The Math All Star program originates from a series of lessons given to a group of gifted students who love math and are interested in participating various math competitions such as MathCounts, AMC, AIME etc. These lectures aim to strengthen their problem solving skills. Over the time, the Math All Star program has attracted more and mor students from both US nationwide and abroad. This website is set up for those students, their tutors and parents who are interested in our program.
It is our observation that many students hope to improve their math skills mainly by practicing historical problem sets and studying their solutions.
We believe this is neither an effective nor an efficient way, especially given the fact that students all have busy schedules nowadays. Competition math involves many topics that are not discussed in classrooms, therefore new to students. When learning school math, students are always urged to study textbooks and thoroughly understand all new topics before working on homework and taking exams. They should do the same when learning competition math.
Practicing is a way to reinforce what is learned and to discover weak areas for improvement. Studying solutions is a good way to deepen understanding of important concepts and polish specific problem solving techniques. However, solely relying on it without having structured study first is not only time consuming but also less effective. Meanwhile, this kind of practice often leads students to focus too much on solving individual problem at hand, and to miss the overall big picture. This will surely have negative impact on their progress.
At Math All Star, we emphasize the importance of structured learning which includes studying different types of similar problems (i.e.patterns) and their respective solutions (i.e.techniques). Doing this can provide students with a solid foundation to develop the ability to choose the most appropriate solutions for specific problems. Armed with these skills, students will then be able to get the most out of problem practing and solution studying. We believe this is the most effective and efficient way to improve competition math skills.