Tag Archives: God

Pi Day in Singapore

Thousands of students around the world celebrate Pi Day today, but local math students in Singapore can only dream of being part of this annual mathematical event. Singapore math students, teachers, and parents don’t (and can’t) celebrate Pi Day, as long as they officially follow the British style of writing their dates (DD/MM/YY).

What makes matters worse is that this year, Pi Day falls on the first day of the one-week school break, which makes it almost impossible for hardcore math teachers, who want to buck the calendrical trend, to get their students excited about the properties and beauties of the number Pi.

Until Singapore switches to the American style of writing dates (MM/DD/YY), which may not happen, at least during my lifetime, however, this shouldn’t prevent us from evangelizing the gospel of Pi among the local student population.

Here are seven e-gifts of the holy Pi, which I started musing about 314 minutes ago on this Pi Day.

Pi Day vs. Abacus Day


A 14-Month Year for Singapore ONLY!


Where Are You in Pi?


Heavenly Pi


The Numerology (or Pseudoscience) of Pi


In Remembrace of the Late Singapore PM 


Biblical Pi vs. Mathematical Pi


Happy Pi Day!

© Yan Kow Cheong, March 14, 2016.

Hungry ghosts don’t do Singapore math

In Singapore, every year around this time, folks who believe in hungry ghosts celebrate the one-month-long “Hungry Ghost Festival” (also known as the “Seventh Month”). The Seventh Month is like an Asian equivalent of Halloween, extended to one month—just spookier.

If you think that these spiritual vagabonds encircling the island are mere fictions or imaginations of some superstitious or irrational local folks who have put their blind faith in them, you’re in for a shock. These evil spirits can drive the hell out of ghosts agnostics, including those who deny the existence of such spiritual beings.


Hell money superstitious [or innumerate] folks can buy for a few bucks to pacify the “hungry ghosts.”

During the fearful Seventh Month, devotees would put on hold major life decisions, be it about getting married, purchasing a house, or signing a business deal. If you belong to the rational type, there’s no better time in Singapore to tie the knot (albeit there’s no guarantee that all your guests would show up on your D-Day); in fact, you can get the best deal of the year if your wedding day also happens to fall on a Friday 13—an “unlucky date” in an “unlucky month.”

Problem solving in the Seventh Month

I have no statistical data of the number of math teachers, who are hardcore Seventh Month disciples, who would play it safe, by going on some “mathematical fast” or diet during this fearful “inaupicious month.” As for the rest of us, let’s not allow fear, irrationality, or superstition to paralyze us from indulging into some creative mathematical problem solving.

Let’s see how the following “ghost” word problem may be solved using the Stack Method, a commonly used problem-solving strategy, slowing gaining popularity among math educators outside Singapore (which has often proved to be as good as, if not better than, the bar method in a number of problem-situations).

During the annual one-month-long Hungry Ghost Festival, a devotee used 1/4 and $45 of the amount in his PayHell account to buy an e-book entitled That Place Called Hades. He then donated 1/3 and $3 of the remaining amount to an on-line mortuary, whose members help to intercede for long-lost wicked souls. In the end, his PayHell account showed that he only had $55 left. How much money did he have at first?

Try solving this, using the Singapore model, or bar, method, before peeking at the quick-and-dirty stack-method solutions below.


From the stack drawing,
2 units = 55 + 13 + 15 + 15 = 98
4 units = 2 × 98 = 196

He had $196 in his PayHell account at first.

Alternatively, we may represent the stack drawing as follows:


From the model drawing,
2 units = 15 + 15 + 13 + 55 = 98
4 units = 2 × 98 = 196

The devotee had $196 in his account at first.

Another way of solving the “ghost question” is depicted below.


From the stack drawing,
6u = 55 + 13 + 15 + 15 = 98
12u = 2 × 98 = 196

He had $196 in his PayHell account at first.

A prayerful exercise for the lost souls

Let me end with a “wicked problem” I initially included in Aha! Math, a recreational math title I wrote for elementary math students. My challenge to you is to solve this rate question, using the Singapore bar method; better still, what about using the stack method? Happy problem solving!


How would you use the model, or bar, method to solve this “wicked problem”?
Yan, K. C. (2006). Aha! math! Singapore: SNP Panpac Education. 
© Yan Kow Cheong, August 28, 2013.


A businessman won this “lucky” urn with a $488,888 bid at a recent Hungry Ghost Festival auction.

17 Theomatical Haikus for Math Educators

Composing some Theomatics-related haikus may prove therapeutic for stressful math educators, who are prone to overusing their left part of the brain. Why not let these 17-syllabled verses reactivate some atrophied part of your grey matter? Who knows? This right-brained activity may indirectly help rekindle your mathematical creativity!

The Trinity

The True Living God
Ever Three and ever One
A mystery, indeed!

Christ And Mathematics Education (C.A.M.E)

Come to worship Him
Christ and math education

Theomatics, Anyone?

Teach math Christianly 
As an act of true worship
It sure honors Him


Two Conference Proceedings of the Association of Christians in the Mathematical Sciences (ACMS)

Pi in the Sky

The Biblical pi
Is a rational number
From the Book of Kings

π = 3.14 and John 3:16

So close, yet so far
Rational and eternal
The union is null.

The X-tian Pi

The true Christian life
Is like the contextual pi
Constantly changing


The molten sea as described in 1 Kings 7:23. © The Golem Press


Learning math with God
It’s time to take up your cross
To shake up your brain



A Divine Paradox

100 percent man
And 100 percent God, too
What a paradox!

God’s Nature

The nature of God
1 + 1 + 1 (mod 2)
Same, yet different

The Most Quoted Verse

What’s John 3:16?
God’s numerical message
Of His Love for us


A treat for the mind, the eyes, and the spirit


Singapore Math

The Model Method
A blessed strategy
For problem solvers


A little red dot
Has blessed math educators
From all walks of life

Our Servant Math

In one God we serve
May His Spirit guide us
To make math serve us

The Mathematical Book of Life

Conjectures and Proofs
The Great Mathematician
Will bless you with both


2 Kings 3:16 Calligraphy by Andrzej Kot (Poland)

What’s Prayer?

When illogic reigns
When 1 + 1 is not 2
When naught can be one

One Life, Two Unions

One plus one is one.
Then, one plus one turns to 3.
One plus one turns nought.

Primes & Priests

Both are hard to find.
They hold the key to success.
Have faith in them both!


Calligraphy by Hermann Zapf (Germany)



Yan, K. C. (2011). Mathematical haikus for Kiasuswww.singaporemathplus.com

© Yan Kow Cheong, May 18, 2013.