What is Vedic Mathematics?
Vedic mathematics is a system of mathematics consisting of a list of 16 basic formulae or principles. These principles are general in nature and can be applied in many ways. In practice, many applications of the formulae may be learned and combined to solve actual problems. The system consists of a number of readily memorized patterns that allow one to perform arithmetic computations very quickly. The calculation strategies provided by Vedic mathematics are creative and useful, and can be applied in a number of ways to calculation methods in arithmetic and algebra.
How can Vedic Mathematics help kids?
Vedic mathematical strategies may prove to be a useful resource for teachers and students, who may find elements of it easier and more accessible to teach and learn than conventional mathematics. These strategies can not only enable kids to do arithmetic calculations quickly, but also help them in sharpening their minds. They develop a feel for numbers and intuitive approach to solving mathematical problems. They will help them discover how great and true knowledge is born of intuition. In addition, they may be an invaluable resource to students that struggle with mathematics, and could benefit from alternative approaches.
The formulae can be used to do even large arithmetic calculations in considerably less number of steps. Vedic mathematical strategies suggest easier methods to deal with all the subjects in mathematics – multiplication, division, factorization, equations, calculus, analytical conics, etc. It is true that mastering these formulae takes regular practice just like anything else. However, even a basic knowledge of these can help make you spot errors in arithmetic calculations or make intelligent guesses.
The strength of this system is that kids can learn these formulae along with conventional mathematics taught in schools. You are not forced to make a choice between the two. In fact, learning Vedic Mathematics can only strengthen kids’ grasp of conventional mathematics and can give them competitive edge over their peers.
There is no recommended age to learn Vedic Mathematics. Also, there are no prerequisites to learn the system. Anyone, a kid or an adult, who can do basic arithmetic calculations, can start learning it. Adults will find the use of the techniques of the system in their work and day to day activities. To best teach your kids, it may be worthwhile to learn the system yourself first.
This article presents some of the formulae or aphorisms for illustration only. They only give a feel for how the Vedic Mathematics system works. To actually learn the method requires practice and a more complete treatment.
1. Use the formula ALL FROM 9 AND THE LAST FROM 10 to perform instant subtractions.
Example: 1000 – 457 = 543 (from right to left: 10 – 7 = 3, 9 – 5 = 4, 9 – 4 = 5)
1000 – 72 = 928 (from right to left: 10 – 2 = 8, 9 – 7 = 2, 9 – 0 = 9)
2. Multiplying a number by 11.
To multiply any 2-figure number by 11 we just put the total of the two figures between the 2 figures.
Example: 23 x 11 = 253 (from right to left: 3, 2 + 3 = 5, 2)
54 x 11 = 594 (from right to left: 4, 5 + 4 = 9, 5)
77 x 11 = 847 (from right to left: 7, 7 + 7 = 14, 7 + 1 carryover from 14 = 8)
3. A quick way to square numbers that end in 5 using the formula BY ONE MORE THAN THE ONE BEFORE.
Example: 652 = 4225 (from right to left: 25, 6 x 7 = 42)
752 = 5625 (from right to left: 25, 7 x 8 = 56)
All the formulae of Vedic Mathematics can be learnt easily and mastered with practice.
How to start learning Vedic Mathematics?
There are several resources on the web that give introduction and tutorials on Vedic Mathematics. For a more thorough treatment, you must read books on the subject. We suggest a few resources below. This is by no means a complete list.
Resources on the web:
- Vedic Mathematics by Bharati Krsna Tirthaji
- Vedic Mathematics Teacher's Manual – Elementary Level by Kenneth R. Williams
- Vedic Mathematics Teacher's Manual – Intermediate Level by Kenneth R. Williams
- Vedic Mathematics Teacher's Manual – Advanced Level by Kenneth R. Williams