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Let the Games Begin!
Explore some general strategies for successfully solving simple games and puzzles. As you hone your skills at games and puzzles, including 20 Questions, Mastermind, Ghost, The Tower of Hanoi, variations of Tic Tac Toe, and Cram (a cross between checkers and dominoes), you'll start seeing how mathematical ideas and concepts…
The Joy of Mathematical Magic
Episode 24 of The Joy of Mathematics
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.
Advanced Multiplication
Episode 11 of Secrets of Mental Math
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…
Understanding Polygons
Episode 4 of Geometry
Shapes with straight lines (called polygons) are all around you, from the pattern on your bathroom floor to the structure of everyday objects. But although we may have an intuitive understanding of what these shapes are, how do we define them mathematically? What are their properties? Find out the answers…
Masters of Mental Math
Episode 12 of Secrets of Mental Math
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 episodes; and more.
Mastering Rubik’s Cube
It's one of the most famous puzzles ever invented. But Professor Benjamin has an easy-to-learn, eight-step method for solving this mind-bending puzzle quickly and accurately--every time. After examining the mathematics behind the cube, you'll follow him step-by-step through an algorithm that will have you solving any Rubik's Cube in less…
Optimal Blackjack and Simple Card Counting
Depending on how you play it, blackjack can be the best or the worst game in a casino. Here, Professor Benjamin shows you how to get the best of blackjack before it gets the best of you. By taking you through scenarios of increasing difficulty to strengthen your skills, he…
Go Forth and Multiply
Episode 3 of Secrets of Mental Math
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.
Tilings, Platonic Solids, and Theorems
Episode 28 of Geometry
You've seen geometric tiling patterns on your bathroom floor and in the works of great artists. But what would happen if you made repeating patterns in 3-D space? In this lecture, discover the five platonic solids! Also, become an artist and create your own beautiful patterns--even using more than one…
Memorizing Numbers
Episode 9 of Secrets of Mental Math
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…
Playing with Geometric Probability
Episode 25 of Geometry
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.
The Art of Guesstimation
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.