Foundation Year students: discover MA364 Mathematical Skills


The Mathematical Skills module is part of the Foundation Year programme for both Mathematics and Actuarial Science. It is taught by Dr Jim Shank.  The primary goal of the module is to help you become a better maths student. The key references are

  • How to think like a Mathematician  by Kevin Houston  
  • How to study for a Mathematics Degree by Lara Alcock. 

Both of these books are available from the University of Kent Library.  The book by Lara Alcock is also available as an ebook from the library website, once your University of Kent login is set up. A sample from Kevin Houston’s book is available here.

In this video, Dr Shank talks about the Postage Stamp problem.


Hint: For the Postage Stamp problem with m=4 and n=5, replacing a 4 pence stamp with a 5 pence stamp increases the total by 1 as does replacing three 5 pence stamps with four 4 pence stamps.

Note that this is intentionally a challenging problem.