The Way You Learned Math Is So Old School

Staff, NPR, Mar 15, 2011
Commentary by Stephen Downes

This is interesting. I learned to do math the 'old' way - that is, by multiplying the top number by each digit of the bottom number, shifting, and adding the products. The 'new way' apparently involves multiplying each digit by each digit. I don't think it's easier. I don't do it either way any more. I multiply by the nearest whole number and subtract the difference (or add the difference). I guess the advantage of the new way is that all your multiplications are one digit by one digit. So if you must work it out in your head, you can at least ballpark it. I don't know, though. If you do a lot of counting (eg., in retail, where you should be able to just look at a stack of boxes and know how many units you have) it really makes sense to be able to do it the old way. Via TechDirt.
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