Let’s face it: math is far from appearing on many students’ list of favorite subjects.
Whether for the content itself, often abstract, or for the collective block that surrounds the discipline, it has become almost a consensus that the subject is, in essence, difficult to learn. With that, the easiest option seems to be to put aside the study and the aversion to calculations without a resolution – just like so many theorems that have been around for centuries. That’s what a lot of people do until a certain stage of life.
The problem is that, when college entrance exams knock on the door, ignoring the numbers is no longer an option. In this text, the columnist of GUIA DO ESTUDANTE, Susane Ribeiro, explains why the correct answers in mathematics are the ones that can increase the grade in the Enem (National High School Exam) compared to other subjects charged in the exam. For pre-university students, facing calculations is an unavoidable task, but it doesn’t have to be a martyrdom.
+ The importance of the Pythagorean theorem and mathematics, in addition to proofs
And if we tell you that Is there a book capable of transforming mathematics into something more intuitive in our daily lives and even pleasurable, with stories that resemble the tales of “One Thousand and One Nights”? For this book exists, and once you know it, your relationship to calculus and theorems will never be the same.
The Man Who Calculated
Written by Malba Tahan, “The Man Who Calculated” tells the adventures of Beremiz Samir, a Persian traveler with great aptitude for mathematical calculations. During his travels in the Middle East, the narrator of the book tells the mathematical adventures of Beremiz, who is always faced with everyday situations that somehow involve some kind of mathematical calculation.
The children’s book is perfect for those who want not only to learn mathematical calculations, but also their practical applications. Beremiz’s reality may, at first, seem distant from our reality, but as the book progresses, the reader realizes how easy it is to transpose situations into everyday life.
It is recommended reading both for those who still need mathematics in their studies, such as university entrance exams, as well as for those who wish to re-signify their relationship with the discipline.
The tales of “O Homem que Calculateva” elevate the exact science that is mathematics to the ludic level of stories and tales for the youngest, by inserting the calculations in a light and pleasant way, intrigued the reader about the solutions that Beremiz performs for the situations in which you find yourself.
In the book, one of the most famous examples of this feat is the tale where the unique adventure of the 35 camels that were to be shared by three Arab brothers is narrated. Beremiz Samir makes a division that seemed impossible, fully satisfying the three men – and still profiting a part of the inheritance for himself.
In addition to all the playful-narrative effect that brings the reader closer to mathematics, at the end of the book there is an appendix with all the accounts made by Beremiz in a more exact way, explaining the step by step of his mathematical reasoning.
Recommended as paradidactic reading in many schools, “The Man Who Calculated” was first published in 1938 and has never been reprinted since then.
The fact that the book has been present in bookstores all over Brazil since its first publication is not in vain: the simple and fictional narrative language that accompanies Beremiz’s mathematical feats manages to dialogue with the different generations that grew up with the work and that, at some point, moment in their lives, they felt a slight displeasure with mathematics.
And this success goes beyond the Portuguese language: the book has already been translated into Spanish, English, German, Italian, Dutch and Arabic editions.
The “Man Who Calculated” is able to completely transform the painful view we have about this exact science, by making it magical and, above all, possible. As possible as 1+1 is equal to 2.
The author behind the pseudonym
Despite what one might intuit about a book reminiscent of “The Thousand and One Nights”, “The Man Who Calculated” was written by a Brazilian! The teacher and pedagogue Júlio César de Melo e Sousa is the author of this book, which is one of the greatest references in the world of paradidactic books.
Júlio César was a pedagogue, professor of mathematics, and, above all, an excellent storyteller and fervent promoter of mathematical studies in Brazil.
Born on May 6, 1895, in the city of Rio de Janeiro, from an early age he showed a great aptitude for creating stories. He created the heteronym Malba Tahan to publish his books of short stories situated within the Arab universe, as he believed that a Brazilian teacher would not attract attention within this universe and context.
Get ready for the Enem without leaving home. Sign the Course I passed! of the STUDENT GUIDE and have access to all the Enem tests to take online and more than 180 video classes with professors from Poliedro, approval record holder in the most sought-after universities in the country.