American Math Competition 10 (2008-2009)

This two hours course, “American Math Competition”, is designed for challenging
students strongly interested in math competitions, mainly for AMC (American
Math Competitions) series. AMC has three levels: the AMC8 is for students in
grades 8 and below; the AMC10 is for students in grades 10 and below; and the
AMC12 is for students in grades 12 and below. The course starts with AMC8 but
will quickly lead to AMC10 and AMC12. AMC8 is equivalent to or higher than
popular MathCounts which is designed for middle
school students in grades 6-8. The course will teach various math techniques to
solve broad range of math puzzles. At the same time, students will have a
lot of hand-on experience by exploring series of AMC activities. The motto of National
Council of Teachers of Mathematics proclaims: "Do math and
you can do anything". The school can’t promise but only wish that the
students in my class can do anything after finishing this challenging course. Bon
Voyage!

Course requirement:

Due to the contents of this course, it requires 9th grade or above.

Course outline (fall session):

Lesson 1: Introduction to Math: stories about Guass and Euler

Lesson 2-4: AMC8 exercises

Lesson 5: All about circles: cord, arc, secant, power of point, Ptolemy
equality and inequality, homothetic center

Lesson 6-8: AMC10 exercises

Lesson 9: All about triangles: centroid, inscribed circle and
incenter, circumcircle and circumcenter, altitudes and orthocenter, Euler
line and Heron theorem

Lesson 10-12: AMC10 exercises

Lesson 13: Let's count

Lesson 14-15: AMC10 exercises

Lesson 16: course project Rubik's cube

Course outline (spring session):

Lesson 1-4: AMC10 exercises

Lesson 5: All about numbers: # of factors, sum of all factors, Euler theorem,
phi function

Lesson 6: continuous fractions, Diophantine equation,
Pell’s equation

Lesson 7-16: AMC10 exercises

Lesson 17: Let's celebrate

Chess I

The course will cover a variety of important chess topics including but not limited to: chess principles, Queen’s Gambit Declined and Colle System for white openings, Sicilian Defense for black openings, endgames, tactics (more than 1000 chess puzzles which I have compiled), annotated games form Kasparov, Tarrasch, Capablanca and Alekhine (every move will be explained), checkmate patterns and analyzing student games. Chess playing will be very limited during the classes due to the valuable lecture time. There will be a lot of activities in the class as well as in tournaments for the students. They will have excitements and despair, ups and downs, wins and losses. But the most important things about chess, as my son puts it, are “beat other kids, win trophies, make friends and have a lot of fun”. With professional chess teacher charging $30-40 an hour, you can’t beat this $68 a semester chess course. This course requires students to have basic chess knowledge such as basic chess principles, checkmate and stalemate, pawn vs. king ending, knowing how to checkmate with a single rook or two bishops, solve one or two move puzzles.

Chess II

The course will continue the main themes as Advanced Chess I. Moreover and unique for this course, during the first half of the semester, I will cover and explain 50 basic fascinating and beautiful checkmate patterns contained in How to Beat Your Dad at Chess such as back rank mate, Arabian mate, smothered mate, and Fisher Trap etc. During the second half of the semester, I will cover and explain 50 basic famous and wonderful chess tactics contained in Chess Tactics for Kidssuch as Greek sacrifice, stalemates, zwischenzug etc. Every week's exercises are based on the lessons. This course requires students to have basic chess knowledge such as basic chess principles, checkmate and stalemate, pawn vs. king ending, knowing how to checkmate with a single rook or two bishops, solve one or two move puzzles. These two books are available at Amazon: How to Beat Your Dad at Chess and Chess Tactics for Kids.