New app to tackle maths crisis

TM Media PRUncategorizedNew app to tackle maths crisis

The country is in the grip of a maths crisis which has led to a skills gap in science, technology and engineering.

Maths phobia has led to an alarming decline in standards which forced the government to reform GCSEs in the subject last year.

National Numeracy Day on May 16 aims to reverse the trend that 17 million adults possess the mathematics skills of a schoolchild.

Poor numeracy skills costs the economy £20bn per year and has huge implications for the nations personal finances.

Even those who believe they are good with numbers are still victims to never ending credit card repayments, poor-value mortgage deals and a significant lack of savings for retirement due to a lack of understanding figures.

But cZeus Maths Challenger, a new app which will be tested on students at Imperial College, will cure the nation’s maths malaise and help bridge the skills gap, according to professors who say that anyone can be a maths genius with the right practice.

The app is being launched mid-June and differs from other numeracy apps because it gamifies maths theory and provides a fun way for players to practice basic skills as well as learning more complicated concepts without having to know the underlying maths theory.

Rather than learn by rote, players pick up maths skills naturally without even realising. And cZeus also allows multiplayer games, adding a social element in which players can compete against each other for rewards and status.

The versatile app combines logic, numeracy, agility and memory skills in one puzzle and is suitable for any age group and any level, from school children to students to adults.

It has been developed in line with national curriculum requirements and can be used to reinforce classroom learning and encourage numeracy play. Only basic number skills are required to enjoy it.

Theoretical Computer Science Emeritus Professor Ray Turner of Essex University endorses the app.

He said: “This is a great way to get the interest of a wider range of people with no formal mathematical training in such an important discipline. cZeus is more powerful than other brain training games as it teaches a real-life skill and has the potential to play an important role in changing the cultural attitudes towards maths education in general.”

Former maths professor at Stirling University, Jon Greenman believes maths should be something people enjoy, rather than fear.

He said: “cZeus is a thoroughly absorbing game based on a smart idea and has the potential to take the player further along the path to a deeper appreciation and enjoyment of mathematics.”

cZeus Maths Challenger was developed by Dr Shohreh Blank, whose background in applied mathematics led to an interesting career in investment and fund management.

She realised that the maths skills gap was largely as a result of the way maths is perceived and practiced.

She said: “I noticed there were no interesting puzzles and games for the regular practice of numeracy and logic compared to crosswords and Scrabble for languages. I strongly believe that shortcomings in maths skills are a result of the lack of opportunities for practice and fun in a social environment.”

cZeus Maths Challenger will be available in the UK on Apple and Android platforms by mid-June and released in other English speaking markets throughout summer. It will be released in Portuguese in Dec 2018 and French, German, Italian, Japanese in 2019.

 

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