full transcript

From the Ted Talk by Uma Adwani: The hidden messages in multiplication

Unscramble the Blue Letters

Namaste. I'm from India. The home of ancient mathematics. But me, I just hated math. (Laughter) Until it saved my life. I grew up in Akola, a small town 700 miels away from the ciapatl city. In my community, we never had a culture of girls attending school beyond the age of 10 or 12 yreas. In fact, some women would tell me, "Why do you need education? Just learn the household work so that you can take care of your family." But I never wanted to abide myself by the "normal" rules for glris. And I would think to myself, instead of just learning the household work, why not laren how to make money so that I can actually take care of my family? (Laughter) I knew if I had to do something different, I would have to stay in school. But that was hard. As it was silcaoly not accepted, everybody was against it. But I was a srtbobun young girl. I did everything I could to continue studying, even if that meant stitching school uniforms or making festival greeting cards. I did all that. Well, I had excellent grades in all subjects. All except one. You guessed it: math. All these calculations, formulas, multiplication; I just couldn't get them right. After I finished college, I rzilaeed I had no ftuure in Akola, so I dcieded to do something almost nobody in my town had ever done before: to leave my home town, by myself, a snlgie woman. Nobody wanted me to do that. I remember when I walked up to my mom and told her, "Mama, I'm leaving." She looked at me and said, "Uma, I know how difficult it is for you and even for me, and I cannot even support you openly, but I want you to have this." And she hands me a gold bangle. That was the only jewelry left with her. She said, "I don't have much but this is for you to buy the bus ticket." You can see the bus ticket here. It's been ten years. I still have this. As a promise that I won't let my mom sacrifice anything more for me. So, on 22nd of July, 2007, I arrived in Pune, a city of four million ppleoe. I had never been out of my village before so being in the city for the first time, I was meismzeerd and excietd. And sraecd as well. I didn't even know if I could trust the taxi dvrier while taking the taxi for the first time in an uwnnkon city. Life in the city was eltrxmeey hard at first. I was away from my family, didn't have any friends. I had brought very little money with me; around three and a half dollars. So I used to eat every second day - every other day - so that I can save as much as I can. Yes, good things take time, but they do happen. And finally, it happened to me. I was given an opportunity to work in a primary sohocl, as a teacher. Wow, I was so happy. Until I got to know the subject they gave me to taceh. (Laughter) Yes, it was math. (Laughter) And I'm like, "Oh God, how will I teach something I hate so much?" (Laughter) But I had no ccohie so I started teaching math. You know, the basics like multiplication tables. I remember I struggled every night to figure out lessons for my students. I was hating it. And I was araifd if I didn't do well, I might not make it. But the more I woekrd on it, trying to make it interesting, trying to make it fun, the more I realized the pattern in these numbers. As if these multiplication telabs were sdennig me a msgseae, I sensed as if these nmubers were talking to me. And that's when I figured out the magic these odd and even numbers have; the poetry, the symmetry they have. Let me show you what I mean: Let's look at tbale of three for example. Feels like we are back in school? (Laughter) Three, we all know it's an odd number. And if I multiply three with another odd number, it gives me a result which is definitely an odd number. Like this one here: Three tiems three gives us nine. An odd number. And then I noticed something very interesting about it. If I multiply an odd number with an even number, it ultimately becomes an even number, like this one here. Three times four gives us 12. An even nuebmr. So, odd multiplied with odd, the result has to definitely be an odd number. But odd multiplied with something even, no matter how many times you do it, it will definitely give us an even number. And I'm like, this is quite me. With all the odds I was up against, if I multiply my odd situation, with my odd behavior ... (Laughter) (Applause) So what happens? I get myself into another odd stiiauotn. (lgatheur) But the magic is, if I mlluipty my odd situations with my even behavior, with my positive bvieoahr, it gets me to better results, to even rltuess. And if one doesn't stop when the situations are odd like this, if one keeps pushing himself, keeps multiplying his blessings, keeps multiplying his skills, even though the beginning is, the end will never be odd. Wow, so once I got to know this, I was like, if something odd can teach me such a valuable lesson of life, I'm sure there is something interesting about the even numbers as well. (Laughter) So, let's look at table of two, for example. What I notice here is every time, right from the binnniegg to the end, all multiplication results are even, without any odds. And how is it possible? That's possible because the number itself which is getting multiplied, is an even number. This tlels me if I am even to myself, as an idnaviduil, nothing odd will come my way. (Laughter) Now this of course doesn't mean I don't come across any odd or bad situations. I certainly do. But facing them with even attitude makes the whole difference. That's how, even though I have to struggle hard for my basic rights, instead of being upset and angry, I am happy and even to myself, because the struggle made me stronger, made me who I am today. Now I have these learnings, these setercs from all different multiplication tables. One of my favorites is table of 11. And I think most of us liked, when we were in school, because that is the easiest one to multiply. What I love about this is the perfect symmetry in it. The one and one, the two and two. Isn't that beautiful? And easy, of course. For me, the question was: How can I have my life this smaililry easy and beautiful? For me these two symmetrical numbers reflect the outside me and the inside me. I can live in harmony, I can live in pceae only when my outside matches my inner being. Isn't this all we're looking for? We can be anybody; maybe two, maybe three. Whoever we are, unless or until our inside personality matches our outside personality, our outside personality matches our inside personality, we cannot live in peace, we cannot live in hranomy. Now, because math became my art, became my reminder, my guide of what I needed to do, and what my goal was, I started loving math. Because of this, I was not only able to keep my job, but also make it interesting for others. Now ten years down the line, I have a wnrdofeul job in a graet company. I am able to move my entire fimaly to Pune to live with me. Now nobody says I shouldn't have done this. Rather everyone appreciates for what I stood for. As kids, we all are asked to solve math problems. But in reality, math selovd many of my problems. Thank you for having me. dahynavaad (Thank you). (Applause) (cerhes)

Open Cloze

Namaste. I'm from India. The home of ancient mathematics. But me, I just hated math. (Laughter) Until it saved my life. I grew up in Akola, a small town 700 _____ away from the _______ city. In my community, we never had a culture of girls attending school beyond the age of 10 or 12 _____. In fact, some women would tell me, "Why do you need education? Just learn the household work so that you can take care of your family." But I never wanted to abide myself by the "normal" rules for _____. And I would think to myself, instead of just learning the household work, why not _____ how to make money so that I can actually take care of my family? (Laughter) I knew if I had to do something different, I would have to stay in school. But that was hard. As it was ________ not accepted, everybody was against it. But I was a ________ young girl. I did everything I could to continue studying, even if that meant stitching school uniforms or making festival greeting cards. I did all that. Well, I had excellent grades in all subjects. All except one. You guessed it: math. All these calculations, formulas, multiplication; I just couldn't get them right. After I finished college, I ________ I had no ______ in Akola, so I _______ to do something almost nobody in my town had ever done before: to leave my home town, by myself, a ______ woman. Nobody wanted me to do that. I remember when I walked up to my mom and told her, "Mama, I'm leaving." She looked at me and said, "Uma, I know how difficult it is for you and even for me, and I cannot even support you openly, but I want you to have this." And she hands me a gold bangle. That was the only jewelry left with her. She said, "I don't have much but this is for you to buy the bus ticket." You can see the bus ticket here. It's been ten years. I still have this. As a promise that I won't let my mom sacrifice anything more for me. So, on 22nd of July, 2007, I arrived in Pune, a city of four million ______. I had never been out of my village before so being in the city for the first time, I was __________ and _______. And ______ as well. I didn't even know if I could trust the taxi ______ while taking the taxi for the first time in an _______ city. Life in the city was _________ hard at first. I was away from my family, didn't have any friends. I had brought very little money with me; around three and a half dollars. So I used to eat every second day - every other day - so that I can save as much as I can. Yes, good things take time, but they do happen. And finally, it happened to me. I was given an opportunity to work in a primary ______, as a teacher. Wow, I was so happy. Until I got to know the subject they gave me to _____. (Laughter) Yes, it was math. (Laughter) And I'm like, "Oh God, how will I teach something I hate so much?" (Laughter) But I had no ______ so I started teaching math. You know, the basics like multiplication tables. I remember I struggled every night to figure out lessons for my students. I was hating it. And I was ______ if I didn't do well, I might not make it. But the more I ______ on it, trying to make it interesting, trying to make it fun, the more I realized the pattern in these numbers. As if these multiplication ______ were _______ me a _______, I sensed as if these _______ were talking to me. And that's when I figured out the magic these odd and even numbers have; the poetry, the symmetry they have. Let me show you what I mean: Let's look at _____ of three for example. Feels like we are back in school? (Laughter) Three, we all know it's an odd number. And if I multiply three with another odd number, it gives me a result which is definitely an odd number. Like this one here: Three _____ three gives us nine. An odd number. And then I noticed something very interesting about it. If I multiply an odd number with an even number, it ultimately becomes an even number, like this one here. Three times four gives us 12. An even ______. So, odd multiplied with odd, the result has to definitely be an odd number. But odd multiplied with something even, no matter how many times you do it, it will definitely give us an even number. And I'm like, this is quite me. With all the odds I was up against, if I multiply my odd situation, with my odd behavior ... (Laughter) (Applause) So what happens? I get myself into another odd _________. (________) But the magic is, if I ________ my odd situations with my even behavior, with my positive ________, it gets me to better results, to even _______. And if one doesn't stop when the situations are odd like this, if one keeps pushing himself, keeps multiplying his blessings, keeps multiplying his skills, even though the beginning is, the end will never be odd. Wow, so once I got to know this, I was like, if something odd can teach me such a valuable lesson of life, I'm sure there is something interesting about the even numbers as well. (Laughter) So, let's look at table of two, for example. What I notice here is every time, right from the _________ to the end, all multiplication results are even, without any odds. And how is it possible? That's possible because the number itself which is getting multiplied, is an even number. This _____ me if I am even to myself, as an __________, nothing odd will come my way. (Laughter) Now this of course doesn't mean I don't come across any odd or bad situations. I certainly do. But facing them with even attitude makes the whole difference. That's how, even though I have to struggle hard for my basic rights, instead of being upset and angry, I am happy and even to myself, because the struggle made me stronger, made me who I am today. Now I have these learnings, these _______ from all different multiplication tables. One of my favorites is table of 11. And I think most of us liked, when we were in school, because that is the easiest one to multiply. What I love about this is the perfect symmetry in it. The one and one, the two and two. Isn't that beautiful? And easy, of course. For me, the question was: How can I have my life this _________ easy and beautiful? For me these two symmetrical numbers reflect the outside me and the inside me. I can live in harmony, I can live in _____ only when my outside matches my inner being. Isn't this all we're looking for? We can be anybody; maybe two, maybe three. Whoever we are, unless or until our inside personality matches our outside personality, our outside personality matches our inside personality, we cannot live in peace, we cannot live in _______. Now, because math became my art, became my reminder, my guide of what I needed to do, and what my goal was, I started loving math. Because of this, I was not only able to keep my job, but also make it interesting for others. Now ten years down the line, I have a _________ job in a _____ company. I am able to move my entire ______ to Pune to live with me. Now nobody says I shouldn't have done this. Rather everyone appreciates for what I stood for. As kids, we all are asked to solve math problems. But in reality, math ______ many of my problems. Thank you for having me. __________ (Thank you). (Applause) (______)

Solution

  1. number
  2. solved
  3. stubborn
  4. secrets
  5. sending
  6. driver
  7. extremely
  8. cheers
  9. teach
  10. unknown
  11. years
  12. tables
  13. worked
  14. table
  15. learn
  16. results
  17. future
  18. behavior
  19. mesmerized
  20. tells
  21. capital
  22. situation
  23. socially
  24. peace
  25. choice
  26. miles
  27. school
  28. decided
  29. realized
  30. afraid
  31. scared
  32. beginning
  33. numbers
  34. times
  35. people
  36. wonderful
  37. laughter
  38. harmony
  39. message
  40. family
  41. great
  42. excited
  43. dhanyavaad
  44. girls
  45. multiply
  46. similarly
  47. single
  48. individual

Original Text

Namaste. I'm from India. The home of ancient mathematics. But me, I just hated math. (Laughter) Until it saved my life. I grew up in Akola, a small town 700 miles away from the capital city. In my community, we never had a culture of girls attending school beyond the age of 10 or 12 years. In fact, some women would tell me, "Why do you need education? Just learn the household work so that you can take care of your family." But I never wanted to abide myself by the "normal" rules for girls. And I would think to myself, instead of just learning the household work, why not learn how to make money so that I can actually take care of my family? (Laughter) I knew if I had to do something different, I would have to stay in school. But that was hard. As it was socially not accepted, everybody was against it. But I was a stubborn young girl. I did everything I could to continue studying, even if that meant stitching school uniforms or making festival greeting cards. I did all that. Well, I had excellent grades in all subjects. All except one. You guessed it: math. All these calculations, formulas, multiplication; I just couldn't get them right. After I finished college, I realized I had no future in Akola, so I decided to do something almost nobody in my town had ever done before: to leave my home town, by myself, a single woman. Nobody wanted me to do that. I remember when I walked up to my mom and told her, "Mama, I'm leaving." She looked at me and said, "Uma, I know how difficult it is for you and even for me, and I cannot even support you openly, but I want you to have this." And she hands me a gold bangle. That was the only jewelry left with her. She said, "I don't have much but this is for you to buy the bus ticket." You can see the bus ticket here. It's been ten years. I still have this. As a promise that I won't let my mom sacrifice anything more for me. So, on 22nd of July, 2007, I arrived in Pune, a city of four million people. I had never been out of my village before so being in the city for the first time, I was mesmerized and excited. And scared as well. I didn't even know if I could trust the taxi driver while taking the taxi for the first time in an unknown city. Life in the city was extremely hard at first. I was away from my family, didn't have any friends. I had brought very little money with me; around three and a half dollars. So I used to eat every second day - every other day - so that I can save as much as I can. Yes, good things take time, but they do happen. And finally, it happened to me. I was given an opportunity to work in a primary school, as a teacher. Wow, I was so happy. Until I got to know the subject they gave me to teach. (Laughter) Yes, it was math. (Laughter) And I'm like, "Oh God, how will I teach something I hate so much?" (Laughter) But I had no choice so I started teaching math. You know, the basics like multiplication tables. I remember I struggled every night to figure out lessons for my students. I was hating it. And I was afraid if I didn't do well, I might not make it. But the more I worked on it, trying to make it interesting, trying to make it fun, the more I realized the pattern in these numbers. As if these multiplication tables were sending me a message, I sensed as if these numbers were talking to me. And that's when I figured out the magic these odd and even numbers have; the poetry, the symmetry they have. Let me show you what I mean: Let's look at table of three for example. Feels like we are back in school? (Laughter) Three, we all know it's an odd number. And if I multiply three with another odd number, it gives me a result which is definitely an odd number. Like this one here: Three times three gives us nine. An odd number. And then I noticed something very interesting about it. If I multiply an odd number with an even number, it ultimately becomes an even number, like this one here. Three times four gives us 12. An even number. So, odd multiplied with odd, the result has to definitely be an odd number. But odd multiplied with something even, no matter how many times you do it, it will definitely give us an even number. And I'm like, this is quite me. With all the odds I was up against, if I multiply my odd situation, with my odd behavior ... (Laughter) (Applause) So what happens? I get myself into another odd situation. (Laughter) But the magic is, if I multiply my odd situations with my even behavior, with my positive behavior, it gets me to better results, to even results. And if one doesn't stop when the situations are odd like this, if one keeps pushing himself, keeps multiplying his blessings, keeps multiplying his skills, even though the beginning is, the end will never be odd. Wow, so once I got to know this, I was like, if something odd can teach me such a valuable lesson of life, I'm sure there is something interesting about the even numbers as well. (Laughter) So, let's look at table of two, for example. What I notice here is every time, right from the beginning to the end, all multiplication results are even, without any odds. And how is it possible? That's possible because the number itself which is getting multiplied, is an even number. This tells me if I am even to myself, as an individual, nothing odd will come my way. (Laughter) Now this of course doesn't mean I don't come across any odd or bad situations. I certainly do. But facing them with even attitude makes the whole difference. That's how, even though I have to struggle hard for my basic rights, instead of being upset and angry, I am happy and even to myself, because the struggle made me stronger, made me who I am today. Now I have these learnings, these secrets from all different multiplication tables. One of my favorites is table of 11. And I think most of us liked, when we were in school, because that is the easiest one to multiply. What I love about this is the perfect symmetry in it. The one and one, the two and two. Isn't that beautiful? And easy, of course. For me, the question was: How can I have my life this similarly easy and beautiful? For me these two symmetrical numbers reflect the outside me and the inside me. I can live in harmony, I can live in peace only when my outside matches my inner being. Isn't this all we're looking for? We can be anybody; maybe two, maybe three. Whoever we are, unless or until our inside personality matches our outside personality, our outside personality matches our inside personality, we cannot live in peace, we cannot live in harmony. Now, because math became my art, became my reminder, my guide of what I needed to do, and what my goal was, I started loving math. Because of this, I was not only able to keep my job, but also make it interesting for others. Now ten years down the line, I have a wonderful job in a great company. I am able to move my entire family to Pune to live with me. Now nobody says I shouldn't have done this. Rather everyone appreciates for what I stood for. As kids, we all are asked to solve math problems. But in reality, math solved many of my problems. Thank you for having me. Dhanyavaad (Thank you). (Applause) (Cheers)

Frequently Occurring Word Combinations

ngrams of length 2

collocation frequency
odd number 5
multiplication tables 3
ten years 2
odd multiplied 2
personality matches 2

Important Words

  1. abide
  2. accepted
  3. afraid
  4. age
  5. akola
  6. ancient
  7. angry
  8. applause
  9. appreciates
  10. arrived
  11. art
  12. asked
  13. attending
  14. attitude
  15. bad
  16. bangle
  17. basic
  18. basics
  19. beautiful
  20. beginning
  21. behavior
  22. blessings
  23. brought
  24. bus
  25. buy
  26. calculations
  27. capital
  28. cards
  29. care
  30. cheers
  31. choice
  32. city
  33. college
  34. community
  35. company
  36. continue
  37. culture
  38. day
  39. decided
  40. dhanyavaad
  41. difference
  42. difficult
  43. dollars
  44. driver
  45. easiest
  46. easy
  47. eat
  48. education
  49. entire
  50. excellent
  51. excited
  52. extremely
  53. facing
  54. fact
  55. family
  56. favorites
  57. feels
  58. festival
  59. figure
  60. figured
  61. finally
  62. finished
  63. formulas
  64. friends
  65. fun
  66. future
  67. gave
  68. girl
  69. girls
  70. give
  71. goal
  72. god
  73. gold
  74. good
  75. grades
  76. great
  77. greeting
  78. grew
  79. guessed
  80. guide
  81. hands
  82. happen
  83. happened
  84. happy
  85. hard
  86. harmony
  87. hate
  88. hated
  89. hating
  90. home
  91. household
  92. india
  93. individual
  94. interesting
  95. jewelry
  96. job
  97. july
  98. kids
  99. knew
  100. laughter
  101. learn
  102. learning
  103. learnings
  104. leave
  105. leaving
  106. left
  107. lesson
  108. lessons
  109. life
  110. line
  111. live
  112. looked
  113. love
  114. loving
  115. magic
  116. making
  117. matches
  118. math
  119. mathematics
  120. matter
  121. meant
  122. mesmerized
  123. message
  124. miles
  125. million
  126. mom
  127. money
  128. move
  129. multiplication
  130. multiplied
  131. multiply
  132. multiplying
  133. namaste
  134. needed
  135. night
  136. notice
  137. noticed
  138. number
  139. numbers
  140. odd
  141. odds
  142. openly
  143. opportunity
  144. pattern
  145. peace
  146. people
  147. perfect
  148. personality
  149. poetry
  150. positive
  151. primary
  152. problems
  153. promise
  154. pune
  155. pushing
  156. question
  157. reality
  158. realized
  159. reflect
  160. remember
  161. reminder
  162. result
  163. results
  164. rights
  165. rules
  166. sacrifice
  167. save
  168. saved
  169. scared
  170. school
  171. secrets
  172. sending
  173. sensed
  174. show
  175. similarly
  176. single
  177. situation
  178. situations
  179. skills
  180. small
  181. socially
  182. solve
  183. solved
  184. started
  185. stay
  186. stitching
  187. stood
  188. stop
  189. stronger
  190. struggle
  191. struggled
  192. stubborn
  193. students
  194. studying
  195. subject
  196. subjects
  197. support
  198. symmetrical
  199. symmetry
  200. table
  201. tables
  202. talking
  203. taxi
  204. teach
  205. teacher
  206. teaching
  207. tells
  208. ten
  209. ticket
  210. time
  211. times
  212. today
  213. told
  214. town
  215. trust
  216. ultimately
  217. uniforms
  218. unknown
  219. upset
  220. valuable
  221. village
  222. walked
  223. wanted
  224. woman
  225. women
  226. wonderful
  227. work
  228. worked
  229. wow
  230. years
  231. young