As a token of esteem, my colleagues were invited to a special high school in central China to give a lecture on the techniques
used. They were slightly surprised to discover that most students studied or attended class fifteen hours per day, seven days
a week, fifty weeks per year.
Sitting in on an advanced geometry class the quality and depth were obvious. The students were working on a William
Lowell Putnam contest problem from 2005. As far as we know, 5 COLLEGE students out of 3500 that took the Putnams got
problem A6 correct. Of particular interest was that the co-teachers not only gave two different solution methods, but went
to considerable effort to insure that everyone understood the specific problem and its solutions. There were several
comments made about general test-taking strategies for these types of problems. We note that China's population is four
times higher than America's.
While geometry might once have been the queen of mathematical disciplines, aren’t Chinese students just wasting their time
and effort on the chances of vextex angles of convex polygons being acute? Who would ever use such geometry anymore?
Reginald Joseph Mitchell died in 1937 at the age of 42. 22,000 Spitfires were built using his designs which included wings
and cockpit elements based on what are called Ptolemaic polygons. He’s known as “the First of the Few”. Those same
concepts are used in the M1A1 Abrams tank and the F-117 Nighthawk.