15 December 2015

Although there is no regular update, I will still update the IMO, Kangaroo and IOI pages.

I am not writing new articles for the time being (too much work), when time is right I will open a new blog where I’ll will write serious, well-thought-out articles on current issues, especially educational ones.


Math Olympiad Prep Course: June 2015 School Holidays

28 May 2015

Dear readers,

ArdentEdu will organize the MOPC during the upcoming school holidays (2-3 & 9-10 June 2015).

Please find more details in the Info Pack: Info Sheet MOPC 2015

My colleague Mr. Jonathan Ramachandran will teach the classes. He participated in IMO 2002.

If you have any questions, please email me.

OMK result is out

16 October 2014

The OMK 2014 (Olimpiad Matematik Kebangsaan 2014) result is out: http://persama.org.my/

Congratulations to all winners!

We hope to get more participation from schools in 2015.

Please do not contact me about the results. I am not involved in the organization of OMK, it is under the purview of the OMK coordinator.

How not to write Science Fiction

8 October 2014


This manual is intended to focus on the special needs of the science fiction workshop. Having an accurate and descriptive critical term for a common SF problem makes it easier to recognize and discuss. This guide is intended to save workshop participants from having to “reinvent the wheel” (see section 3) at every session.

The terms here were generally developed over a period of many years in many workshops. Those identified with a particular writer are acknowledged in parentheses at the end of the entry. Particular help for this project was provided by Bruce Sterling and the other regulars of the Turkey City Workshop in Austin, Texas.


Quite hilarious — a useful guide for any kind of aspiring writer.

Old Malay

8 October 2014



Siddham! Ni yang nāga punya putauv.
Ya urāng sepuy di ko, kurun ko jemā labuh nari svarggah.
Ya urāng paribhū di ko, kurun saribu thun davam di naraka, dengan tijuh kulo ko.

Literal English translation

Fortune this that serpent possess king.
O person respect in him, for him jewels fall from heaven.
O person insult in him, for one thousand years remain in hell, with seven family he.

English Translation

Fortune! this is the divine serpent of the king.
Whoever respects him, for him jewels fall from heaven.
Whoever insults him, he will remain for a thousand years in hell, with seven generations of his family.

Modern Malay translation

Sejahtera! Inilah naga suci kepunyaan Raja.
Orang yang menghormatinya, turun kepadanya permata dari syurga.
Orang yang menghinanya, akan seribu tahun diam di neraka, dengan tujuh keturunan keluarganya.


The Dong Yen Chau inscription was discovered in 1936 at Dong Yen Chau, northwest of Tra Kieu near the old Champa capital of Indrapura, modern day Vietnam. Georges Coedès noting it as “…the oldest text, presently known, written in a Malayo-Polynesian dialect”. Though not itself dated, the inscription is identical with those of dated Sanskrit inscriptions of Bhadravarman I of the second dynasty, who ruled at the end of the fourth century A.D.

You can learn more about the early development of the Malay Language here: http://mcp.anu.edu.au/papers/darwis/Utama.html

Interesting subject!

About writing in academia

5 October 2014

Another great Pinker piece, about why academics’ writing suck. Aptly titled “Why Academics Stink at Writing”.


This should be compulsory reading in all freshman writing classes.

The Trouble With Harvard

28 September 2014

A brilliant essay by the great Steven Pinker, which reignited the academics vs. “well-roundedness” debate in the US. For the record, I am firmly on Pinker’s side.


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