By Michael Hartley
I guess, when your grandfather and grandmother and mother are educators, and your father has a Ph.D, it's not surprising if you also turn out to be passionate about education. I'm Michael Hartley, the webmaster of Dr Mike's Math Games for Kids, and on this page I'd like to tell you a little about myself and what drives me.
I've always loved mathematics. My folks told me once that when I was three, I could already recognize the numbers up to a hundred. In grade 4, I couldn't see the point of splitting numbers into columns before adding, since I already doing that mentally. In grade six, I once ended a creative writing piece "My pet alphabet's done/to my satisfaction/I'd rather indulge/in decimal subtraction. Yes, I was a through-and-through math geek.
But it's not about geekiness. I just enjoyed math. The more I enjoyed it, the more I played with it. The more I played, the better were my math skills. And the better my skills, the more I enjoyed the topics. Being surrounded by encouraging parents and teachers only helped fuel this virtuous cycle of math.
Michael Hartley, The guy behind Dr Mike's Math Games for Kids
Entering university, I guess it was natural that I'd be drawn towards a science degree specialising in mathematics, continuing with a Masters degree, later switching to a doctorate specialising in looking for patterns in symmetries of geometric figures. When I finally finished that, I was officially Dr Mike.
After I graduated, I moved to Malaysia to work as a lecturer in mathematics and computer science. There I met my wife and started this website. I want to pack this website with game ideas and other tips for parents and teachers. I hope that the games here will help more kids enter the virtuous learning cycle I experienced - where fun with math reinforces skill with math, and vice-versa. If you have a story to tell of how this website has helped your child make a leap towards learning, do drop me a line. Emails like that tell me I'm on the right track!
In 2007 I returned from Malaysia to my hometown (Perth, Western Australia) to take up a job as a mathematician in the oil and gas industry. My job is to make computers smarter at helping people find oil and gas. This is one of many industries which needs a lot of math. In my spare time, I work on this website, adding new games, worksheets and more, testing them on my two school-aged sons.
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