Human Calculator Breaks Record

By Hazel Last edited 120 months ago
Human Calculator Breaks Record
HumanCalculator.jpg

Alexis Lemaire saw to it that 'mathlete' irrevocably entered our vernacular when he broke the record he set for mental calculation at London's Science Museum. He correctly determined the 13th root of a randomly generated two hundred-digit number to the 13th root (now consider that your average calculator can't even determine things to 13 decimal places, never mind trying to calculate anything with a two hundred digit number).

As the calculation only took Lemaire 70.2 seconds (beating a record he set in 2004 of 72.4), he could bring out his math excellence as a party trick. Lemaire can also calculate the square root of a hundred-digit number in four seconds, leaving those of us left doing long division on manual calculators to ask whether size or speed is more impressive.

The answer to Lemaire's figure was 2,407,899,032,210. Londonist would provide the number this was reduced from, but we don't have a calculator advanced enough to handle the math.

Photo of Professor Calcualator (who clearly has nothing on Alexis Lemaire) from Draggin's Flickr Stream courtesy of the Creative Commons licence.

By Amanda Farah

Last Updated 12 December 2007

DeanN

Ha! Thanks for the laugh and the memories with that pic of dear Prof Calculator.

I remember the good Professor's rubicund face gazing at me helplessly during maths class as I stared at the sums and tried to comprehend just what "x/2=y-3^12" meant. Never did figure it out, and the Professor weren't much good either.

Hugh

I had to, didn't I?

Are you sure the result wasn't 2,407,899,032,210,000?

2,407,899,032,210 to the power of 13 gives a 161-digit number.
2,407,899,032,210,000 to the power of 13 gives a 200-digit number.

And that 200 digit number is:
91,473,972,156,113,629,921,221,200,282,019,347,342,428,595,603,153,775,375,457,602,999,225,459,296,139,876,910,929,804,429,972,078,183,460,170,497,942,959,625,372,932,306,216,007,632,875,452,050,610,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000

Can I claim I did that all in my head?

Nope? Ah well... In that case I'll have to admit that I even wrote a little script to add all of the commas into that number.... ;-)

Hugh

I had to, didn't I?

Are you sure the result wasn't 2,407,899,032,210,000?

2,407,899,032,210 to the power of 13 gives a 161-digit number.
2,407,899,032,210,000 to the power of 13 gives a 200-digit number.

And that 200 digit number is:
91,473,972,156,113,629,921,221,200,282,019,347,342,428,595,603,153,775,375,457,602,999,225,459,296,139,876,910,929,804,429,972,078,183,460,170,497,942,959,625,372,932,306,216,007,632,875,452,050,610,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000

Can I claim I did that all in my head?

Nope? Ah well... In that case I'll have to admit that I even wrote a little script to add all of the commas into that number.... ;-)

Lindsey

I started to try and read Hugh's comment but my brain hurt.

And, it's testament to my mathleticism that I kept reading not very good R&B celeb name "Lemar" in the aboveforementioned.

Siany

Hmmm.... the maths went over my head, but how much do I want one of those calculators again?? Lots and lots. It's gone right at the top of my Christmas list.