Monday, January 10, 2011

The Math Boy

Saying that Sam likes math would be an understatement.  The boy loves math.  He breathes math.  He's mind is just made that way...perhaps even a little twisted.  Ha!

He just turned 9 year old less than two weeks ago.

He taught himself most of his basic arithmetic. He memorized his multiplication tables, without help, when he was six.  He figured out multiple digit multiplication, division, and long division by absorbing his sister's lessons when he was suppose to be doing his own.  It took a mere 15 minutes for him to get binary and be able to convert between it and decimal numbers.  That knowledge made it easy for him to convert decimal numbers to any other base, as well.  He only needed a few minutes of explanation of how to use letters to understand hexadecimal.  And this was fun!

Now, at age 9, he's easily completing algebra, and I'm not talking about basic 2x=14 that they call "algebra" in the early math levels.  Give him a complex equation like the kind you normally see in 8th/9th grade algebra, and he can solve it.  Give him an equation of a line or inequality, and he can graph it.  He learned to solve simultaneous equations by graphing today.  Next, he learn to solve by substitution (which I know how to do) and elimination (which I need to learn first).

So, is it a surprise that when our good friend gave him two abaci and a book just three days ago, that he can already use them.  First, he knows that one of them is a Chinese abacus and the other is a Japanese abacus.  Second, the book only teaches how to use the Chinese one, but from that, he's been able to figure out how to use the Japanese one.  Finally, he tells me he can add, subtract, and multiple on them already and even demonstrated it.

Oh, and he figured out how to use them for counting, adding, and subtraction in binary.

This boy is leaving me in the dust in math. I'm not sure what I'm going to do when he reaches a point that I can't keep up with him anymore. 

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