Monday, March 2


Mastering Heuristics Series
Mathematical Strategies Made Simple

At last, a guidebook that delivers!

The Mastering Heuristics Series is the brainchild of Sunny Tan, Principle Trainer at Maths Heuristics.

The Mastering Heuristics Series captures Sunny’s simple, systematic yet strong techniques in understanding and applying Mathematical Heuristics. Edited by a strategic marketing communications professional cum parent who understands readers’ psyche and the time crunch parents face, the Mastering Heuristics Series is designed to be highly comprehensive.

Most Mathematics guidebooks provide only answers or, at most, brief workings. Without illustrating each step involved in the workings, readers end up having to figure out for themselves how the author got from one step to another. The Mastering Heuristics Series offers two perspectives:

1. Concepts in action
– to show how easy and efficient Mathematical Heuristics are in solving challenging mathematical questions.

2. Concepts being applied
– to systematically show every step involved in applying each Mathematical Heuristics concept. Easy-to-follow step-by-step instructions make the Mastering Heuristics Series the ultimate practical guide for parents.

The Mastering Heuristics Series consists of four books. The first one, now available, covers six concepts – Before and After, Excess and Shortage, Repeated Identity, Equal, Two Variables, and Ratio and Proportion – under the Unit Transfer Method.

Since its release in the market in January 2009, the book has already garnered coverage by renowned parenting media – ParentsWorld (January 2009) and Wawa Magazine (March 2009) – as well as raving reviews by academia and parents.

Impetus for the School and the Series

While a teacher with Singapore’s Ministry of Education, Sunny observed how the current primary school Mathematics syllabus – different from what today’s parents and teachers were raised on – left many stumped. Mathematical Heuristics has been directly incorporated into the Mathematics syllabus. Teachers are not specifically trained to teach Mathematical Heuristics. Worse still, not neatly self-contained makes Mathematical Heuristics difficult to single out, learn and teach.

Consequently, many parents depend on tuition agencies or private tutors for their children’s Mathematics performance, not realising that most tutors were also raised on the same Mathematics syllabus as themselves, that is sans Mathematical Heuristics.

The more hands-on parents rely on Mathematics syllabus guidebooks to equip themselves to personally guide their children. However, there are no books on the market that specifically teaches Mathematical Heuristics. Where a guidebook comes close to it, its title merely allude to Mathematical strategies (not Mathematical Heuristics), making such books difficult to identify. Once acquired, parents often find themselves second guessing the author’s explanations, and how the author got from one step to another.

With the aim of closing this gap, Sunny emerged with techniques that simplified the application of Mathematical Heuristics. With that as a spring board, Sunny established the mathsHeuristics Programme, and now the Mastering Heuristics Series in 2009. Both Programme and Series are available through Maths Heuristics.

1. mathsHeuristics Programme
– Directly teaches primary students.
– Since its establishment, the Programme has transformed the Mathematics confidence level and performance of numerous students, including a CHIJ P6 student to went from scoring 52% in SA1 to 99% in the Preliminary exam, to A* in the 2008 PSLE – all within just 20 weeks.

2. Mastering Heuristics Series
– Indirectly teaches primary students via parents.
– Backed by mathsHeuristics Programme’s proven track record, Sunny has authored this series of guidebooks based on the Programme’s techniques.

While the Mastering Heuristics Series complements the mathsHeuristics Programme – by keeping parents informed of what their children are learning in the Programme, allowing parents to further support their children in the latter’s Mathematics homework – the Series is also comprehensive enough to be a standalone guide for parents who desire a bigger role in their children’s Mathematics education.


Mastering Heuristics Series is available in the US and locally through Maths Heuristics (S) Private Limited. Orders may be placed online (at for home delivery, or in person (at 157A Goldhill Centre, Thomson Road, Singapore 307610) for self-collection.

Media Enquiries

Author / Publisher:
Maths Heuristics (S) Private Limited
Sunny Tan
Principle Trainer

Editor / PR Agency:
Karen Ralls-Tan
Managing Partner
Mobile: (65) 9787 3081

Order Enquiries

Maths Heuristics (S) Private Limited
Christine Tham
Tel: (65) 6893 5593 (10am – 7pm, Tues to Sun)


Anonymous said...

Hi Sunny

Which book cover the topic on speed?A bit confusing, there are four books, why is speed in series 2 of 6 as in the main website?

Looking forward to see some information on MD in your blog.

PSLE Mummy

Anonymous said...

Hi Sunny

As Model Drawing is taught widely in our schools, many students and parents are more familiar with it.

I am not sure whether it's wise to switch from MD to UTM, especially for students taking PSLE in 2009.The time for them to learn a new strategy may be too short.

Therefore, we'll appreciate it very much if you could push out more articles on MD very soon.

zhen ai zhi you MD

Sunny Tan said...

Hi all parents,

Thank for all the interest.

The Mastering Heuristics Series consist of 4 guide books + 2 practice books.

Series 1: Unit Transfer Approach
Series 2: Advanced Unit Transfer Method
(Including Speed and rate)
Series 3: Model Approach to Problem Solving
Series 4: Heuristics Approach to Problem Solving

The last two series are practice books meants for our internal parents and students. We understand that the most common question after our parents read the first four series is "With so many methods, how does my child know which methods to do?"

The last two series is the answer!

UTM is a problem solving framework. While model drawing uses spatial visualization to helps a child "see" the problem, UTM utilizes systematic tabulation with logical reasoning to help pupils to analysis and solve problem.

Many parents have the misconception that UTM is a new technique and different from MD. To clarify the misconception, I will come out with an illustration to demonstrate UTM and MD to be posted in this blog soon.

Many parents whom had attended the seminar are amazed when they realized that the fundamental concept behind UTM and MD is actually the same!
Yet UTM lives up to its claim : SIMPLE, LOGICAL and POWERFUL!

Anonymous said...

Hi Sunny

To many parents who did not have the previleges of attending your seminars,UTM looks intimidating with the transfer of numbers.

Please provide some examples on the differences between UTM and MD in solving sect C problems.

Model Mummy

Anonymous said...

Hi Sunny,

I had bought the book a few weeks ago, I taught some of the methods mentioned in your book to my child. He had improved more than 10 marks in his mock CA. Do you have any UTM hoilday workshop for P6 pupils?

Mrs Heng

Anonymous said...

Hi Sunny,

As parents, I read that MD is "bridge" to algebra. But many of us really cannot see the link. I look foward to MD articles in your blog soon.

Concerned Parents

Anonymous said...

Hi Sunny

Is it wise to accelerate learning by teaching P6 students Algebra to answer sect C questions? Afterall, they will be taught algebraic equations in secondary schools.

Algebra Mum

Anonymous said...

Hi Sunny

Model drawing and its bar diagram are unique features in the Singapore Maths curriculum. It has also attracted much attention from schools in USA. We are just curious to know why you had chosen to do research on UTM.

Model Mummy

Anonymous said...

Hi Sunny,

My child have problems trying to use model, to be frank, I myself have problems too. I heard that in secondary school, model is not required. Why don't we just teach the kids algebra?

Anonymous said...

Hi Sunny,

U mention the fundamental concept of UTM is same as Model? If it is the same, why don't we use model directly. So what is the differences between UTM and Model?

PSLE Parents

Anonymous said...

Hi Sunny

With the introduction of calculators in 2009, will PSLE Maths questions be tougher? Are past PSLE Maths questions from authorised publishers still relevant in the preparation of PSLE 2009?

Worried Mummy

Anonymous said...

Hi Sunny

With the introduction of calculators in 2009, are there any types of new trends questions?Please show some examples.

Trendy Mum

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