About Ho Soo Thong

“There should be no such thing as boring mathematics”

- Edsger Dijkstra

About Ho Soo Thong

authorPictureHo Soo Thong






Ho Soo Thong obtained his B.Sc. (Hons) in Mathematics from the University ofSingapore in 1969. After graduation, he joined the education service and taught in tertiary levels. Shortly after, he wrote his first book “College Mathematics Vol. 1” (withTay Yong Chiang and Kho Kee Meng).

He also embarked on his first research work for a M.Sc., which was eventually published in the paper “An Lp bound for the Remainder in a Combinatorial CentralLimit Theorem” (with Prof. Louis Chen) in the Annals of Probability 1978.

In 1980, Ho was awarded the Commonwealth Postgraduate Scholarship for M.Sc. inComputing Science from Imperial College, University of London.


Upon returning from an enriching stay in London, he accepted an invitation to write the book “Panpac Additional Mathematics” (with Khor Nyak Hiong). The book and its revised editions have since been approved textbooks used in secondary schools in Singapore. Ho retired from teaching in 2003.

In 2010, he began to be interested in the Bar Modelling approach implemented inthe PSLE (Primary School Leaving Examination, Singapore), and wrote the book “Bar Model Method for PSLE and Beyond” (with Ho Shuyuan). The book focuses on solving word problems using the counting approach, coupled with distinctive key featuresand the use of Euclidean Algorithm to derive the Greatest Common Unit Procedure under the Unitary Method.

The next book Ho published was “Problem Solving Methods for Primary Olympiad Mathematics” (with Ho Shuyuan and Leong Yu Kiang). Its contents include the ratio approach to analysing word problems (leveraging the bar modelling approach), geometric problems, word problems and speed problems. He proposed a direct counting approach to solving challenging job problems in a simple book “Bar ModelMethod for Job Problems” in 2013.

To apply the Bar Model Method at higher levels, Ho related the Euclidean DivisionAlgorithm and the Euclidean Algorithm, with the Greatest Common Unit Procedure, for a counting approach, in his latest book, “Bar Model Approach to Linear Diophantine Equations”.

Web Publishing

In 2014, Ho founded the website, barmodelhost.com, to publish short live articles which are revised according to current necessities. These articles highlight the flexibility in the bar modelling approach when applied in a variety of word problems involving different features with different problem-solving strategies.

His present endeavour specialises in examples and problems related to recent PSLE questions.  It aims to help pupils preparing for their PSLE Mathematics examinations.

Ho emphasises that the Bar Model Method provides the pedological value of using the bar modelling approach, followed by pinpointing the appropriate problem solving strategies.