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Distinguished Science Lecture Series Archives

Arthur Benjamin — Mathemagics & the Future of Math

The world’s greatest lightning calculator, Arthur Benjamin, entertains the audience with a dazzling display of mental math, and along the way shows how anyone can learn the techniques he employs to improve their math literacy. This is one of the most entertaining performances ever given at Caltech.

Arthur Benjamin is considered to be the world’s greatest living lightning calculator. If you have never seen him perform, you are in for a treat! Bring your calculators and challenge the master! Dr. Benjamin will not only demonstrate how he does calculations in his head faster than you can with a calculator, he will reveal his secrets and teach you how to do it yourself. Not only will he reveal his own secrets, he will demonstrate how the great lightning calculators of the past did it. Dr. Benjamin is the Smallwood Family Professor of Mathematics at Harvey Mudd College. He has received numerous awards for his writing and teaching, and served as editor of Math Horizons magazine for the Mathematical Association of America. He has given three TED talks, which have been viewed over 10 million times. Reader’s Digest calls him “America’s best math whiz.” His newest book, out this Fall, is called The Magic of Math: Solving for x and Figuring out Why.

This lecture was recorded on May 30, 2015 at a conference called “In the Year 2525: Big Science, Big History, and the Far Future of Humanity” (May 29–31, 2015) as part of the Distinguished Science Lecture Series hosted by Michael Shermer and presented by The Skeptics Society in California (1992–2015).

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