Calculus just 'clicks' for Navim

16:00, Jan 23 2014
MATH WHIZ: Navim Zanzabil, 10, can solve equations at a year 13 level.

Without so much as a calculator 10-year-old Navim Zanzabil can complete complicated maths problems usually tackled by senior high school students.

The calculus whiz has just completed an after-school maths programme in Mt Albert where she solved equations at year 13 level.

"It's something that I can't explain in words, it just felt so good," Navim says.

Her parents initially enrolled her in the programme to help break the habit of her counting on her fingers.

Her tutors soon saw that she had a special knack for arithmetic.

"The thing about maths is that the first time you do a problem it's really really hard, but the next time it's much simpler," she says.


"And when I'm doing it I'm always thinking about the consequences, like when I'm at high school I'll be zooming through."

Navim says the students in her after-school class are not allowed to use calculators and must solve all problems long-hand.

"Now when I look at the board in class I can just see how to do it, it's like ‘click click'," she says.

Part of the appeal for Navim's parents was the Kumon tutors push a consistent level of homework.

Her father Mamun says they were "very surprised" to discover their daughter's hidden talent.

Navim is starting intermediate school this year, but she has already set her sights much higher.

She is working towards becoming a surgeon.

"I was inspired by my grandfather. When he came to New Zealand to visit he had a heart attack," she says. "Luckily he is still alive, but I realised that lots of people end up needing a doctor when it comes to serious conditions."

Central Leader