# How to Become a Human Calculator? - Introduction

3 min read · Aug 12, 2024

## Table of contents

Hey there!

Welcome to the introduction to my mental math series! 😄

The goal is simple: if you read these 14 chapters, you'll know how to become a human calculator.

**Sidenote:** Reading alone won't make you good at mental math. For that, you'll need looots of practice (I of course recommend Mental Math Pro).

Whether you're a student, a professional, or just curious about sharpening your mind, this series is for you.

So grab your favorite beverage, settle in, and let's dive into the wonderful world of mental mathematics!

## What is Mental Math?

Mental math is **the art of solving math problems in your head without reaching for a calculator or pen and paper.**

We'll answer this question in more detail in the next chapter, but for now just think of it as shortcuts to get a math answer quickly.

A bit like that scene at the start of the movie "21". Except, mental math isn't just for math geniuses! It's a skill that anyone can learn with the right techniques and a lot of practice

## Why is Mental Math Important?

Other than impressing your friends, there are many benefits to learning mental math. Such as:

**Boosts Your Brain Power:**Think of it as a workout for your brain. It helps improve your memory, attention, and problem-solving skills.**Super Practical:**Whether you're shopping for groceries, calculating discounts, or just figuring out your daily schedule, mental math makes life a lot easier.**Boosts Your Confidence:**As you get better at mental math, your confidence will grow (we have a nice quote from the founder of Google on our homepage).

## The 4 Different Mental Calculation Techniques

Let's take a sneak peek at the techniques we'll explore in this series:

**Traditional Mental Math:**This is all about using shortcuts to basic math operations like addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division in your head. Also, these are the 14 strategies we teach.**Vedic Math:**Based on ancient Indian teachings, Vedic Math uses simple rules to make calculations fast and easy. We'll dedicate a section to it later in the series.**Abacus Math:**Every week, this method goes viral on social media. The abacus is a*great*tool for visualizing numbers. We'll learn how people use it mentally for quick calculations.**The Trachtenberg Method:**This offers clever strategies for doing arithmetic in your head. It's a bit more advanced than traditional mental math.

## The Main Tricks/ Themes

No matter which technique you're using, they all share a few common tricks:

**Breaking Numbers Down:**Simplify complex calculations by breaking numbers into smaller parts. For example, adding 48 and 27 becomes easier when you think of it as (40 + 20) + (8 + 7).**Estimation and Rounding:**Sometimes, getting an approximate answer quickly is all you need. Rounding numbers can help you calculate faster and still be (reasonably) accurate.**Spotting Patterns:**Math is full of patterns, and recognizing them can make your calculations much easier. This is why I'm always beating the "practice practice practice!" drum.**Memorizing Key Numbers:**Having a few important numbers memorized (ehem… multiplication tables!!) will greatly speed up your calculations.

## Conclusion

As you can see, mental math is more than just a cool party trick - and I hope you're sold on its importance.

But there's more to it! Which is why in the next chapter, we'll dive deeper into the question *"what is mental math?"*

So, see you then! 🚀

### About the author

#### Richard Reis

Founder of Mental Math Pro! Also currently doing a fun little "25 AI Startups in 50 Weeks" challenge.