Ep 10: Arthur Benjamin, mathematics and mathemagic

“Could I get you to say, test 1 1 3 5 8?”

Today’s guest chuckled and replied, “Test 3.14159”

Featured in my other show, “The Lab,” Arthur Benjamin is a professor of mathematics at Harvey Mudd College in Claremont California, and a mathemagician. That means he can do math problems in his head and some other tricks with numbers, on stage, on purpose.

Check out this TED talk to see him in action.

Arthur Benjamin: A performance of “Mathemagic”

We chatted about several things without quite explaining them, including Fibonacci numbers, and the Monty Hall problem. Follow those links to find out what we were talking about.

We also talked about his trick to square two-digit numbers in your head. Here’s a YouTube video in which he explains how that’s done.

Arthur Benjamin – Secrets of Mental Math

You can find out more about Arthur Benjamin and learn how to do some of what he does by visiting his website.


Just for fun, here’s his two-digit squaring trick with just one digit.