Sunday, November 16, 2008

Excellent new resource for problem solving

The Art of Problem Solving website has an excellent new resource available called Alcumus. (If you're curious about the name Alcumus, it comes from Greek mythology. Alcumus was the father of Mentor.)

It is currently available for FREE on the Art of Problem Solving website.

Alcumus could also be an excellent resource for newer math circle students who have not had the benefit of much prior exposure to topics like combinatorics. If you are thinking about going to the Harvard-MIT Math Tournament this year, the Alcumus tutorial could be a great way to get help on some of the trickier topics in combinatorics.

Alcumus has a large supply of excellent problems with detailed solution explanations, and the problem selection system is "adaptive," which means that Alcumus will select appropriate problems for a student based on the ones they've gotten correct and incorrect so far.

After you've successfully solved 60 problems, you can get access to the best problem solving teaching videos I've ever seen!

I highly recommend this resource. If you are a veteran who is coaching younger students, you can learn a lot about good ways to present problem solving skills by watching the videos.

If you are a rookie and your background in problem solving has gaps in certain areas, Alcumus can help you identify those areas and work on them.

If you have very bright and curious younger siblings or friends in middle school who want a self-paced adaptive system to develop their problem-solving skills, this is also a great resource for them.

If you are a coach for younger students, there is even a way that you can easily monitor the progress of your students as they work through the problems. It will help you identify areas that are especially tricky for you students, so you can work on those at practices.

Right now, the site is primarily focusing on combinatorics. More topics will be added later.

As I said, it is currently available for free. Students who want to use will need to establish a free user account on the Art of Problem Solving (AoPS) website.

More details are here:

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