Remember "human calculator" Yaashwin Sarawanan who took the world (and the internet) by storm in 2019 when he appeared and won second place on ‘Asia’s Got Talent’?
If you need a little reminder, Yasshwin was a contestant in 2019 when he was just 15, and blew the minds of many with his ability to do complex calculations in his head, sometimes faster than a calculator!
Since then, he has also been on other shows where he showed his prowess with numbers.
Impressed yet? So are we!
A skill, not a secret
According to Yaashwin, there is no secrets to being a "human calculator".
He even wrote a comic book titled "Human Calculator - Be Your Own Calculator
" where he imparts some of his knowledge in mental math.
"This book purely outlines what I have learned throughout years of receiving mental math knowledge. However, in order to completely grasp the techniques, constant practice is certainly required," the 17-year-old told Rojak Daily
when we got in touch with him.
Do you need to have an amazing grasp of mathematic before you can even attempt mental math? Nope!
"...provided that you have the basic skills of addition, subtraction, multiplication and divisions" he revealed.
"This book teaches abacus and mental arithmetic, not Mathematics like how the school syllabus is. This book also contains other tricks I have performed on 'Asia's Got Talent' and 'Astro Ceria Megastar' stage such as calendar problems (guessing any day of the week), fifth roots ( retracing the original number that has been multiplied five times ) and many more!" Yaashwin said.
Making mathematic less scary
A lot of people fear mathematic but you shouldn't! It's not all as hard as that.
Yaashwin believes that mathematic, or any subject for that matter, should not be feared and even admitted that he wasn't very good at the subject.
"The learning curve has ups and downs. One failure doesn't mean failure for life. I admit, I'm not excellent at Mathematics, but learning mental math removed the fear.
"I'm always ready to learn, because I want to pursue more knowledge for any beneficial matter. Therefore, I'd say don't develop fear, but learn to love it for so many other reasons," he said.
From the way the book is written and the message is presented, it seems like Yaashwin and the publisher, White Coat Effect, were trying to help others with their fear of numbers as well.
Illustrated by White Coat Effect's in-house illustrator, Farish was also the one to suggest using comics as the medium for the book.
"I was trying to basically teach him mental math to illustrate the book. It was his idea to convert the book into a comic so that it would have a better appeal instead of being a typical boring math book," Yaashwin said.
The interesting part of the process was that the mental math expert recorded videos of himself performing and explaining the process, after which the illustrator turned the knowledge into comics.
Most of the content was created this way, while some were done verbally.
"Abang Farish also told me that not only was illustrating this book was what he experienced, but he also was able to learn the numbers part from me. It's a testimony that this book provides clear understanding," Yaashwin said.
The teenager, who is already more successful than most of his peers, said that he's always wanted to be on stage performing and decided to do it by presenting numbers in an entertaining way.
He also wanted to share his knowledge, as many including his parents often request him to do so, and writing a book seemed like a great way of doing it.
"I strongly believe mental math goes far beyond loving numbers. It builds confidence, promotes competitiveness and gives motivation to achieve further heights in life.
"These are the traits I have acquired through learning mental arithmetic," he said.
We'll just have to take his word on it for now!
If you wish to learn mental math from a proven expert, you can order "Human Calculator - Be Your Own Calculator" here. The book is only available in Malay for now, but will be printed in English and other languages if there is demand.