This is a nationally-respected, University of Chicago Mathematics Ph.D.'s and math education expert's analysis of Yamie Chess®, that took place as part of a series that Yamie Chess Ltd conducted with nationally-respected academics for parents and educators across America. This analysis involved the UChicago math Ph.D.'s kids, who helped to playtest Yamie Chess® as part of her review.
This page includes copyrighted material by Professor Ashley Ahlin, Ph.D. and has been split into sections below for your ease of reference.
Professor Ashley Reiter Ahlin, Ph.D., Mathematics, University of Chicago.
A nationally-recognized math educator and leading Vanderbilt math lecturer, University of Chicago Mathematics Ph.D., Professor Ashley Reiter Ahlin, who has been on the Mathematics Faculty at Vanderbilt University as a Senior Mathematics Lecturer since 2002, offers a fair and balanced expert analysis of the Yamie Chess® math learning aid for STEM education.
2. UChicago Professor Ahlin's analysis of Yamie Chess®
3. More about the Expert
4. Suggested Reading and Related Articles
University of Chicago Mathematics Ph.D., Professor Ashley Ahlin, is the Outreach Coordinator for the Michigan State University Mathematics Department. She has taught at the University of Chicago, the Maine School of Science and Mathematics, Vanderbilt University, and online for the Davidson Institute and the Art of Problem Solving. In Michigan, she started the East Lansing Elementary Math Circle in 2010, and supervises the East Lansing Middle Grades Math Circle.
Writing below pre-publication, Professor Ahlin carefully examined the Yamie Chess® math product, and states that Yamie Chess® is the best product she has seen for children to learn chess via an engaging fantasy storyline. As a stay-at-home mom, Professor Ahlin also found the product beneficial for home math learning, practicing problem solving skills and introducing chess to kids.
UChicago Professor Ahlin's analysis of Yamie Chess®
A University of Chicago Mathematics Ph.D.'s analysis of Yamie Chess: The Adventures of Tigermore and the Mind Angels®
By Prof. Ashley Ahlin, Ph.D., Mathematics, University of Chicago
Date: November 18, 2013
Copyright © 2013 Professor Ashley Ahlin Ph.D. All Rights Reserved.
In Yamie Chess, children are invited into a world where imaginative creatures engage in battle via a chess game.
The Yamie Chess story can be seen as a braid, where chess, math problems, and the story of chess genius, Kimi, are interwoven.
Children whose interest is captured via any of the three will find themselves drawn into the others.
The book is chock full of engaging pictures, and the characters are interesting and accessible.
The protagonist is a likeable boy, and his team of chess pieces are appealing to children, including King Tigermore, Queen Belkina, horses, owls, rabbits, and a team of cute squirrels (pawns).
The “bad guys” carry their roles without being unduly scary for youngsters.
Mathematics problems are interspersed through the text and will both expose children to important mathematical results (e.g., Venn diagrams, finding the area of a triangle, and unit cancellation) and allow them opportunity to grow in mathematical reasoning.
Problems are labeled by grade level, allowing parents and teachers to target problems for students.
The range of problems is such that students will find opportunities to use ideas with which they are already comfortable, as well as to explore new mathematical ideas.
The book carefully introduces the pieces of chess and their moves, with fun stories related to each.
The strengths and weaknesses of each piece are carefully included, as well as a variety of tactics and strategies, which will strengthen kids’ chess games.
My own children (ages 7 and 9) were very interested in the book; they reported that both the story and the chess game were very exciting.
While reading through the book, chess became one of their favorite activities, as they traced the game played out in the book, as well as playing their own games with tactics they read about.
They also enjoyed solving the math problems as they worked through the text.
A wide variety of scientific concepts are also referenced, ranging from electric charges to the concept of diffusion.
This provides an opportunity for children to become familiar with these scientific terms and ideas in the context of a fun story.
Yamie Chess has an imaginative storyline with potential to greatly increase children’s interest in both math and chess.
The book offers a clear and accessible introduction to the game of chess, and a story which draws students into a deeper understanding of strategies helpful in chess.
Yamie Chess is the best product I’ve seen for children to learn chess via an engaging fantasy storyline.
More about the Expert
In High school, Professor Ahlin was on the U.S. Chemistry Olympiad team, attended RSI (Research Science Institute), and won first place in the Westinghouse Science Talent Search (now Intel). Professor Ahlin later served on the MATHCOUNTS problem writing committee and spoke at the national awards banquet.
Professor Ahlin has taught math at the high school and college levels; as a Senior Lecturer at Vanderbilt University, Michigan State University and the Maine School of Science and Mathematics; as a guest math lecturer in the Worldwide Online Olympiad Training (WOOT), and in summer programs for all age levels. Professor Ahlin is the Camp Director of the Michigan State University Mathematics Department Summer Camp. Professor Ahlin is a stay-at-home mom with her three kids.
Visit the author's professional profile at Vanderbilt University »
Suggested Reading and Related Articles
Yamie Chess Ltd works with six math Ph.D.s from top U.S. universities.