# The Human Calculator, 2

## Vocabulary

add | subtract | multiplication |

brain | develop | meet/met/met |

earth | witness | come/came/come |

claim | mission | fast/faster/fastest |

speed | tour (3) | division (2) |

ability | find out | square root |

minus | amazing | perpetual |

digit | times (2) | beat/beat/beaten (2) |

enjoy | impress | give/gave/given |

baffle | root (3) | square (3) |

skill | compare | take/took/taken |

armed | possess | department (2) |

ready | inspire | algorithm |

times | mental | definitely |

plus | gift (2) | hard/harder/hardest |

guy | humble | fast/faster/fastest |

recess | challenge | feel/felt/felt (2) |

rare | genetic | phenomenon |

half | dozen (2) | capability |

shame | regular | particularly |

## Video

## Transcript

At school we learn how to add, subtract and multiply. But I’m here to meet a man whose brain has developed a mathematical power beyond everyone else on earth.

I’ve come to witness Scott Flansburg’s claim that he is faster than a calculator.

Scott tours the world on a mission: to inspire kids about math.

Scott Flansburg, Human Calculator: “I do everything addition, subtraction multiplication, division, square roots, cube roots, perpetual calendars, algorithms, whatever I can do to show students that calculators can’t beat my brain.”

Scott Flansburg, Human Calculator: “Multiplication: please give me two, two-digit numbers and we’ll multiply them together.”

Student, One: “95 times e-5.”

Scott Flansburg, Human Calculator: “8075.”

Amazingly Scott’s getting the answers before I’ve even typed in the numbers.

Presenter: “43 times 99.”

Scott Flansburg, Human Calculator: “4-2-5-7.”

He beats the calculator every time.

Scott Flansburg, Human Calculator: “You guys go enjoy recess, all right. Nice meeting all of you.”

Scott’s math skills might impress grade school kids, but I need to find out more about his mental superpower. How does he compare to real mathematicians?

**. . . . . . . .
**

I’m taking him to the San Diego State University math department and for mathematicians armed with calculators in a computer compete with Scott’s amazing ability.

Thomas R. Scott, Math Professor: “We’ll start with the multiplication of two, two-digit numbers. Ready? The numbers are 39 times 78.”

Scott Flansburg, Human Calculator: “3-0-4-2.”

Thomas R. Scott, Math Professor: “3,042 is correct. Scott got it first.”

Scott’s speed is baffling everyone in the room. As the challenges get harder Scott is actually getting faster.

Thomas R. Scott, Math Professor: “Okay starting with a base of zero and adding 10 times. The number is 48.”

Scott Flansburg, Human Calculator: “96-one-four-four-one-nine-two-two-four-two -eight-eight-three-one-three-six-three-four-four-three-two-forty-oh.”

University Student, Female: “Yeah.”

Reporter: “So how do you guys feel getting beat?”

University Student, Male: “Humbled.”

Reporter: “Humbled.”

University Student, Female: “Shame.”

Reporter: “What do you think of Scott? Do you think is really a human calculator?”

University Student, Male: “I’d say yes.”

University Student, Female: “Definitely.

Thomas R. Scott, San Diego State University: “I think it is a particularly rare phenomenon that we’re viewing here — there probably aren’t more than a half dozen people in the world who have the capacities that Scott does.

Like me, Scott Flensburg looks just like a regular guy. But underneath, we possess rare genetic gifts. The human calculator is totally superhuman in my book.

*** * * * * * *
**

## Questions

**Math.** Scott Flansburg uses paper and pencil to perform mathematical calculations. True or false?

**Arithmetic.** Is Scott a (full-time) scientist or engineer? What does he do? What is his primary occupation?

**Addition, Plus.** Does he only perform basic arithmetic (add, subtract, multiply and divide)?

**Subtraction, Minus. **School pupils, teachers and professors think Scott is boring. Is this correct or incorrect?

**Multiplication, Times.** Does he tell his audience his own calculations, for example, “Okay, everyone: 328,984 minus 47,395 equals 281,589. 0.357 times .0265 equals 0.0094605?”

**Division, Divide.** The university students and professor thought they were experts in math. What do you think?

**Fractions.** Was he fast or slow? Did he have to think very hard?

**Percentage. **Does the professor feel that Scott is using some secret method or technique to perform his mental calculations?

**Decimals, Decimal Points.** I study math at school. Yes or no? If yes, what math do you study? Arithmetic, geometry, algebra, trigonometry, calculus?

**Geometry.** Is math fun and easy, hard and difficult or in the middle?

**Trigonometry.** Can math be made fun and easy to learn? How can math be fun and easy to learn?

**Algebra.** Is math very important in life? Do you need math for a good career?

**Calculus.** What might happen in the future?

**Integrals, Differentiation. **What could or should schools, universities, governments, businesses and students do?