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Future Teachers Learn About Go

Monday June 4, 2012

Chicago, IL, math teacher Xinming Simon Guo (at right in green shirt) introduced go to 10 pre-service teachers (teaching students) at  National Louis University on May 22. “I began my introduction to go by  pointing out the geometric shapes of circles and lines on the go board, allowing teachers to see connections between go and Number Theory,” reports Guo.  “Next I discussed the fundamental origin of go and the basic rules of the game, and then talked about the deep Chinese culture embedded in the game. These pre-service teachers started their first games on small 9×9 boards after they had learned two basic terms, “Qi” (“liberty”) and “Atari” (stones with only one qi left). After the games finished, we discussed how to integrate the game with Common Core State Standards of Math, which are internationally benchmarked standards and assessments to prepare students for success in college and the workplace.” Pre-service education is for student teachers, who have not yet taught in a classroom.   “Since I teach math, Chinese, and go, I am able to combine all of them in an approach to learning and problem-solving,” says Guo. “In my math classes I introduce go as a tool to cultivate number sense. Students can get an intuitive understanding of numbers, their magnitude, relationships, and how they are affected by operations. In my Chinese language classes, I introduce go with visual literacy, which helps beginners to learn numbers in Chinese. For advanced Chinese language learners, go can be one centerpiece to link the 5C standards for Foreign Language Learning in the 21st Century: Communication, Culture, Connections, Comparisons, and Communities. In my go class, math and Chinese language elements are threaded throughout the curriculum. The pre-service workshop was a very special opportunity for me,” said Guo, “because my students were teachers. If one teacher learns about go and is passionate about it, then his or her students will have more chances to touch this marvelous game,” added Guo. - Paul Barchilon, EJ Youth Editor; photo: Guo teaching kids at Lake Forest Academy.

 


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Instant replay saves the day in Evanston

Tuesday February 7, 2017

The Evanston Go Club hosted its Winter Wonderland tournament on Saturday, Feb 4. Turnout was excellent, with 34 players2017.02.07_evanston-counting attending, ranging in rank from 5d to 20k

“Special thanks go to Xinming Simon Guo for catching a counting error that changed the result of a game,” said TD Mark Rubenstein. Guo, the 2015 AGF Teacher of the Year and founder of the Go And Math Academy in Chicago, was video-ing the counting stage of the games. He planned to use the videos in his classes to demonstrate math concepts in the game of go.

One of the games ended with black winning by half a point. However, after the result had been entered by the TD, Guo was reviewing the 2017.02.07_evanston-playing-areavideo and noticed that there were seven black stones lined up on a row that was only six points long. “One of those stones didn’t belong there, it should have been put inside black’s territory. This is the first time I have ever seen a game result overturned based on an instant replay!” said Rubenstein.

Winners were: Na (Nicole) Pan 5d: 3-1, Daniel Puzan 2d: 5-0, William Torres Amesty 3k: 4-0, Scott Gerson 8k: 4-0, Crystal Lin 14k: 4-0, and a prize for most games played to David Rohde with 8 games. “Thanks to Yellow Mountain for providing awesome prizes!” says Rubenstein.

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Categories: U.S./North America
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Guo Named AGF Teacher of the Year

Sunday June 28, 2015

11209379_770514846401471_999873868351024353_nXinming Simon Guo 1d, of Chicago, Illinois, has been named the AGF Teacher of the Year, winning a free trip to the 2015 U.S. Go Congress in St. Paul, Minnesota. Guo has been active in youth go promotion for years, first partnering with the Confucius Institute in Chicago in the fall of 2012 to offer go instruction to Chinese language classrooms. “This program has been very successful,” Guo told the Journal. “Some schools requested more instructional hours, and some schools added go to their after-school program. More teachers joined this program in 2014 and 2015.  One school started a tournament after my introduction courses. Meanwhile, I have started to train teachers to meet the increasing demand for go in Chicago’s schools.”

In 2012, Guo founded the GoAndMath Academy, whose mission is “to use go to help develop students’ math ability, especially number sense.” In 2013 and 2014, Guo organized several workshops, one was to aid Chinese teachers in the Chicago area in bringing go to the classroom as a part of Chinese culture. The other two workshops were directed towards math teachers at ICTM (Illinois Council of Teachers of Mathematics) in October of 2013 and MMC (Metropolitan Mathematics Club of Chicago) in February of 2014. “During these workshops, I gave a presentation on the link between go and Common Core State Standards,” Guo told the E-Journal. “I taught teachers how to play go and how the game can be integrated into math classrooms. Specifically, the teachers learned ways to incorporate go to help students develop number sense and incorporate three domains in Common Core standards — Counting and Cardinality, Operations and Algebraic Thinking, Number and Operations in Base Ten.” Guo’s approach to integrating go into American school curricula affected about 3,500 students and 50 teachers in 2013, and subsequently 6,500 students in 2014.

“As a licensed math teacher and a go instructor, I will continue to research how go helps develop students’ number sense and other math abilities. Currently, I am designing a go and math curriculum that can be easily used in school settings, especially in math classrooms.” Guo is currently affiliated with over forty schools in the Chicago area, three universities, and three museums and libraries. Guo will give a talk at the US Go Congress on Monday, Aug. 3. “My plan is to let go players know that go can help math and it is correlated with the new Common Core Math Standards. This is a powerful research result to extend go to school programs, and this is what I have done for years. Usually I present this go and math correlation to math teachers and educators in conference. I will adjust it for go players.  I am a go player for math teachers and math teacher for go players,” adds Guo. -EJ special report, by Amy Su. Photo: Guo (standing) teaching kids, from GoandMath Academy’s Facebook page.

 

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Nash Shares 2015 Abel Prize

Monday April 6, 2015

The Norwegian Academy of Sciences and Letters has decided to award the Abel Prize for 2015 to the American mathematicians John F. Nash Jr.2015.04.05_beautiful-mind-go (left)  2015.04.05_Two_Mathematical_Giants_Share_2015_Abel_Prize_mland Louis Nirenberg “for striking and seminal contributions to the theory of nonlinear partial differential equations and its applications to geometric analysis.” Outside mathematics, Nash is best known for a paper he wrote about game theory, the mathematics of decision-making, which ultimately won him the 1994 Nobel Prize for economics, and which features prominently in the 2001 film about him, A Beautiful Mind. That film included a scene of Nash — played by Russell Crowe (left, in photo at right) —  playing go at Princeton that sparked interest in the game after the film’s release.
- Scientific Computing

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