If you need to sit the GMAT or GRE tests and are heading to B-school for an MBA or a Master’s, this free online course can help you improve some of the skills and the mind-set that are essential for your graduate school and career success.

Mathematics, analytical skills and effective thinking all come into play when it comes to standardised aptitude tests such as the GMAT and the GRE – the gatekeepers of MBA admission at many leading international B-schools. “Effective Thinking Through Mathematics” is a free online course that you can join now to gain fundamental knowledge and practical skills that can help you in both admission tests and throughout business school.

About the course

Michael Starbird, University Distinguished Teaching Professor of Mathematics at the University of Texas at Austin, will discuss how habits of effective thinking and creativity can be taught and learned through puzzles and mathematics. Anyone who practises these habits of mind will inevitably create new insights, new ideas and new solutions.

Professor Starbird highlights:

Brilliant innovators and brilliant thinkers come by their brilliance through step-by-step, rather practical methods of thinking – methods that you can learn. This is what this course is about.

What you will learn

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

The course presents strategies of effective thinking that can make you more creative and more insightful. These overarching lessons are conveyed through fascinating mathematical themes.

Week 1 – An Introduction and Puzzles This week provides an introduction to the course and the five elements of effective thinking. Then, students solve several puzzles using the five elements.

Weeks 2-3 – Number Contemplation Students begin to explore the concept of number from basic to its infinite variety, and to see how those insights flow from strategies of effective thinking.

Weeks 3-4 – Geometric Insights Our visual world leads to beautiful insights, both concrete and abstract, also illustrating methods of thinking that are applicable to your own life.


This course is delivered by three instructors from diverse backgrounds – Michael Starbird, University Distinguished Teaching Professor of Mathematics at the University of Texas at Austin, Donna K. Kidwell, Software Consultant, and Angela Torres Camarena, award-winning writer and film director.

Starting date: 3 October 2016

Duration:  4 weeks, 2-5 hours per week

Language: English

Institution: University of Texas at Austin