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Secrets of Mental Math: The Mathemagician's Guide to Lightning Calculation and Amazing Math Tricks
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Secrets of Mental Math: The Mathemagician's Guide to Lightning Calculation and Amazing Math Tricks

4.04 of 5 stars 4.04  ·  rating details  ·  854 ratings  ·  55 reviews
These simple math secrets and tricks will forever change how you look at the world of numbers.

Secrets of Mental Math will have you thinking like a math genius in no time. Get ready to amaze your friends—and yourself—with incredible calculations you never thought you could master, as renowned “mathemagician” Arthur Benjamin shares his techniques for lightning-quick calculat
ebook, 224 pages
Published June 3rd 2008 by Three Rivers Press (first published August 1st 2006)
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I LOVE this book! It's a nerd's dream come true for me. I checked it out from the library and had it for at least two months. It pained me to give it back. I'm going to buy it soon as I get money. These tricks are so wonderful, it's a wonder they didn't use these in school.

I loved the Pi part. I can recite Pi to a hundred digits now! Always been a goal of mine too. I was content with knowing it for 20 digits, but this made it super easy to know it to a hundred. Then the figuring out the weekday
Phil Sykora
Foreword by Bill Nye?


Watching him was definitely the greatest time I had in science class. Knowing that he advocates this book (or was bought out to support it) is pretty much worthy of my attention.

No question there is definitely useful (to the point of being necessary) information in this book. In the first chapter (ironically Chapter 0), I was introduced to a smorgasbord of various tricks that became immediately useful: the rule of multiplying 11s, squaring numbers that end in 5, m
This book helped me to re-build a fresh perspective on doing math in my head. He builds on a central idea of breaking down seemingly complex computations into simple, manageable ones. He then gives you new ways of seeing numbers such that, once these various patterns become familiar, you are able to employ tricks to getting the math done quickly. One of his first examples is how to square a two-digit number that ends in 5.

"... you need to remember only two things. 1. The answer begins by multipl
Mike Shultz
I slowed down about half way through this book and was ready to give it 3 stars. In some cases I had discovered a fair number of the tricks on my own, or had learned them elsewhere. The processes described were sometimes just brute mathematics, requiring you compute, then hold numbers in your head and compute again.

However, the second half had some cool techniques that I didn't know, and while 4 or 5-digit multiplication problems are just plain difficult (as the author admits), 3 and 4 digit sq
Dijon Chiasson
As a nerd who is desperate for attention but also very lazy, this book was a godsend! Arthur Benjamin's mental math tips are very easy to learn, yet still appear impressive to the casual observer. Towards the end of the book, there are some real showstoppers, but even if one only gets halfway through the tricks, you could still impress people at a party (a very lame party).
"Special thanks to NATALYA ST. CLAIR for typesetting the initial draft, which was partly supported by a grant from the Mellon Foundation." :D
Two stars really isn't a fair rating. Had some fun adding and subtracting and then multiplying 3 digit numbers in my head.

But as the problems get more complex, my limitations became apparent. Couldn't read through the entire book. When I couldn't do what the book was suggesting, just gave up.

So no - reading this book wont suddenly make you a math genius.

There are some interesting stories with interesting perspectives, but not enough to inspire the me to practice the "tricks" and yes I expect th
Some things in here I have no interest in mastering, but there are some neat tricks worth some study!
Lance Greenfield
I really liked this book, and its accompanying video CD. The author is full of enthusiasm and the mathematical tricks are really worth learning, and so simple.

I enjoyed teaching some of the tricks to my grandson, who, in turn, enjoyed showing them off to his friends and teachers at school.

I'd recommend this book to everyone. A lot of fun!
Anas Re
الكتاب الاكثر فائدة في موضوع الحساب الذهني
انصح القراء العرب بقراءته اسلوبه سهل جدا
والحيل فيه مفيدة وعملية فالناس في حياتها ومعاملتها اكثر ما تستخدم الرياضيات البسيطة غير "المعقدة"
القدرة على حل العمليات بشكل مختصر جدا وذهنيا التي يعلمها الكتاب ستجعلك تحزن على عدم معرفتك السابقة بها
good book

Jeff Yoak
I tremendously enjoyed both the book and the video course. I was familiar with Benjamin both from other courses and from his mental math tricks. Not only did I improve a lot just from watching, but I picked up some really neat new tricks that I know I can get with practice. Lots of fun.
I already knew/used a few of these tricks, but some were new and pretty smart. And there's nothing nerdier than doing math in you head on the train, so that was fun.
The first third of this book should be mandatory for all math and elementary educators. Gets a little unnecessary after that, but it was still a good read.

En una època en la que tothom va amb un mòbil (amb calculadora) a les butxaques, vaig jo i llegeixo un llibre que només es dedica a explicar trucs per calcular (mentalment) més ràpid. Sembla que no té sentit, però... bé, jo sempre he sigut molt vaga per aquestes coses, i per no haver de treure la calculadora de la bossa, o el mòbil de la butxaca (i obrir la calculadora), o... sempre acabo calculant les coses de cap, que és més ràpid que buscar una calculadora. D'acord, pels càlculs llargs no, p
Leo Bekerman
This book was quite helpful for my uses but leaves many topics uncovered.

I used the book to prep for various interviews where I need to do math in my head FAST and without paper. This book was an excellent start. I would say that it is too brief to be exhaustive so I'd recommend consulting other materials if you're trying to learn mental math for a serious goal.

What the book does provide is a solid introduction into doing math in your head and if you get through it, you will probably end up wan
Krishna Kumar
Great book for learning how to do mathematics in your head instead of on paper. You can learn how to add and subtract quickly and learn how to add a set of many numbers and multiply large numbers very easily. The book also features many mathematical shortcuts. It is a fun book, and if you are a student or teacher, you will find this tremendously useful in your daily life.
Oct 08, 2013 L rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: home-schooling parents, teachers
Recommended to L by: a home-schooling parent
I skimmed this book extremely fast so probably not quite fair to give it a rating. I learned several things I never knew about math. Just the chapter on multiplication in less than 5 minutes helped me understand the math curriculum theories for my sons' elementary school better than I've received from any teacher or the principal. However, it is a hard core book on math so how exciting could that really be? And it's not really a book to read, but more to work through. So I was not motivated to w ...more
An entertaining math book! Seriously. Easy to read and easy to understand strategies for improving number sense. I think my kids might also like how the author frames the equations as tricks or illusions. Of course, with my short memory, I had to buy a copy so I can refer back to it. Sorry library.
Justin Bustamante
Easy read with lots of helpful hints. The methods are easy to remember so what is harder to to is "un-learn" the way we were taught to do math. So fun and easy, almost to easy. I often double and triple check myself before I really believe math with large numbers can be so easy.
Jackie Fowler
There were enough interesting math shortcuts in this book to keep my interest, especially those dealing with multiplication tricks, squaring, finding divisors (and why those tricks work), and figuring out any day of the week in the Gregorian Calendar. But, there were also many parts that just weren't feasible to me. Only certain people, like the author, are capable of doing all the mental tricks he covers. Some math problems were just too much to do with paper and pencil, and I'm a math person! ...more
Excellent book on mental maths!! read this and practice the technique and you can do maths in lightning speed WITH OUT PEN/CALCULATOR
Franco Arda
I'm neither interested in squaring three-digit numbers in my head nor in doing mathematical magic. I'm only interested in practical mental math. I did buy this book for chapter 5; *** Good Enough; The Art of 'Guesstimation' ***. I've been doing guesstimations for many years intuitively, not very structured. This fine chapter teaches beginners the art of guesstimation while experts can go back to the basics and hone their skills while they might discover something new ... I did do so with approxi ...more
Great book for fun and speedy math calculation tricks. Great for kids to read.
Tom prigg
this is a great book if you like mental calculations.
I homeschool my kids and I'll be adding this book to their curriculum. So much more fun than a text book!
Mohammed Almahfoudh
The author of this book calls himself a mathemagician. He combines his love to both math and magic in this book. The book introduces creative , simple and easy ways for doing algebra. When reading this book, I realized that I was already using some of the methods introduced in the book. I have to say that even though I am not a math lover, I really enjoyed reading this book and practicing its creative calculations methods. One final note, after you're done with reading the book, check out the re ...more
What a fun book!! I learned several tips and tricks and truly enjoyed every chapter.
I thought this might help my math challenged daughter, but it won't, you still need to get basic math. oh well, I did learn that something I have been doing for years - did they teach this as the 'new math' way back when? - his trick of adding or subtracting from the left instead of the right works because of the distributive principle of mathematics.
Andy Pelerine
This book is about secrets to easy math problems. This book was good to about page 50 but then it got way to complicated for me. I think this is a book that you should read over time. For example in 7th grade read to page 50 or so and then in 8th read to page 100 or so. And so on and so on. But overall I think this was a decent book.
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