Effective Thinking through Mathematics

Language Arabic
Start Date 28/09/2017
Duration 9 weeks
Effort 3 hours
Level Entry Level
End Date 30/11/2017

A wondrously romantic belief is that brilliant thinkers magically produce brilliant ideas: Einstein jostles his hair and relativity falls out. We can enjoy these fanciful visions of leaps of genius, but we should not be fooled into believing that they’re real.

Brilliant innovators are brilliant because they practice habits of thinking that inevitably carry them step by step into the works of genius. No magic and no leaps are involved.

Professor Starbird will discuss how habits of effective thinking and creativity can be taught and learned through puzzles and mathematics. Anyone who practices these habits of mind will inevitably create new insights, new ideas, and new solutions.

What You Will Learn

  • 1. Engage in thinking about mathematical ideas.
  • 2. Apply effective strategies of thinking to approach questions in your lives with insight and innovation.
  • 3. Think more effectively and imaginatively throughout your lives.


  • This course is directed to a wide range of participants who are interested in challenge and productive ideas. The course addresses people of all ages in academic levels, who are interested in developing strategies of effective thinking to help them solve professional and life problems. Some knowledge in math is recommended in participants interested in this course.

Instructors and Team

Dr. Randa El-Sheikh Najdi
Dr. Randa El-Sheikh Najdi

Randa Elsheikh Najdi is an assistance professor of math education at Al-Quds Open University, West Bank. She has a PhD and a Masters in math education (2009) from IRS of Cairo, Egypt; a master's degree in pure math from UC Davis at California, USA. She has many certificates in e-learning, and won many awards in Teaching Excellence. She is an e-learning expert and has spent her entire career working in teaching mathematics and has trained a number of teachers in using technology and implementing 21st Century skills. She published a number of researches in local and international refereed Journals.

Michael Starbird
Michael Starbird

Michael Starbird is a University Distinguished Teaching Professor of Mathematics at The University of Texas at Austin. He has been at UT his whole career except for leaves, including as a Visiting Member of the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey and a member of the technical staff of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. He has received more than a dozen teaching awards. Professor Starbird has produced DVD courses for The Teaching Company in the Great Courses Series on calculus, statistics, probability, geometry, and the joy of thinking and has given hundreds of lectures and workshops. He has co-authored several books including the innovative textbook for liberal arts students entitled "The Heart of Mathematics: An invitation to effective thinking." His new book with co-author Edward Burger is the general-audience book "The 5 Elements of Effective Thinking." You can learn more about his work at @5Thinking.

Donna K. Kidwell
Donna K. Kidwell

Donna Kidwell received her doctorate at the Ecole de Management in Grenoble, France, and her Master’s in Science and Technology Commercialization at The University of Texas at Austin. She led the development of The Innovation Readiness Series™, an online course developed to help global innovators. Her research interests include innovation and commercialization. She has worked globally to encourage economic development through science and innovations. Prior to her work with UT Austin, Donna was a software consultant, and developed custom database applications and eLearning environments for companies such as Exxon, Agilent, and Keller Williams Realty International. She is passionate about creating action based online systems to educate and help others achieve their goals. You can learn more about Donna on Twitter @drdonnakidwell.

Angela Torres Camarena
Angela Torres Camarena

Angela Torres is an award-winning writer and film director devoted to create meaningful films that explore social issues from a poetic perspective. Her films have been selected at international film festivals around the globe including the Cannes Film Festival. In 2009 won the Changemaker Award granted by HBO with her film "Exiled in America." Her short film "Frente Noreste" won the C.W. Hacket award for her outstanding work in Latin-American studies. Angela was recipient of the Warren Skaaren Endowed Presidential Scholarship for film excellence, granted by the department of Radio-Television-Film at the University of Texas at Austin. She has also been recipient of the E.D. Farmer Fellowship by UT Austin, and the FONCA-CONACYT and the FONECA Fellowship granted by the National Commission of the Arts in Mexico. Her most recent project "The Trigger" won a partial grant by the prestigious and highly competitive Texas Filmmakers Production Fund.

Course Provider

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