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Anyone who is anyone already knows how important it can be on a daily basis to have mental math. The capability is tremendous when you consider how much easier day to day tasks can truly be with knowing the shortcuts and being able to calculate items in your head while on the go. You don't need to be Albert Einstein to learn some of the top mental math secrets, however. What's more, you truly can pick up the tricks that will stay with you for the rest of your life. Mental math won't be difficult for you anymore after this program.

The Great Courses
1 Season, 12 Episodes
January 16, 2011
Documentary & Biography
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Secrets of Mental Math Full Episode Guide

  • Professor Benjamin concludes his exciting course by showing how you can use different methods to solve the same problem; how you can find the cube root of large perfect cubes; how you can use the techniques you've learned and mastered in the last 11 lectures; and more.

  • The fun continues in this lecture with determining the day of the week of any date in the past or in the future. What day of the week was July 4, 2000? How about February 12, 1809? You'd be surprised at how easy it is for you to grasp the simple mathematics behind this handy skill.

  • Think that memorizing long numbers sounds impossible? Think again. Investigate a fun: and effective: way to memorize numbers using a phonetic code in which every digit is given a consonant sound. Then practice your knowledge by trying to memorize the first 24 digits of pi, all of your credit card numbers, and more.

  • Vedic mathematics, which has been around for centuries, is extremely helpful for solving division problems: much more efficiently than the methods you learned in school. Learn how Vedic division works for dividing numbers of any length by any two-digit numbers.

  • Take mental multiplication to an even higher level. Professor Benjamin shows you five methods for accurately multiplying any two-digit numbers. Among these: the squaring method (when both numbers are equal), the close together method (when both numbers are near each other), and the subtraction method (when one number ends in 6, 7, 8, or 9).

  • Sometimes we encounter math problems on paper in our daily lives. Even so, there are some rarely taught techniques to help speed up your calculations and check your answers when you are adding tall columns of numbers, multiplying numbers of any length, and more.

  • In most real-world situations: such as figuring out sales tax or how much to tip: you don't need an exact answer but just a reasonable approximation. Here, develop skills for effectively estimating addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, and square roots.

  • Turn now to the last fundamental operation of arithmetic: division. Explore a variety of shortcuts for dividing by one- and two-digit numbers; learn how to convert fractions such as 1/7 and 3/16 into decimals; and discover methods for determining when a large number is divisible by numbers such as 3, 7, and 11.

  • Delve into the secrets of easy mental multiplication: Professor Benjamin's favorite mathematical operation. Once you've mastered how to quickly multiply any two-digit or three-digit number by a one-digit number, you've mastered the most fundamental operations of mental multiplication and added a vital tool to your mental math tool kit.

  • Professor Benjamin demonstrates how easily you can mentally add and subtract one-, two-, and three-digit numbers. He also shows you shortcuts using the complement of a number (its distance from 100 or 1000) and demonstrates the uses of mental addition and subtraction for quickly counting calories and making change.

  • Dive right into the joys of mental math. First, learn the fundamental strategies of mental arithmetic (including the value of adding from left to right, unlike what you do on paper). Then, discover how a variety of shortcuts hold the keys to rapidly solving basic multiplication problems and finding squares.

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