The Secrets of Mental Math

Learn how to do complex mathematical problems right in your head, with the aid of this fun and useful course that teaches you the secrets behind mental math.
The Secrets of Mental Math is rated 4.7 out of 5 by 180.
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Rated 5 out of 5 by from Wonderful Professor, Wonderful Course! I loved this professor from another course, so I wanted to see this one as well. I am so glad I did. While I knew most of the material he covered, I still found that I learned a lot. Not to be too cliche, I would watch him even read the phone book; he makes everything he talks about fascinating. He speaks directly to his audience (most of the time straight into the camera) and is amusing as well as informative. You can tell he enjoys his subject and enjoys sharing it! I suspect my math background is similar to Prof. Benjamin's (although, not being a math professional today, he has much more experience in recent years than I can lay claim to). Most people who watch this course will find (almost) all of the material new and even surprising. He does explain the methods he teaches thoroughly and--usually--simply enough to be understood by the average person, especially a motivated person. Many people will find that the methods taught will come in handy in daily life.
Date published: 2021-10-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing Fun This math course has opened a whole new world for me. After only the first lesson I am multiplying 3 digit numbers in my head, I'm floored. It's a whole new way to think. Professor Arthur Benjamin is very entertaining and he knows unbelievable things.
Date published: 2021-09-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fun math techniques! Cool! Professor Benjamin teaches fun math techniques in a very easy to follow format. Lots of material to cover and nicely paced. Thank you for a fun course on a topic that might not be fun! It is fun! And his enthusiasm is contagious!
Date published: 2021-08-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Top Notch!! This professor is mesmerizing, he is really a MatheMagician!!! I highly recommend.
Date published: 2021-08-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Math hacks to the max I always felt good about my mental computation ability…. Until this course made me realize how much better I could be. During a car ride I taught one of the prof’s subtraction hacks to my 7- year old grandchild. This course is wildly beneficial to anyone who recognizes the primary role of math in everyday life. It’s great
Date published: 2021-08-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A Must Take Course! I was taking and enjoying Dr. Benjamin' course on "Discrete Mathematics". I highly recommended that course also. His engaging style and knowledge caught my interest. I surfed the web to learn more about him. I came across his TED talks, particularly his talk "Lightning calculation and other 'mathemagic'". To say the least, I was very impressed and wanted to learn the secrets of Mathemagic. Thank you for producing this course. I thoroughly enjoyed it and am using the techniques taught in the course.
Date published: 2021-04-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from secrets of mental math fascinating and mind boggling, can envision many daily applications of this course, it will empower you!
Date published: 2020-10-31
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Very well spoken lecturer, some great techniques This is exactly what I was after. I need to improve my mental maths for an upcoming job application, and was looking for a step-by-step course to help me improve. The course textbook PDF also has loads of practice questions
Date published: 2020-10-13
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Overview

Improve and expand your math potential&;amp;-whether you're a corporate executive or a high-school student&;amp;-in the company of Professor Arthur T. Benjamin, one of the most entertaining members of The Great Courses faculty. The Secrets of Mental Math, his exciting 12-lecture course, guides you through all the essential skills, tips, and tricks for enhancing your ability to solve a range of mathematical problems right in your head. Along the way, you'll discover how mental mathematics is the gateway to success in understanding and mastering higher fields, including algebra and statistics.

About

Arthur T. Benjamin
Arthur T. Benjamin

As a professor, I have always wanted to bring math to the masses. The Great Courses has helped make that dream come true.

INSTITUTION

Harvey Mudd College

Dr. Arthur T. Benjamin is Professor of Mathematics at Harvey Mudd College. He earned a Ph.D. in Mathematical Sciences from Johns Hopkins University in 1989. Professor Benjamin's teaching has been honored repeatedly by the Mathematical Association of America (MAA). In 2000, he received the MAA Deborah and Franklin Tepper Haimo National Award for Distinguished College or University Teaching of Mathematics. The MAA also named Professor Benjamin the 2006-2008 George Pólya Lecturer. In 2012, Princeton Review profiled him in The Best 300 Professors. He is a professional magician, whose techniques are explained in his book Secrets of Mental Math: The Mathemagician's Guide to Lightning Calculation and Amazing Math Tricks. Professor Benjamin also served for five years as coeditor of Math Horizons magazine. An avid games player, Dr. Benjamin is a past winner of the American Backgammon Tour and has written more than 15 papers on the mathematics of games and puzzles. Professor Benjamin has appeared on dozens of television and radio programs and has been featured in publications, including Scientific American, People, and The New York Times. In 2005, Reader's Digest called him America's Best Math Whiz.

By This Professor

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The Secrets of Mental Math

Trailer

Math in Your Head!

01: 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.

34 min
Mental Addition and Subtraction

02: 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.

32 min
Go Forth and Multiply

03: 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.

31 min
Divide and Conquer

04: Divide and Conquer

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.

34 min
The Art of Guesstimation

05: The Art of Guesstimation

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.

35 min
Mental Math and Paper

06: Mental Math and Paper

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.

35 min
Intermediate Multiplication

07: 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 6, 7, 8, or 9).

33 min
The Speed of Vedic Division

08: 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.

35 min
Memorizing Numbers

09: Memorizing Numbers

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.

33 min
Calendar Calculating

10: Calendar Calculating

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.

34 min
Advanced Multiplication

11: 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 math skills.

34 min
Masters of Mental Math

12: Masters 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 lectures; and more.

32 min