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You're A Mathematical Genius, You Know!

===========================================================You're A Mathematical Genius, You Know!(c) Copyright 2003 by Murdo Macleod===========================================================This may...


You're A Mathematical Genius, You Know!

(c) Copyright 2003 by Murdo Macleod


This may come as a surprise to you.

But the truth is, you really are good at mathematics.

You see, every day you solve complex problems by breaking
them down into tiny little "baby steps".

And just like the world's most powerful computer or the
greatest ever mathematical prodigy, it's this step-by-step
process that enables you to do practically anything.

Let's see this process in action with a couple of examples:

* * * Example 1 - Calculating the Dreaded Sales Tax

The sales tax rate varies around the world, but here in the
UK it's 17.5%. Urgh! What kind of figure is that?

Let's look at it again and see how we can tame the beast by
breaking it down.


It consists of 10, plus 5 plus 2.5, doesn't it?

And those numbers form a distinct sequence. In other
words... "10, plus half, plus half again".

Now that we know this, we can do something really clever...

Suppose you want to calculate 17.5% of 40 UK pounds. How
would you work this out? (Stop! Don't even think of
reaching for that calculator!)

Start with the 10. 10% of 40 is 4. Add half (2) and
half again (1) and you get 7.

So you proudly announce to your colleagues... "So by adding
17.5% sales tax to our 40 product, the total retail price
will be... 47."

They look on amazed.

Let's take another example and show how simple math really

* * * Example 2 - Help your daughter with her homework.

You arrive home and your daughter needs some help with her
math assignment. It's those darn fractions again.

She just can't make sense of them.

"A half times a half is a quarter. So how, when you multiply
things together, can you have LESS than you started out

You explain that multiplication and division are two sides
of the same thing, and you make it "real world" for her with
a little analogy:

You get her to imagine a cake.

You remind her that "multiplying by half" is another way of
saying divide by 2. So she pictures herself halving the
cake, giving one piece half to her friend Jane, and keeping
the other half.

You daughter now has half a cake.

She multiplies her piece by a half (i.e. "divides it into
two again") and she's left with a quarter.

She goes off to bed happy, dreaming about birthday cake And
you get to watch the ball game on TV.

Again, it's just a matter of simplifying.


Real world math is not about mental agony, or learning
mechanical formulas that you follow mindlessly like a robot.

It's about common sense, seeing how numbers really work, and
breaking things down.

You just need a little imagination. After all, that's what
genius really is.

Murdo Macleod is a reformed calculator user and co-author of
the 'Fun With Figures' mental math course. Come and see
what parents, students, home schoolers, business peopleArticle Search, and
math phobics around the world are raving about:

Source: Free Articles from


Murdo Macleod is a software developer and co-author of the
'Fun With Figures' mental math course, which shows anyone of
any age or ability how to calculate quickly and easily.

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