Secrets of Mental Math by Arthur T. Benjamin

Secrets of Mental Math

For use in schools and libraries only. An accessible guide to mathematical calculation reveals the secrets of rapid mental calculation, memorization, and other feats of the mind, with tips on how to add, subtract, multiply, divide, and work with fractions, squares, and cube roots.

Details Secrets of Mental Math

TitleSecrets of Mental Math
Release DateJun 3rd, 2008
PublisherThree Rivers Press
GenreScience, Mathematics, Self Help

Reviews Secrets of Mental Math

  • Onna
    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 ...
  • Nick
    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 remembe...
  • Phil Sykora
    Foreword by Bill Nye?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 ...
  • 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 ...
  • Jeremy
    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).
  • Tom
    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 t...
  • Natalya
    "Special thanks to NATALYA ST. CLAIR for typesetting the initial draft, which was partly supported by a grant from the Mellon Foundation." :D
  • Kevin M
    Fantastic book! If you love math, or would just like to be able to struggle less with it, this book is a great tool. One caveat however: don't expect magically easy math abilities. Benjamin shows you the tools to make mental math problems exponentially easier, but at the end of the day you still need to calculate! Now with that out of the way, can you calculate squares and square roots in your head? For two, three-no-five digit numbers? This book...
  • Mars
    The author is enthusiastic, but somehow this enthusiasm doesn't transmit to the reader. The tricks work, but I am incredibly bored by this book regardless. (might have worked better with real-life examples, but I for one am hard-pressed to think of a good real-life reason to multiply a pair of two-digit numbers in your head)
  • 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 ...
  • Samantha
    Helped me so much to make math easier. I shocked my friends into thinking I was a super genius and with this books helps I won't stop. I put it down because after a while it was starting to bore me but after a few months you can pick back up again.
  • Deborah
    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.
  • 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.
  • Jessica
    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.
  • Matt
    Some things in here I have no interest in mastering, but there are some neat tricks worth some study!
  • Justice
    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.
  • Vanessa
    I watched the "video" book from the library. Fun parlor tricks, but these methods still take lots of practice and memorizing. Definitely a few things for multiplying multi-digit factors I will use going forward but some, like Vedic division, I'll never use.
  • Msalem
    Starts out interesting. Loses its spark about four chapters in.
  • Laura
    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 q...
  • Leo
    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 i...
  • Liz
    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...
  • Emil Petersen
    This is potent stuff. The first chapters were much like my own way of doing calculations in my head, and so I was lulled into saying to myself "this is not that hard". By the last few chapters my face practically melted. Most of us can recognize when we meet the threshold of our mental abilities, and I met mine when doing larger multiplications. All these calculations requires quite a few balls in the air and it is a whole other level multiplying...
  • 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...
  • William Schram
    Contains techniques for lightning fast mental calculation and other things for elementary mathematics and random tricks. For instance, it includes the phonetic memory system for recalling numbers and a way to calculate dates in your head. The techniques listed in the book are a bit counter intuitive, but they work pretty well. The book also contains problems for you to do on your own in order for you to go and improve your abilities at this parti...
  • 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 d...
  • Haghia lubis
    The first few chapters is commonly educated during my primary school, although the later chapters are much more complicated. Perhaps asian schools with all the kumon and other math's concept has already taught this early on, since asian's are mostly well known with their math capability. yet, it is still refreshing and helpful on a much advanced level, though i don't think the later chapter shall help me much in my daily live.
  • 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.