Best known for solving math problems in his head faster than a person using a calculator, San Diego resident Scott Flansburg exposed some of his secrets to an auditorium of Sacred Hearts Academy students Thursday.
While demonstrating high-speed addition, subtraction and multiplication problems on an iPad white board app synched to a projector, he also taught students that solving complex math problems can be as simple as looking for patterns.
"All of our kids are growing up to memorize their basic math facts and then we throw them into algebra and most of them crash and burn, they just can't get it," Flansburg said. "So my goal is to make it where every student, before they're 10 years old, learns everything I shared with the kids today."
Dubbed the Human Calculator by television star Regis Philbin, Flansburg discovered he could quickly solve math problems in his head at 9 years old.
"Everything I would try to figure out, I could find patterns and easier ways to get the answer and that just kept moving me forward and it really tuned me into this gift of numbers that I already had," he said. "You combine those two together and it really has created a dynamic circumstance for me to allow me to not only educate, but entertain as well."
Flansburg holds the Guinness World Record for adding the same number to itself more times in 15 seconds than a person using a calculator and has appeared on "Oprah" and "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno." He also wrote four books teaching math skills, including his most recent, "Turn on the Human Calculator in You."
"This simple workbook introduces them to numbers in a way that we've never done and I believe it's going to revolutionize the way children around the world feel about numbers and arithmetic," he said.
He is scheduled to visit Assets School Friday and meet with teachers for a workshop at Sacred Hearts Academy Saturday.