Fast math

What is nine times seven? Did you know it was sixty three before reading this far? You probably did, but don’t pat yourself on the back too hard yet, as it could well have been that your brain was already reading ahead and the buffered information hadn’t reached your consciousness yet (if that is a thing, I think it is but I’m not a psychologist). Although, being a reader of my blog, you probably could do the math that fast anyway.

But not everybody can. Not because maths might not be their strong point but because they don’t use the same technique we do.

I mean, working out nine times seven isn’t nine times seven really is it? It’s ten times seven, minus seven. Because that is way faster. Because you can almost instantly tell that ten times seven is seventy, then all you do is subtract seven and you have your answer.

This was always obvious to me. But then, maths was always a far stronger side for me than English was. Hence why I can easily do such maths, but why there will almost certainly be parts of this blog post which make no grammatical sense at all. But it was brought to my attention when someone told me they had been learning about little techniques like that, that for some people it isn’t obviously, but you can teach them it and their maths skills get a lot faster.

In fact, it’s almost always faster to do it that way. Take six times seven for example. If I didn’t know that off by heart I would do seven times ten, seventy, divided by two, because again that is easy maths, thirty five, plus seven, gives you forty two. That would be way faster than counting up seven, fourteen, twenty one, etc, etc, even though it’s actually three different multiplications.

It’s like the i++ of the human brain.



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This entry was posted on Wednesday, January 25th, 2012 at 12:50 pm and is filed under Success & Productivity. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.