
Posted: 10/17/2004  Updated: 8/12/2015 
Zoya Koza.
I earned a BA in economics from the State University of Moldova (former USSR). I had a most interesting job in there which involved writing algorithms for the automated processes of the transportation and payroll departments. Upon arrival in the US I changed my career to education. I worked as a substitute teacher during the day and went to Brooklyn College in the evenings where I received my Masters of Science in Education.
I have always loved chess and math. During my days in grammar school I remember how my math teacher often gave a math problem to the class and said: ”The first five students who solve this problem will get an A” and in one minute there was a sea of hands (most would give the wrong answers)! On the contrary, I always took my time trying to solve that problem at least two different ways before I raised my hand. I just loved to prove to myself that my answer was logical. In my almost twenty years of teaching mathematics and chess I have seen many good students. They knew a great many tricks in math and chess. However, when asked an openended question, for example: in math, find the solution to a problem that might have more than one solution or, in chess, find more than one variation in a given position, most students would not know what to do. During my career as an educator I realized that my middle and high school students did not understand what logic was and even those students who had developed great computational skills would soon become bored after practicing routine algorithms! Thus, I became an advocate of teaching logic at an early age. I taught chess to children as young as four years old and took a course in college “teaching mathematics to elementary school children”.
I strongly believe that learning how to think logically in early years not only helped me get both of my degrees but also helped me to succeed in life. Here, in the US, my love for math and chess helped me change my career: I teach children as young as 6 years old how to think logically in math and chess and, more importantly, share with them my love for these two great lifelong engagements, chess and mathematics.
