Human Calculator Breaks Record

By Hazel Last edited 133 months ago
Human Calculator Breaks Record

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