# Does the human calculator stuff really work?

• B
• jim1174
In summary, there are books and videos claiming to teach people how to become a human calculator, but most of these are fake and are just ways for the creators to make money. However, it is possible to improve mental arithmetic skills through practice and learning mental math tricks. These tricks are often specific to certain situations and require a lot of time and practice to become proficient at. Additionally, it may not be practical to use these tricks in everyday life, but they can be interesting from a brain workout and mathematical perspective.
jim1174
I have seen books and videos that claim to teach you how to become a human calculator. does this stuff really work? if it does can you recommend a good book or video ?

As with most claims on the Internet, this is often fake. There are special methods you can use although most of those videos are ploys for ad revenue/views. It's similar to writing a book called "How to get Rich Quick" that elaborates on that you can get rich quick by writing a book about it.

That depends on what you mean by "human calculator." There are a lot of mental math tricks that you can teach yourself to do math faster and more accurately in your head. The real issue (in my experience) is keeping track of all the digits in your head as you go through a problem, but that can be improved with practice.

You can read a bunch of tips at Fast Arithmetic Tips; looking over them, the first few are similar to a lot of the things I do when I have to calculate something in my head.

It's kind of like buying a shamwow or some product off of a late night infomercial. Lots of hype, and then it DOES kinda work,but there's kind of a disappointing compromise or commitment lurking behind the claim.

What I found when I looked at this stuff was that a lot of the tricks had to do with particular situations. "How to multiply numbers that end in 4 with a number that ends in 7!" or something like that. There were so many different tricks for different situations it was hard to believe that the tricks could be exhaustive of every calculation you'd run into.

So let's say you learn a few hundred of these tricks. It takes a lot of time and practice, and it goes away if you don't use it. Then..what's it for? How often do we need to do that kind of mental arithmetic? If you could just learn it once and be great at it, that would be one thing. But I think to be as good as the "mathemagicians" you'd have to practice for hours a day. Then what... wait for somebody to ask you the square root of 247?

That being said, I always still found the tricks interesting from two perspectives:

1) I think it'd be a cool brain workout, if I wasn't actually doing proof based abstract math as a brain workout.
2) The tricks themselves bear investigating as a kind of elementary number theory. How and why do they work?

-Dave K

## 1. Does the human calculator method actually improve mental calculation abilities?

Yes, studies have shown that practicing mental calculation techniques can improve overall numerical fluency and speed of calculations.

## 2. Is the human calculator method suitable for all ages?

Yes, the human calculator method can be used by people of all ages, however, it may be more effective for younger individuals who have a more flexible brain.

## 3. Can anyone learn to be a human calculator?

Yes, anyone can learn to be a human calculator with practice and dedication. It is a skill that can be developed through training and repetition.

## 4. How long does it take to become a human calculator?

The time it takes to become a human calculator varies for each individual, but with consistent practice and dedication, significant improvements can be seen in a few weeks to months.

## 5. Are there any potential negative effects of using the human calculator method?

No, there are no known negative effects of using the human calculator method. However, it is important to take breaks and not overwork the brain to prevent mental fatigue.

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