Top 5 Mental Math Methods in the World

Today you can define mental math in various different ways. Some would say, memorizing times table and remembering the solutions can form the part of mental mathematics. Some would say ability to perform simple calculations in your head can be mental mathematics.

The web dictionary defines mental mathematics as “Computing an exact answer without using pencil and paper or other physical aids.”

Today there are five methods available to learn and practice mental mathematics.

Let’s begin with the first one called ‘Learning by Heart’ or better known as the rote memorizing method where your teachers ask you to mug up boring multiplication tables. It not only kills the interest of the child in mathematics but also makes sure that he develops hatred towards the subject for the rest of the years he studies it. This system gives its ardent devotee some degree of success initially as he is able to answer easy problems but then when the supposedly bigger application problems come the steam is almost over.

The second one gives you a good degree of success and I would highly recommend it to the younger lot out there. It hails from China and is popular by the name of The Abacus (also known as the Soroban in Japan). An abacus is a calculating tool, often constructed as a wooden frame with beads sliding on wires. With the use of this tool one can perform calculations relating to addition, subtraction, multiplication and division with ease. Gradually one practices with the tool in one’s hand and later on when experienced he learns to do it without the tool. This tool is then fitted into the mind mentally and he can then add, subtract multiply and divide in seconds. This tool also enhances a child’s concentration levels.

The main drawback of this system is that it focuses only on the 4 mathematical operations. Concepts beyond these operations such as Algebra, Square Roots, Cubes, Squares, Calculus, and Geometry etc cannot be solved using it at all. Also one needs a longer time to be able to fully get a grasp of the system hence you see courses in the abacus stretching to over 2 years which leads the child to boredom and then quitting from the course.

Another Chinese system mainly collected from the book The Nine Chapters on the Mathematical Art lays out an approach to mathematics that centers on finding the most general methods of solving problems. Entries in the book usually take the form of a statement of a problem, followed by the statement of the solution, and an explanation of the procedure that led to the solution.

The methods explained in this system can hardly be termed mental and they lack speed to top it all. The Chinese were definitely the most advanced of the civilization thanks to the Yangtze and Yellow Rivers but if I were to choose out of the two methods given by this culture It would be the abacus.

If wars have a 99.99% downside, sometimes they can have an upside too for they give birth to stories of hope and creativity. The next mental math system was developed during the Second World War in the Nazi Concentration Camp by a Ukrainian Mathematician Jakow Trachtenberg to keep his mind occupied. What resulted is now known as the Trachtenberg Speed System of Mathematics and consists of Rapid Mental Methods of doing Mathematics.

The system consists of a number of readily memorized patterns that allow one to perform arithmetic computations very quickly. It has wider applications than the Abacus and apart from the four basic operation methods it covers Squares and Square Roots.

The method focuses mostly on Multiplication and it even gives patterns for multiplication by particular number say 5,6,7 and even 11 and 12. It then gives a general method for rapid multiplication and a special two finger method. After practicing the method myself I realized that the multiplication was a very applicable mental method but the other methods covered to solve division and square roots were not very friendly and were impossible to be done mentally. I was in search of a much better wholesome method where I could easily perform other operations also. Another drawback of this system was that it too like the abacus failed to have a wider scope i.e to encompass other fields like Algebra, Calculus, Trignometry, Cube Roots etc

A Recommendation by a friend of mine from America introduced me to what is known as the Kumon Math Method. It was founded by a Japanese educator Toru Kumon in 1950s and as of 2007 over 4 million children were studying under the Kumon Method in over 43 different countries.

Students do not work together as a class but progress through the curriculum at their own pace, moving on to the next level when they have achieved mastery of the previous level. This sometimes involves repeating the same set of worksheets until the student achieves a satisfactory score within a specified time limit. In North American Kumon Centers, the mathematics program starts with very basic skills, such as pattern recognition and counting, and progresses to increasingly challenging subjects, such as calculus, probability and statistics. The Kumon Method does not cover geometry as a separate topic but provides sufficient geometry practice to meet the prerequisites for trigonometry, which is covered within the Kumon math program.

I was much impressed with the glamour around Kumon but a glimpse of its curriculum deeply disappointed me. It is not mental at all. It does not offer any special methods to do mathematics and one does not improve one’s speed by doing Kumon Math. There is a set curriculum of worksheets which one does till one achieves mastery in the subject. So say for example a sheet on Divison- one would continue to do division by the conventional method till he gets a satisfactory score and then he moves on to a higher level. This certainly doesn’t make division any faster and the process is certainly not mental.

A deep thought on the reason of its tremendous popularity in America led me to conclude was the lack of a franchisee business model of the abacus and the Trachtenberg speed system in the 1950s. The franchisee model was essential in taking the course from country to country. This is where Toru Kumon thrived.

Dissapointed with other cultures in the world, my search made me look in my own Indian culture. What I found astonished and amazed me so much that I fell in love with the system and started coaching neighbourhood students in it.

This is easily the World’s Fastest Mental Mathematics System called High Speed Vedic Mathematics. It has its roots in Ancient Indian Scriptures called the Vedas meaning ‘the fountain head of knowledge’. With it not only you can add, subtract, multiply or divide which is the limiting factor of the abacus but you can also solve complex mathematics such as algebra, geometry, Calculus, and Trigonometry. Some of the most advanced, complex and arduous problems can be solved using the Vedic Maths method with extreme ease.

And all this with just 16 word formulas written in Sanskrit.

High Speed Vedic Mathematics was founded by Swami Sri Bharati Krishna Tirthaji Maharaja who was the Sankaracharya (Monk of the Highest Order) of Govardhan Matha in Puri between 1911 and 1918. They are called “Vedic” as because the sutras are contained in the Atharva Veda - a branch of mathematics and engineering in the Ancient Indian Scriptures.

High Speed Vedic Mathematics is far more systematic, simplified and unified than the conventional system. It is a mental tool for calculation that encourages the development and use of intuition and innovation, while giving the student a lot of flexibility, fun and satisfaction . For your child, it means giving them a competitive edge, a way to optimize their performance and gives them an edge in mathematics and logic that will help them to shine in the classroom and beyond.

Therefore it’s direct and easy to implement in schools – a reason behind its enormous popularity among academicians and students. It complements the Mathematics curriculum conventionally taught in schools by acting as a powerful checking tool and goes to save precious time in examinations.

The Trachtenberg Method is often compared to Vedic Mathematics. Infact even some of the multiplication methods are strikingly similar. The Trachtenberg system comes the closest to the Vedic System in comparison and ease of the methods. But the ease and mental solvability of the other method especially division, square roots, cube roots, Algebraic Equations, Trigonometry, Calculus etc clearly gives the Vedic System an edge. Even NASA is said to be using some of this methods applications in the field of artificial intelligence.

There are just 16 Vedic Math sutras or word formulas which one needs to practice in order to be efficient in Vedic Math system. Sutras or Word Math Formulas such as the Vertically and Crosswise, All from Nine and Last from ten helps to solve complex problems with ease and also a single formula can be applied in two or more fields at the same time. The Vertically and Crosswise formula is one such gem by which one can multiply, find squares, solve simultaneous equations and find the determinant of a matrix all at the same time.

If either of these methods is learned at an early age, a student aged 14 can perform lightening fast calculations easily during his examinations and ace through them.

Vedic Mathematics is fast gaining popularity in this millennium. It is being considered as the only mental math system suited for a child as it helps to develop his numerical as well as mental abilities. The methods are new and practical and teach only Mental Rapid Mathematics.

The system does not focus on learning by repetition as in the Kumon Method. The system focuses on improving intelligence by teaching fundamentals and alternate methods. The purpose is not limited to improving performance in the school or tests, but on providing a broader outlook resulting in improved mathematical intelligence and mental sharpness.

To know more about the Vedic Mathematics Sutras – The World’s Fastest Mental Math System you can visit http://www.vedicmathsindia.org

This Article is by Gaurav Tekriwal,, The President of the Vedic Maths Forum India who has been conducting High Speed Vedic Math Workshops for the last five years and has trained over seven thousand students across the world in the field. He is the author of the best selling DVD on the subject which contains over 10 hours on the subject. He is an expert in the field and revolutionizes the way children learn math.

Using an Online Calendar For Time Management

Time management is essential for making effective use of time. We usually work through the day without paying attention to whether we are using our time wisely. As a result we end up not being able to achieve many a thing that we had hoped to. If you find it difficult to keep track of time you can use a tool like that an online calendar to help you in managing your time. These calendars can be downloaded free from the Internet and are extremely user friendly. Here are a few points on how to make good use of online calendars.

You should treat your online calendar as a tracking tool. You should include all your daily activities in your calendar. If you are more comfortable having the calendar in front of you at all times, print it out and display the hard copy. When you update your calendar daily you are sure of what you need to do through the day. If there any changes in your schedule, make sure you modify the calendar accordingly.

Initially you do not need to make drastic changes to your professional or family life. Start just by noticing how much time you spend doing what. Do not try to change all the aspects of your daily activities in one shot. Begin by working on changing one or two activities initially. For example, if you feel you have been taking too much time planning out your meals during the week, you may want to plan out your weekly menu at the beginning of the week.

Your online calendar will help you identify when you have short spells of free time in between your activities. You can see how you can best utilize these gaps in schedule and thenby manage your time better on the whole.

Prioritize your activities to get the maximum out of the time available to you. You should focus on doing those things that mean the most to you. Without setting priorities you will just end up struggling to achieve everything and actually be unsuccessful in most activities. On your online calendar, fill in your high priority tasks first and move on to those that are lower on your priority list only after you have finished completing the previous ones. Therefore, by using a simple tool like an online calendar you can organize your life and achieve far more than you could previously.

21st Century Global Financial System of Market Economy

In the 21st Century currently existing Global Financial System lead by US and other Most Developed Nations (incl. China) and managed by the Parish Club, WTO, IMF and the World Bank must change their approaches to appreciate the most recent developments of chronically becoming indebted World, in which except for a very few countries and market as China and India, most of the rest Most Developed Economies as US and GB, Developing Countries as Spain, Portugal and Greece, and Undeveloped Countries as Bulgaria, Rumania and many South American Countries , Asian and African Countries are greatly indebted or very underdeveloped. A Central Banking System is needed to control the global "demand-to-supply" balance by being able to issue capital, instead of the current global financial system which performs more as a "lender".

There have been many indications that the process of running fiscal shortages for many countries can not be reversed by using current Economics of Production based "trickle-down" Capitalism, because the Production based Economics is generally founded on industrial production that adds the highest percentage to any country GDP (General Domestic Product) and the consequential fiscal reserves for a country or a market to develop most definately such country following the economics of production must industrialize, or for an industrialized country such must keep being globally competitive in industrial production to maintain intact its deficiency. The Globalization of the market place propelled by the great Capitalization and the Rising Productivity have boosted the economies of China and now India to industrialize rapidly, that industrial power added very much to the current industrialized economies of Japan, Germany, US capacity by how the Global industrial production capacity overall is coming to a point of great concentration of such industrial production into a very few industrialized economies. The possibilities for other small or even big countries to become competitive in industrial production and maintain their fiscal policies and reserves in tact are diminishing.

From the Most Industrialized Economies US is particularly vulnerable under these new Global developments of ungoing exodus of industrial production and capital investment to the Far East. The Capitalism of US Economics is very inept in distributing and redistributing Wealth so to speak the "demand" side of Capitalism correlates the "supply" and works well in a close marketplace in size of US market when "trickle-down" capital first "trickle -up "to concentrate wealth then comes" down "to create industrial production, but than when" trickle-down "does not go to the US market but to elsewhere the shortage of consumption can not be avoided, following in not properly balancing" demand -to-supply ", thus, to avoid economic catastrophes US Government steps up with infusing capital into the system: exactly what happened at the last Great Recession of 2007-2009.

Also in time of narrowing ROI (Return Of Investment) particularly for SME (Small & Medium Enterprises) and from the SMI (Small & Medium Investors), in time of Governmental policies promoting and tolerating pro Big Business and Big Investors deregulated "trickle- down "Capitalism which were mostly the only ones benefitting from the ongoing globalization, the possibilities in such times for occurrences of Economic Bubbles are quite common. The 1999 Stock Exchange Bubble and the 2007 Great Recession are products of designated lack of Wealth Distribution. Thus become obvious that the Government in situations like that step into actions by infusing capital, save even individual businesses and prompt social distribution: The Healthcare Reform, the Finance Reform, and the US SME Tax Reform are good examples how the system in distress works, although the consequences are up to be seen. It is hard to believe that the US Government could consistently manage the economy and create business. In the Next Recession the Government will appropriate more function in financing and business that overall is a scary preposition having in mind how inflexible and inept a Government could be.

Environmental pollution and Earth extraction of resources under the current production economics based on industrial production mainly is unavoidable, because when even most developed industrial nations could introduce and follow policies of protecting the environment, or even the developing nations of China and India follow up which is highly doubtful, there are many countries that will try to manage their fiscal shortages by compromising the rules for Environmental protection so that they can bring to their soil industrial production. In the World of ROI mostly from Industrial Production the prices of Environmental protection technologies are making businesses very competitive to others that do not implement these. Pollution also comes from cutting and burning woods to farm or from heating with coal, or from driving old autos, or from dispose sewers into open rivers. So to speak, without curbing on the Global poverty can not be ways to curbing on pollution. But to curb on poverty industrialization can not be used so the possibilities for saving the World from Environmental disaster by using industrial production are very unlike.

To avoid multiple economic crashes and upheaval, to avoid the Government take over when next recessions, to avoid fiscal shortcomings and deficit, unemployment and poverty, to avoid environmental destruction a new system of economies is needed, one that will allow countries to develop without being industrialized.

Is it possible to manage global development without using current production based economics system?

  • Well the most recent US and any Governments' infusion of monetary quantities, business involvement and social distribution of wealth is not based on production economics.
  • The Chinese approaches in handling Economy is not production based only economics: their interference in the ways "trickle-down" capital works in the marketplace does not follow Capitalism but is more-like "artificial" flexible usage of economic "tools'.
  • The Greece bailout by the EU and IMF is not "trickle-down" economics; it is an interference with the powers of the Capitalism.
  • There are many more examples of how Governments and organization interfere with freely flowing capital and there before using "artificial" methods of economics.

At the moment he mounting debt accumulated by almost any country in the World horrific economists and they predict imminent bust-and-doom (there was a suggestion by some German politicians to Greece to sell some Greek islands, but then funds has been approved help Greece ). Although economists should be horrified only from high imbalance of "demand-to-supply" ratios, which imbalance provokes inflations and deflations; that should be the largest concern to the Global Financial Institutions instead these are fighting defit and debt: these institution as mentioned above are acting more-like a "lender" then a "controller" these should be. If the Global marketplace is seen in its vastness as a common marketplace a mass industrialization should not be expected and can not be achieved therefore. Thus, for balancing "demand-to-supply" ratios, the Monetary Policies should be used instead industrializing the entire Earth. Comprehensive Monetary Policies by Global Financial Institutions flexibly using Monetary Quantities as Economic "tools" and Business and Financial Regulations as enhancing business "security" are "the way to Rome" only.

Less governmental involvement in business, more business laws and regulations on business contracting, business and project bonding, intellectual properties' laws, risk management personal liability laws, and etc, these the supplements to an appropriate Monetary Policies: because these "regulatory" actions will strengthen SME and SMI "security" and make these much more adequate to be funded.

Low interest rate financing and subsidies are economic "tools" to be used by a Global Financial System in promoting environmentally friendly renewable energies and agriculture, environmental tourism and sustainable growth. This new financial system must use commercial banks to invest in countries on project by project basis on set matrix and low margin.

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© Joshua Konov, 2010

How to Reduce Stress and Anxiety When Traveling

The Problem

I have a car accident one year ago. I am really worried that my 10 year old daughter may 'catch' my anxiety about going in cars. him in the car telling him to slow down. What can I do to stop my daughter being as nervous as me? "

The Solution

It is very common after a bad traffic accident to feel nervous in the car both as a passenger and a driver. So what can you do? Please reassure yourself that your nervousness will get better. The keys to this are: Every time you go in the car tell yourself 'I'm safe' and 'this will be OK'. It is extremely unlikely that you will have another accident. Next, you need to have regular practice going out in the car both as a passenger and as a driver. Try going on very short trips around where you live – put your kettle on, and go out for a 5 minute journey.

If you are driving, remember to relax every 5 minutes – let your shoulders drop, do not grip the steering wheel to tightly, and take a deep breath. If any particular situation, like passing a junction, makes you tense, apply the 'relax' technique then. When you are a passenger be aware of your 'feet, hands and mouth', try not to 'brake' or hang on, and try not to point things out to the driver! As these nervous passenger behaviors stop, you will relax more and find it easier to cope with the journey. As you feel better, you will transmit this to your daughter. You can also explain to her that traveling is safe; play games in the car to distract her and make the journey more fun. Please do not worry, this nervousness is understandable and gradually goes.