with close to 60 million people catching it every year.

Although it is fatal in only a small proportion of cases, it means deaths are still in the tens of thousands.

Image caption Millions of people catch dengue fever every year

The World Health Organisation says 500,000 people a year need hospital treatment for dengue in Africa, the Americas, the eastern Mediterranean, southeast Asia and the western Pacific.

The currently favoured approach is to search and destroy the mosquitoes using methods such as spraying fogs of insecticides.

But the authorities in Malaysia wanted something more environmentally friendly which did not increase the mosquitoes’ resistance and kill their predators.

Which is why the Strathclyde University team, led by mathematician Dr David Greenhalgh, has been working with its Malaysian partners to assess the effectiveness of a new type of mosquito trap.

The exact design is still under wraps but I can reveal that it looks a bit like a yogurt pot.

That belies its huge potential in a new approach to fighting tropical diseases: don’t use search and destroy – outsmart the insects.

“The trap contains a chemical solution that attracts female mosquitoes into it,” Dr Greenhalgh says.

“There’s a piece of paper leading into the chemical solution.

“The female mosquitoes that are attracted to the trap lay their eggs on the piece of paper and the chemical stops the eggs developing.”

Image copyright AFP
Image caption Dengue fever is spread by the Aedes aegypti mosquito

Mathematics comes into the process because Dr Greenhalgh and colleagues have built a computer model of how the disease spreads.

From that they can simulate how the trap affects the spread of the virus among people and mosquitoes.

He says people go through different stages of the disease.

“There are four different types of dengue, four different serotypes,” he says.

“Usually the infection with the first serotype is quite mild.

“But if you get a second infection with a different strain it can have very serious effects.”

Dr Greenhalgh adds: “As well as modelling how the people go through those different stages, the mosquitoes also go through different stages.

“So you’re trying to model how these populations interact, with mosquitoes biting people, with the disease spreading from people to mosquitoes and vice versa.”

The variables in the mathematical model include the number of traps, the area’s history of dengue infections, plus the numbers of mosquitoes and breeding sites.

Global scale

So far the indications are that both the simulation and the real life traps are working well.

In a small-scale test in three blocks of flats in Kuala Lumpur the number of dengue cases was reduced from 53 in 2013 to 13 the following year.

In 2015, after the trial was over, the number of infections rose again to 57.

Dr Greenhalgh warns that these are small numbers but also promising ones.

Further research is now examining the effectiveness of the trap in different conditions.

The collaboration is between Strathclyde, Malaysia’s Institute for Medical Research and the Kuala Lumpur-based business One Team Network Solutions, which designs low-tech pest control devices.

The UK delivery partner is the British Council Malaysia. The project is being funded by the UK government’s Newton Fund and the Malaysian government’s High Impact Programme 2.

If the trap and its mathematical model work on a large scale it will have implications for health on a global scale.

Read more: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-39353752

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Using maths to outsmart mosquitoes – BBC News

Image copyright SPL

Researchers at Strathclyde university are working to combat a deadly tropical disease – using mathematics.

Dengue fever is caused by a virus carried by Aedes mosquitoes.

The number of cases has grown dramatically in recent years with close to 60 million people catching it every year.

Although it is fatal in only a small proportion of cases, it means deaths are still in the tens of thousands.

Image caption Millions of people catch dengue fever every year

The World Health Organisation says 500,000 people a year need hospital treatment for dengue in Africa, the Americas, the eastern Mediterranean, southeast Asia and the western Pacific.

The currently favoured approach is to search and destroy the mosquitoes using methods such as spraying fogs of insecticides.

But the authorities in Malaysia wanted something more environmentally friendly which did not increase the mosquitoes’ resistance and kill their predators.

Which is why the Strathclyde University team, led by mathematician Dr David Greenhalgh, has been working with its Malaysian partners to assess the effectiveness of a new type of mosquito trap.

The exact design is still under wraps but I can reveal that it looks a bit like a yogurt pot.

That belies its huge potential in a new approach to fighting tropical diseases: don’t use search and destroy – outsmart the insects.

“The trap contains a chemical solution that attracts female mosquitoes into it,” Dr Greenhalgh says.

“There’s a piece of paper leading into the chemical solution.

“The female mosquitoes that are attracted to the trap lay their eggs on the piece of paper and the chemical stops the eggs developing.”

Image copyright AFP
Image caption Dengue fever is spread by the Aedes aegypti mosquito

Mathematics comes into the process because Dr Greenhalgh and colleagues have built a computer model of how the disease spreads.

From that they can simulate how the trap affects the spread of the virus among people and mosquitoes.

He says people go through different stages of the disease.

“There are four different types of dengue, four different serotypes,” he says.

“Usually the infection with the first serotype is quite mild.

“But if you get a second infection with a different strain it can have very serious effects.”

Dr Greenhalgh adds: “As well as modelling how the people go through those different stages, the mosquitoes also go through different stages.

“So you’re trying to model how these populations interact, with mosquitoes biting people, with the disease spreading from people to mosquitoes and vice versa.”

The variables in the mathematical model include the number of traps, the area’s history of dengue infections, plus the numbers of mosquitoes and breeding sites.

Global scale

So far the indications are that both the simulation and the real life traps are working well.

In a small-scale test in three blocks of flats in Kuala Lumpur the number of dengue cases was reduced from 53 in 2013 to 13 the following year.

In 2015, after the trial was over, the number of infections rose again to 57.

Dr Greenhalgh warns that these are small numbers but also promising ones.

Further research is now examining the effectiveness of the trap in different conditions.

The collaboration is between Strathclyde, Malaysia’s Institute for Medical Research and the Kuala Lumpur-based business One Team Network Solutions, which designs low-tech pest control devices.

The UK delivery partner is the British Council Malaysia. The project is being funded by the UK government’s Newton Fund and the Malaysian government’s High Impact Programme 2.

If the trap and its mathematical model work on a large scale it will have implications for health on a global scale.

Read more: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-39353752

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Mental Math – Tricks or Real Help

Mental Math  – is it a trick or can it truly help your child to learn math?

I found this article from article dashboard and wanted to share it with you. It discusses 2 methods that are currently being used in Asia.

Mental Math Methods From Asia

First of all, let us figure out what exactly is mental math. Today if you search the phrase “mental math” you will probably end up with millions of options. Not exactly that makes your life easy; instead it builds up and strengthens your curiosity. Put in simplest terms, mental math can be defined as calculations performed in your head – mentally – without help of any external device be it as simple as pen and paper or any modern day device such as calculator, computer or any other electronic gadget.

We humans perform mental mathematical calculations everyday, consciously and unconsciously. When you are driving you figure out when to apply brakes to bring the vehicle to stop before hitting something. You figure out time difference between east coast and west coast. But where we falter is at the simplest and most mundane of calculations. Go to a restaurant and figure out 18% gratuity.

Abacus Mental Mathematics

What is abacus mental mathematics? Origin of Abacus is highly disputed today, some say it originated in Mesopotamia and some claim to be in China. Over centuries, abacus has evolved in to various different forms and sizes. The most commonly used is the Japanese Soroban Abacus.

The Soroban Abacus consists of one upper row and four lower rows and columns vary from thirteen, fifteen, seventeen or twenty one. It is claimed and proven by many researchers in Asia that Abacus stimulates whole brain development. When children use both hands to move the abacus beads to perform arithmetic calculations, there is quick communication between the hands and the brain that stimulates both the right and left hemispheres of the brain. This promotes rapid, balanced whole brain development.

If a child starts learning the abacus before being taught traditional arithmetic, there is minimal conflict and the child will easily work within both systems. If a child starts the program later, having already received traditional foundations, there may be a slightly extended learning period for the child to accept and integrate the abacus method.

Vedic Mental Mathematics

What is Vedic mental mathematics? Origin of Vedic Mathematics is in Atharva Veda (Holy Scripture from Hinduism). Vedic mathematics is a system based on sixteen sutras (aphorisms) which are actually word-formulae describing natural ways of solving a whole range of mathematical problems. These formulae describe the way the mind naturally works and are therefore a great help in directing the student to the appropriate method of solution.

It is claimed and proven by many researchers in Asia that practice and use of Vedic mathematics helps the person in many different aspects of decision making. From intelligent guessing to thinking outside the box ability. Vedic mathematics has its applications to much advanced mathematics, such as calculus and linear algebra. The sixteen sutras are: By one more than the one before, All from 9 and the last from 10, Vertically and crosswise, Transpose and apply, If the Samuccaya is the same it is zero, If one is in ratio the other is zero, By addition and by subtraction, By the completion or non-completion, Differential calculus, By the deficiency, Specific and general, The remainders by the last digit, The ultimate and twice the penultimate, By one less than the one before, The product of the sum, and All the multipliers

Today, both these methods have made a come back in Asia. Abacus Mental Math method is extremely popular in nations of China, Taiwan, Japan, Malaysia, Korea and India whereas Vedic Mental Math method is extremely popular only in India.

By: Shilpa Rao

Shilpa Rao is an experienced mental math tutor. Learn more about abacus math and vedic math

So it appears that mental math can truly help your child.

What do you think?

 

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Learn Math The New Old Way

I found this interesting article on the abacus. Who knew just how important an old mathematical tool could be?

 

Ancient Asian Calculating Tool May Hold Key To Boosting Children’s Mental Math Skills

A growing number of American educators and concerned parents are looking for ways to help children develop the math skills necessary to succeed in the careers of the future.

In Asia, many schools have rediscovered the secrets of the abacus, an ancient calculating device that offers remarkable benefits for nurturing young minds and encouraging proficiency in mathematics and mental calculation. With abacus instruction, children can achieve much more than just excellent math skills. Abacus use can build confidence, provide a sense of achievement, promote intuitive thinking, enhance problem-solving capability, stimulate creativity, and improve concentration and mental endurance.

Educators in Asia say abacus skills are a key reason children in these countries consistently win top rankings in international math comparisons. Many schools in Asia, where abacus instruction is widely popular for teaching mental math/arithmetic, introduce the abacus between kindergarten and 4th grade.
U.S. Student Math Performance Lags Behind Asia

In 2003, U.S. performance in mathematics literacy and problem solving was lower than average among OECD (Organization for Education and Cooperative Development) countries. Korea and Japan ranked at or near the top in problem solving and combined math literacy.

In the United States, abacus instruction is catching in some schools as well as among parents who home-school their children.

They realize that math proficiency gives students. a competitive edge and prepares them for tomorrow’s highly selective job marketplace. Most new jobs in the U.S. require good math and science skills, and abacus instruction is geared to helping children master mental math/arithmetic at an early age.

Abacus training also keeps children from becoming overly dependent on electronic calculating tools for simple arithmetic – a problem that worries teachers.

The abacus is an excellent substitute for rote memorization of multiplication tables. Abacus calculation relies on the manipulation of beads rather than use of traditional arithmetic. It teaches children to visualize numbers and their relationships and placement values.

Abacus Stimulates Whole Brain Development

When children use both hands to move the abacus beads to perform arithmetic calculations, there is quick communication between the hands and the brain that stimulates both the right and left hemispheres of the brain. This promotes rapid, balanced whole brain development.

If a child starts learning the abacus before being taught traditional arithmetic, there is minimal conflict and the child will easily work within both systems. If a child starts the program later, having already received traditional foundations, there may be a slightly extended learning period for the child to accept and integrate the abacus method.

A popular abacus program is available through Fairfax, Virginia-based NurtureMinds.com, which offers books containing simple step-by-step instructions that make learning the abacus fun for children. This set of books, Learning Mathematics with the Abacus, was developed specifically for teaching youngsters in grades 2, 3 and 4 how to master mental math/arithmetic with the abacus. The site also offers the Japanese Soroban abacus, which consists of a wooden frame divided into 2 parts separated by a beam, with one row of beads on the upper deck, and four rows on the lower deck.

Japanese Educators Hail Abacus Training

In Japan, educators maintain that the abacus helps children develop powers of mental calculation. It enables children to:

understand the base-ten number system and place values,
understand concepts of carrying and borrowing in arithmetic, and
visualize close relations between numbers and numerals..

Learning Mathematics with the Abacus is available in the United States exclusively through NurtureMinds.com. Beginners use the Learning Mathematics with the Abacus Year 1 textbook and activity book to start adding and subtracting numbers up to 100. They start by identifying the different parts of the abacus, holding and using it correctly, mastering the correct fingering technique in moving the beads, and learning to visualize as they calculate.
Learning Mathematics with the Abacus Year 2 focuses on addition and subtraction of numbers up to 1,000, and develops multiplication and division skills.

Activities in these books have been carefully designed and structured by a panel of academicians, curriculum specialists and instructional designers to ensure that pupils not only learn mathematics effectively, but also develop the ability to perform mental calculations.

These books are used by tens of thousands of students in Malaysia and many other nations, where they are regarded as the best abacus learning books for children on the market.

Parents and educators can visit the NutureMinds.com website to find out more about why these books are becoming increasingly popular in many countries like Malaysia, the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, India, Singapore and elsewhere. They have become valuable abacus teaching tools in schools, tuition centers and community centers, and are used by home-schooling parents around the world. The website offers free downloads from the books.
For additional information on the abacus instruction program, please visit NurtureMinds.com

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By: NurtureMinds

Article Directory: http://www.articledashboard.com

So if you’re ready to get your abacus, you can find one here:
.

Melissa & Doug Classic Wooden Abacus
publisher: Melissa and Doug
ASIN: B00005BVRQ
EAN: 0000772004930
sales rank: 442
price: $6.99 (new)

 

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Isn’t it amazing how sometimes the old becomes new?!?

Have a great day!

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