Mental Arithmatic Magic

April 16, 2014 Katharina Lochner

Arthur Benjamin Shows His Mental Arithmetic Skill

How good are you at mental arithmetic? Not one of your key strengths? But a skill you consider not that important anyway because we have pocket calculators that are much faster than we are? This might apply to most people out there, but definitely not to all.

This week we came across a most astounding TED Talk in which “Mathemagician” Arthur Benjamin does incredible mental arithmetic: he squares four digit numbers faster than people do when they use a pocket calculator and he knows what weekday a random date was. He even explains how he does the multiplying: First he breaks down the numbers into smaller numbers and multiplies them. He uses a phonetic code to convert numbers into words in order to store them as words and then convert them back into numbers at a later stage. Sounds easy, but most likely only to him.

Simply: mathemagic!

About the Author

Katharina Lochner

Dr Katharina Lochner is the former research director for the cut-e Group which was acquired by Aon in 2017. Katharina is now a researcher and lecturer at the University of Applied Sciences Europe in Iserlohn, Germany. In her role at cut-e, she applied the research in organizational and work psychology to real-world assessment practice. She has a strong expertise in the construction and evaluation of online psychometric tools.

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