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B Rainman Revisited (rapid mental math)

  1. Feb 6, 2017 #1
    In the movie Rainman the autistic savant played by Dustin Hoffman performs a calculation of the square root of 2130 . In less than a second he gives the answer 46.15192304.
    Do savants really do this at this speed to 8 decimal places? I was looking thru the internet to see video evidence of speedy calculations by savants , but couldn't find any.
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 6, 2017 #2


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    Staff: Mentor

    They can get 5 to 6 digits very fast. Usually the problems ask for integers and roots where the last integer doesn't need calculations, for a total of 7 digits in the answer, this does not work here. 10 digits would surprise me.
    Movies don't have to be very realistic.
  4. Feb 6, 2017 #3
  5. Feb 6, 2017 #4


    Staff: Mentor

  6. Feb 6, 2017 #5
    I saw the Daniel Trammet video where he talks about synesthesia, but I did not see him do any calculations. I am looking for a video of an autistic person taking a square root of a 4 digit number or multiplying two four digit numbers.
  7. Feb 6, 2017 #6
    Have you seen this one?

    It's 45 minutes long and I haven't watched the whole thing, so I don't know if it has what you are looking for.

    -Dave K
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