Announcement Public Lectures

Probability and Combinatorics in School Mathematics


Professor By Professor Helmer Aslaksen

Helmer Aslaksen did his undergraduate studies at the University of Oslo and his Ph D at the University of California, Berkeley He was with the Department of Mathematics at the National University of Singapore from 1989 to 2011 when he joined the University of Oslo with a joint appointment in the Department of Teacher Education and the Department of Mathematics.

His interests include geometry, Lie theory, astronomy, calendars, voting systems and mathematics education.

He has been academic advisor for the exhibition “Art Figures Mathematics in Art” at the Singapore Art Museum, “The Dating Game Calendars and Time in Asia” at the Asian Civilisation Museum and the TV series “Ancient Chinese Inventions” on the Discovery Channel He was a judge for “National Science Challenge”, a TV science quiz for secondary school students, and chair of the organizing committee for Singapore Mathematical Olympiad.

At the National University of Singapore he introduced two General Education Modules, “Heavenly Mathematics Cultural Astronomy” and “Mathematics in Art and Architecture” In 2004 he was awarded the
University’s Outstanding Educator Award.

At the University of Oslo he has introduced a module called “School Mathematics from an Advanced Viewpoint”, which focuses on giving pre service teachers better understanding of the subject.


Probability and combinatorics are difficult topic in school mathematics. Incorrect arguments often look plausible, and correct arguments often look surprising. We will discuss topics that both students and teachers find difficult. We will focus on paradoxes and topics from the history of probability.

View poster here.



4 Aug 2022 (Thu) 4 – 5 pm


LT 34 National University of SIngapore

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