As a computer science major, I have to say that I love math. One big reason people don’t care much for math is because they are afraid of it. Like anything else in life if you fear it, it will be hard to overcome. Perhaps, if you think of math like another language it may not be as hard to handle, after all mathematics is just another type of language, instead of letters to form words and sentences, numbers form problems, answers, and solution. We use math every day in our life, in some form or another.
One way to help people over come there fear of math is to try and make it fun. Yes, you heard me math can be a lot of fun. Most of the fear people have can be lessened if they learn to have fun with math. You know just about every card trick every invented was done so by mathematics. You can link almost every aspect of life to some form of math or another. So if you can’t avoid it have some fun with it.
I think what most people fear about math are the multiplication aspects. Division, subtraction, and addition are not as feared. Everyone should know how to multiply by zero, its simple anything multiplied by 0 =0 that’s was easy. To multiply by one is very simple as well; anything multiplied by one is the same number. Example 2 x 1=2 or 50 x 1 = 50 no major deal there either. Now we move to two again not a hard number to do. All you do is double the number, so 2 x 10 = 20, or 55 x 2 = 110 this is the child’s play of the multiplication table.
Now it starts to get a little tougher here when you start with the 3’s, but just think of it like this. You want to multiply 5 x 3 well you know how to do 5 x 2 = 10 well just add another 5 to it and you get 15. Therefore, you double your number and ad the number to that. Let’s say you want to do a number like 3 x 1460, well if you double that it becomes 2920 right now just add 1460 to that and you have 4380, so 3 x 1460 = 4380 not so bad huh.
Okay let’s move on to the 4’s again not a real hard number to work with. You can multiply by 2 you can do it by 4 as well you just double your number twice, so 4 x 4 would be 4+4=8 and 8+8=16 let’s take a bigger number like 1322 you add 1322 + 1322 = 2644 then you add 2644 + 2644 and you get 5288, so 1322 x 4 = 5288 not so bad right.
Now we start to get into the tougher numbers like 5, but it really isn’t that hard watch. First, the easiest way to multiply by 5 is actually multiply by 10 and then divide by two, for example: 5 x5= 5 x 10/2 or 5 x 10 = 50 and 50/2 = 25, so 5×5 = 25. Let’s try a harder number now 5 x 69 which equals 10 x 69/2 or 690/2 =345, so 5 x 69 = 345. Not too bad when you do this way is it.
Now let us move to the 6’s this is another one that can be a challenge to most people, but like the rest there is an easy way to do it. Whatever number you are multiplying to 6 you would divide by two then multiply by 10 then add the original number on to that. I know sounds tough, but it’s not, here is a few examples. Take and easy one like 6 x 10 we know it equals 60 but look at it like this take 10/2 = 5 multiply it by 10 and add back the original number 10 5 x 10 is 50 + 10 is 60. Let’s try a harder one now. 6 x 15=90 15/2 = 7.5 x 10= 75 + 15 = 90 this is stuff you can do in your head and really impress your friends.
I am sorry but I don’t really know a quick way to do the number 7. I always tried to memorize my 7 tables that was the only way I could get it done. I guess we can jump to 8 then. Like 2 or 4, 8 is just a number you want to work with doubling in a way. Let me show you let’s do 8 x 10 okay you take 10 x 2 = 20 then 20 x 2 = 40 then 40 x 2 = 80 simple concept there. Let’s try one a little harder like 8 x 24 = 2 x 24 = 48 2 x 48 =96 and 2 x 96 =192 and there, you have your answer.
Now we go into the ever so dreaded number 9 for some people this is the worst of them all, but there is a very easy way to do the 9’s as well. You work with the 9’s as if they are 10’s instead. Say you want to multiply 9 x 8 =72 look at it like this multiply 10 x 8 instead you get 80 now subtract the original number 8 leaving you with 72. Let’s try a harder one like 9 x 18 = switch to 10 x 18 = 180 and subtract 18 leaving you with 162 the answer not so bad now right. I don’t think we need to worry so much about the ten’s they are just as easy as the 1’s.
To help you along a little further I can share with you a trick on the 11’s because I really like this one. To multiply 11 by any single digit number is easy for example, 11 x 3 = 33 you just write the digit down twice, and you have your answer. What about larger numbers then, well that can be easy too. So let’s take 11 x 13 = 143 for example all you need to do is add the two digits together, and then place it between the same two. Let me show you 1 + 3 = 4 so take the 4 and put it between the 1 and 3 thus you 143, it’s that simple. What if the two digits add up to more than 9 like 11 x 64 for instants you still add the two 6 + 4 = 10 but now you carry the one over to the front number and the 0 stays in the middle like this 64 turns into 704 and that is the answer. 6 + 1 =7 and the 0 stays in between the now 7 and 4. Should you need to multiply 11 by a three digit number you can use this neat little trick. 11 x 243 you write down the first digit 2 then you add the first and second digit 2 + 4=6 then add the second and third digit 4 + 3 =7 and again write down the last number so you have 2673 for an answer to 11 x 243. Keep in mind the carry over rule should one of the additions exceed 9 you add one to the number on the left.
All the while you where learning these new tricks on multiplication, you were also learning a whole new type of math called algorithms. That’s right these little tricks are no more than reduction algorithms. To put it simply we are just reducing these problems into smaller easier to solve problems. If you know someone who may need some help with multiplication, perhaps you could show them this, and just maybe it will make things a little easier for them. As I stated before I didn’t make these up. I just learned them as I went along in school. There are plenty of books available with hunderds of more helpful hints. The more you become fimilar with math the more you like it.