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# Is it true that there are populations that have more "mathematical abilitys" than other?

How can people improve their mathematical skills?

Joanie,you know what,I'm not american,so try to write what I wrote in english in italian ok?

### 2 Answers

- suittiLv 71 decade agoFavorite Answer
It used to be that the Japanese were much better at math than anyone else. But it wasn't being Japanese that did it for you. Children of US Military stationed in Japan were just as good. They used to teach arithmetic using the abacus - really, the Japanese version of the abacus called the soroban.

When i was in high school, my uncle gave my dad a soroban and an instruction book. He worked for a living and didn't have time for it. So he gave it to me. I was already pretty good in math, and there was nothing new. However, i was astounded how fast and reliable the technique was. I did all the exercises in the book. Then i came to a chapter that suggested trying it without the abacus - mental arithmetic. The idea is to picture the beads in your head and move them around. I redid all the exercises. It was about three times faster, and i never once made a mistake. This included taking a 6 digit number and dividing it by a 4 digit number.

I was curious if there were any limitations to this mental arithmetic. I had an electronic calculator, and figured out how to use it to verify multiplying two 9 digit numbers - getting an 18 digit answer. This took about a minute as mental arithmetic. I could also divide a 9 digit number by another and get 9 significant digits of answer - in about a minute.

Much of what makes people poor at math is simple fear of failure. If you start out with reliable techniques, then it makes everything that comes later that much easier.

So, the electronic calculator seems to have spoiled us - but it's still a great learning tool.

I had a nearly photographic memory back then, and above average mental spatial skills. Maybe i was born with it. But i'm convinced that everyone could benefit from these techniques.

Get started with your fingers.