Is only the calculation performed in the mind?

Home Community Questions & Answers Mental Math Q & A Is only the calculation performed in the mind?

This topic contains 3 replies, has 2 voices, and was last updated by  Abhishek R September 13, 2019 at 7:52 pm.

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  • #7587

    thewritescott
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    Typically, when performing mental math, do you get to see the problem? Meaning, if I’m adding 45,982 + 44,863, do I have to find a way to hold both numbers in my head, along with the calculation? And continue to hold it while I use DS or DD to verify it?

    I’ve been trying that as I’ve been going through the Mental Math Ofpad book, with some success. But it’s been very slow. Then I realized, there was nothing in it about how to briefly memorize the problem. And the calculations are MUCH easier if I’m able to look at the problem in order to figure it out.

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    #7588

    Abhishek R
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    Hi Scott,

    Thanks for posting this question. In the two years I have had the course and the book, you are the first person to ask this. I am actually aware of this problem and I will be updating both the book and the course with the method in the coming months. Later on in the book you will find that it is also hard to remember the answer you already calculated. There are two ways to solve this problem.

    First way you can free up your working memory is to say the numbers out loud. For small numbers this is all you need to do.

    The second way which needs a little more explanation is to use the memory palace. You need to visualize each number 0 to 9 as an object like 0 as a basket ball. 6 as a dice because dice has 6 faces, 9 as a balloon because it looks like a baloon. Basically each number should look like the object or should be associated with the object.

    You need to then make the place where you live your memory palace. Nothing to remember here because you already know your house by heart. However you should remember the locations in your house in a specific order as you walk through it. For example the first location of your house will always be the front entrance. The second location will be the first room as you enter your house and so on. You need at least 7 to 9 locations in your memory palace. So if you don’t have that many rooms in your house have two locations in the same room. For example you can make the TV in your living room the first location and the couch your second location.

    The important thing is you need to know the order of the location in your palace by heart. If I ask you what is the 4th location is you should be able to say it’s your kitchen sink almost instantly.

    Most of the time you need only one palace which you will use to remember the digits of your answer as you calculate. But in some cases where the problem itself is very long like 45536 + 86395, you will need two more memory palaces to remember the two digits of the problem. So ideally you need to create 3 different memory palaces using the places you already know well.

    Now each number you will place in the corresponding location in the memory palace. So if the first digit of your answer is 9 you will place a giant baloon that blocks the entrance of your house. If the second digit is 0 you will see a basketball bounce and hit the TV as soon as you enter the house. The idea is to not only place the object in the corresponding location in the memory palace but also visualize the object interacting with memory palace in someway so it becomes more memorable.

    If you have to remember a, b and c in a + b = c, you will have to use three different memory palaces. Don’t place more than one number in the same palace.

    As mentioned earlier. Simply saying the numbers out loud is sufficient most of the time. But with practice using a memory palace will seem natural.

    Let me know if this makes sense or if you have any questions.

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    #7589

    thewritescott
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    Thank you, Abhishekr.

    This is super helpful. I already have some memory palaces set up for other purposes, including memorizing up to 3 decks of cards. I’ve even written three books on various memory techniques and applications. I won’t list them, since I’ve read the forum rules. 😉

    I like your suggestion of using shape numbers. I currently have a system of Person-Action-Object along with a combination of easy number associations, and Dominic Numbers.

    This is great for recalling long lists of numbers, but terrible for calculation. I’m storing up to 6 digits in one image, and it isn’t working for mental math.

    I’m going to try and set up a palace with at least three stacks of locations on top of them. Along with your shape numbering suggestion, I ‘m hoping this lets me truly visualize:

    9649
    +4172
    13821

    Or whatever.

    Love your book, by the way. I’m going to rate it highly on Amazon as soon as I finish it.

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    #7593

    Abhishek R
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    Hey Scott. That’s great to hear.

    The person action object is a bit of an overkill for mental math and might needlessly complicate mental math for you.

    I would love to hear the method that works for you. So if something else is working for you, please do share it here.

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