The following analysis by a nationally-respected, University of Chicago Mathematics PhD and math education expert, 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 PhD's kids, who helped to playtest Yamie Chess as part of her review. This page includes copyrighted material by Professor Ashley Ahlin, PhD and has been split into sections below for your ease of reference.

University of Chicago

Professor Ashley Reiter Ahlin, PhD, Mathematics, University of Chicago.
A nationally-recognized math educator and leading Vanderbilt math lecturer, University of Chicago Mathematics PhD, 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.

1.  Introduction 2.  UChicago Professor Ahlin's of Yamie Chess 3.  More about the Expert 4.  Suggested Reading and Related Articles Introduction

University of Chicago Mathematics PhD, 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®


Top-quoteA University of Chicago Mathematics PhD's analysis of Yamie Chess: The Adventures of Tigermore and the Mind Angels®

By Prof. Ashley Ahlin, PhD, Mathematics, University of Chicago

Date: November 18, 2013

Copyright © 2013 Professor Ashley Ahlin, PhD All Rights Reserved.

Permission to reprint this educational article on Yamie Chess Ltd's website was directly obtained from Professor Ahlin, PhD, in writing.

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.

university of chicago-math-expert-phdProblems 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.Bottom-quote

More about the Expert

book iconA University of Chicago Mathematics PhD, Professor Ashley Reiter Ahlin, was the first female to win a medal at National MATHCOUNTS.

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.

Suggested Reading and Related Articles
In alphabetical order by expert's surname:
Harvard University MathematicianHarvard University mathematics expert, Professor Christian Hermann Hesse, M.S., PhD
Read an official product endorsement from Harvard University Math Professor Christian Hesse, M.S., PhD, who is an internationally-renowned mathematics expert, respected chess authority and bestselling author. After teaching math at Harvard, at graduate level, Professor Hesse was on the mathematics faculty of the University of California at Berkeley until 1991. He is a Fulbright Scholar and the recipient of Stanford University's Alan Abrams Memorial Prize.--[ Read Professor Hesse's educational analysis ]
Massachusetts Institute of TechnologyMassachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Mathematics, PhD, Professor Michael Ching
One of America's leading math educators, read Massachusetts Institute of Technology-trained Professor Michael Ching, PhD's educational analysis. Professor Ching is a former Professor of Mathematics from Johns Hopkins University and University of Georgia, and is currently on the mathematics faculty at Amherst College in New England. Professor Ching is also a Kennedy Scholar and graduate honors mathematician from Trinity College, Cambridge University.--[ Read Professor Ching's full analysis ]
American International Master of ChessWarner Bros. Pictures' Harry Potter chess consultant, International Master Jeremy Silman
Read International Master Jeremy Silman's educational analysis of Yamie Chess. Renowned for his famous chess books and as a preeminent international chess educator, IM Silman is an American International Master of Chess and the winner of the American Open, the National Open, and the U.S. Open. IM Silman provided vital pre-publication support to Yamie Chess Ltd during the developmental stages of the first Yamie Chess math learning product.--[ Read International Master Jeremy Silman's full analysis ]
jennifer-shahade-international-master-usa-chess-champion2-time United States chess champion and Women's Grandmaster Jennifer Shahade
The greatest American-born woman chess player in America's history, read U.S. Chess Champion WGM Jennifer Shahade's educational analysis of Yamie Chess. WGM Shahade is also Yamie Chess Ltd's resident classic chess advisor and principal educator on our main product line of K-8 math learning aids in Yamie Chess Ltd's math series.--[ Read United States chess champion Jennifer Shahade's full analysis ]
California Institute of TechnologyCalifornia Institute of Technology engineering graduate, Gerardo Morabito, B.S. (Caltech)
Read Caltech engineer Gerardo Morabito's educational analysis. A graduate of the California Institute of Technology, Mr Morabito is a professional U.S. mechanical engineer, and the founder and former president of the Caltech American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) Caltech Chapter.--[ Read Gerardo Morabito's full analysis ]
State of Arizona 7th and 8th Grade Science TeacherState of Arizona 7th and 8th Grade Science Teacher and Specialist, Mrs Jena Phillips, B.S, MEd
Read Northern Arizona University Middle school math and science teacher, Mrs Jena Phillips' educational analysis of Yamie Chess.Mrs Phillips has over 15 years teaching experience from Title 1 and SLD to academic interventions and gifted students. Mrs Phillips runs an award-winning education blog, Caught in the Middle: A blog about life teaching in the mostly overlooked middle grades, which provides a fascinating glimpse into her work, which involves teaching children everyday.--[ Read Mrs Jena Phillips' educational analysis ]
Louisiana Tech UniversityLouisiana Tech University Academic Director & Program Chair of Mathematics Faculty
Read Professor Bernd S. W. Schröder PhD's educational analysis. Professor Schröder is the Edmondson/Crump Professor of Mathematics, Academic Director and Program Chair of the Department of Mathematics and Statistics at Louisiana Tech University. An internationally-respected math expert, Professor Schröder earned a PhD in mathematics from Kansas State University.--[ Read Professor Schröder's full analysis ]
Illinois 7th Grade math teacherIllinois 7th Grade math teacher and Middle Childhood Education specialist Elizabeth Gates
An experienced State of Illinois math teacher who was interviewed as an award-winning educational writer by Teacher Certification Degrees, read Elizabeth Gates' educational analysis of Yamie Chess. Ms Gates teaches children everyday and holds a B.A. in Middle Childhood Education with endorsements in Math, Social Studies and Reading, from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio.--[ Read Ms Elizabeth Gates' full analysis ]
International Master Thomas J BartellU.S. International Master of Chess, NJ and PA chess champion, IM Thomas J Bartell
Read International Master Thomas J Bartell's educational analysis. IM Bartell is a four-time New Jersey Chess Champion and Pennsylvania chess champion. He is ranked by FIDE as one of the Top 100 National USA chess players active today, he coaches on and Internet Chess Club.--[ Read International Master Bartell's full analysis ] is certified by the kidSAFE Seal Program.
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