### The Mathematics Head

In elementary school, we successfully added (1+1) and found it’s not (11). We just did not know how far this train would take us, and now we are here. Day-to-day situations call for mathematics in us. Yes, we have computers but we just cannot rely on them every other time to calculate fare charges and balances, though we should.

Knowing how to calculate huge values is a trick for the
intelligent, which I do not claim to be part of. However, there are numbers
that pop up every day in our lives and we just need an accurate number as fast
as possible. Well, the calculator app is more often than not secured with
passwords and patterns, we cannot rely on such inconvenience.

The first example is basic multiplication, (what is 300 x 300?).
Everyone quite knows the trick for this type, and if you don’t, I will share
it here. (300 x 300) is equal to (3 x 3 x 10,000). Step one is to count the
zeros while removing them. From there, multiply the remaining numbers and then
place the zeros at the end. That’s quite basic!

Next, addition is quite a simple field and more likely than
not, everyone’s starting point in the mathematics world. Despite this, numbers are
there to make life hard, so in a blink, (what is 13 + 17?) That was an easy one
just because you have mastered these numbers. But how efficient were you when
you calculated the figures? The most inefficient way of doing this is (taking
the 13) and then (counting 17 times) to reach the answer. Improve this efficiency
by (starting with 17.) Just don’t stop there, I will show you how.

(13 + 17) can be simplified further to improve efficiency and reduce the margin for making errors. Split the figure into simpler numbers (10 + [3 + 7] + 10). This makes it easier to know where the real computation is. Then simplify the part that is likely to generate an error, (i.e. [3 + 7] first). This will result in a single figure that can easily be computed with the other values. Using that, (try 39 + 46). It’s cool, right? (What of 347 + 512?)

Now let’s do some subtraction. The painful part of
subtraction is generating negative values which if computed by our erroneous
brains, more often than not, are prone to errors. Let’s picture (a typical
case, 43 – 19). This is one for computers, but does it have to be? Try
splitting the number on the right and we will have a much (more readable
figure, 43 – 10 – 9). Then start by removing the (immediate 10) as it is easily
manageable.

Then, we find that we have another (computation to do, 33 –
9). Still a computation that may get you guessing but hold on. We have a
(a number that is less than 10). We can approach this in two ways. The first way
is by __rounding it up__. Please, we are ~~not rounding it off~~. This
will give us a (perfect 10 with a variance of -1). Now (less the 10 and deal
with the variance). The other way is (splitting it further, 33 – 3 – 6). Split
it to ensure you prevent the first subtraction from giving you a non-perfect
value. The rest we can write an essay about it.

Lastly, advanced multiplication occurs more frequently than
not. (What is 84 x 5?) Someone may choose to use a computer for this, but I
will show you how you can do it in your head and appear a genius, well, not in
front of other geniuses. Using the splitting technique, we can do two
multiplications and provide a correct answer. First, (compute 80 x 5.) If this
is fairly hard, use the zero’s technique from above. We will get a new
computation, much simpler (i.e. 4 x 5.) Now add the two and give the answer.
For the case I am explaining here, an answer is not needed. Your response
should be “I know what you are talking about!”

In my defense, these methods are not always the fastest.
There are some pretty much intelligent people who can do it (521472.01019 /
210.158). Sadly, we use computers for these and even if I knew how to do it, I
wouldn’t peg a profession on it. Try whale watching, idle people call it a
career too.

Folks, division is a field by itself and I am pretty tired.
That’s all for now.

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