Why Over How

"In Mathematics, the art of proposing a question much be held of higher value than solving it."

~ Georg Cantor

About me

My name is Anurag Katyal and I like creating problems* for other people** :)

*At times, the problems are mathematical in nature. 

**Most of those times, those people happen to be my students. 

I moved to the US from India at the start of 11th grade and participating in Mu Alpha Theta run competitions gave me a taste for what Math really could be. In the past, it was merely a tool for solving computer science or science problems but after I was introduced to competition level problems at the State and National level, I saw the elegance that underlay the structure of Mathematics. That love for problem solving helped me score at the 99th percentile on the SAT I, SAT II, ACT and GRE math sections. 

While in graduate school for Mathematics, I started teaching courses for Broward and Palm Beach State College and fell in love with the process of helping students achieve their 'a-ha moment' as I so frequently had myself in the past.

Teaching Philosophy

I very strongly believe that if I can get someone to understand WHY something happens in Mathematics instead of just showing them HOW to solve a particular question, it not only addresses their fear of Math but also helps them get better at it. In some cases, I've even gotten some folks to start liking it...

Taking students on this transformational journey isn't frequently easy as they are typically used to a more traditional, lecture based model of education where a teacher explains how to solve a problem and then students parrot the procedure. There is immense inertia and resistance to change from both students and parents alike to change something that they have likely been used to for their entire lives. While this does work reasonably well for questions that are identical to the ones already solved, it does not help build critical thinking skills that are absolutely necessary to succeed in school, college and life, in general. Rarely will students engage in tasks in the future where they are simply copying a procedure taught to them once. 

With an Inquiry Based Learning approach towards building students' confidence in their own ability to do mathematics by asking the right questions, students gain far more than content knowledge. The benefits go beyond the cognitive into the affective realm as well.