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Ali Nesin

Ali Nesin Makes Math a Loveable Subject for Students who Deem It Nightmare

On 14 October 2010, Sabancı Foundation's "Turkey's Changemakers" program hosts Ali Nesin, a mathematics volunteer. Establishing a "Mathematics Village", Ali Nesin aims to make mathematics a loveable subject for students who think it is a nightmare.

Since 1996 Ali Nesin has been the Head of the Mathematics Department at Bilgi University. Besides teaching math within four walls of a class, Ali Nesin takes mathematics to a village full of students. For him, fear and lack of concentration are the two main barriers to success in mathematics. To overcome these barriers, Ali Nesin removes the fear of triggering factors, such as exams, punishments, and failing classes, and takes away TV, noise, loud music which undermine concentration. Besides mathematics, students also learn to live collectively by sharing village chores.

In the "Mathematics Village" students learn mathematics not only for school but also for life. Modeling, planning ahead, and estimating outcomes are some of the skills that students gain in the mathematics village. What Ali Nesin aims to achieve is not just to teach mathematics to students but also to cultivate mathematical thinking into young minds. Since 2007, the village has attracted more than 800 students coming from all around Turkey. Ali Nesin solves perhaps the most difficult mathematical problem: addressing the fear of mathematics with a new approach.

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