Episode 5 of Secrets of Mental Math

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.

Running Time

36 mins

Year

2011

Kanopy ID

1148002

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Intermediate Multiplication

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…

Math in Your Head!

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.

Advanced Multiplication

Professor Benjamin shows you how to do enormous multiplication problems in your head, such as squaring three-digit and four-digit numbers; cubing two-digit numbers, and multiplying two-digit and three-digit numbers. While you may not frequently encounter these large problems, knowing how to mentally solve them cements your knowledge of basic mental…

The Joy of Approximating with Calculus

Exploiting the idea of the derivative, we can approximate just about any function using simple polynomials. This lecture also shows why a formula sometimes known as "God's equation" (involving e, i, p, 1, and 0) is true, and how to calculate square roots in your head.

The Joy of Mathematical Magic

Closing the course with a magician's flair, Professor Benjamin shows a trick for producing anyone's phone number, how to create a magic square based on your birthday, how to play "mathematical survivor," a technique for computing cube roots in your head, and a card trick to ponder.

Go Forth and Multiply

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.

Playing with Geometric Probability

Unite geometry with the world of probability theory. See how connecting these seemingly unrelated fields offers new ways of solving questions of probability--including figuring out the likelihood of having a short wait for the bus at the bus stop.

Practical Applications of Similarity

Build on the side-angle-side postulate and derive other ways of testing whether triangles are similar or congruent. Also dive into several practical applications, including a trick botanists use for estimating the heights of trees and a way to measure the width of a river using only a baseball cap.

Mental Addition and Subtraction

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.

Expert Backgammon

Mathematically trained players also have a decisive edge in backgammon, which trains you to make decisions in highly uncertain conditions. Professor Benjamin explains the rules of the game, the basic strategies for winning, the best ways to play your opening rolls, and how math constantly enters the picture--from figuring out…

The Speed of Vedic Division

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.

The Joy of Numbers

How do you add all the numbers from 1 to 100--instantly? What makes a square number square and a triangular number triangular? Why do the rules of arithmetic really work, and how do you calculate in bases other than 10?

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