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**http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Trachtenberg_system&printable=yes 1/9
**

Trachtenberg system

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Trachtenberg system is a system of rapid mental calculation. The system consists of a number of readily

memorized operations that allow one to perform arithmetic computations very quickly. It was developed by the

Russian Jewish engineer Jakow Trachtenberg in order to keep his mind occupied while being held in a Nazi

concentration camp. The rest of this article presents some methods devised by Trachtenberg. The most important

algorithms are the ones for general multiplication, division and addition

[citation needed]

. Also, the Trachtenberg

system includes some specialized methods for multiplying small numbers between 5 and 13.

The chapter on addition demonstrates an effective method of checking calculations that can also be applied to

multiplication.

Contents

1 General multiplication

2 General division

3 General addition

4 Other multiplication algorithms

4.1 Multiplying by 11

4.2 Multiplying by 12

4.3 Multiplying by 6

4.4 Multiplying by 7

4.5 Multiplying by 9

4.6 Multiplying by 8

4.7 Multiplying by 4

4.8 Multiplying by 3

4.9 Multiplying by 5

4.10 Multiplying by 2

5 Publications

6 Other systems

7 Software

8 References

9 External links

General multiplication

The method for general multiplication is a method to achieve multiplications with low space complexity, i.e.

as few temporary results as possible to be kept in memory. This is achieved by noting that the final digit is

completely determined by multiplying the last digit of the multiplicands. This is held as a temporary result. To find

4/22/2014 Trachtenberg system - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Trachtenberg_system&printable=yes 2/9

2 Finger method

the next to last digit, we need everything that influences this digit: The temporary result, the last digit of times the

next-to-last digit of , as well as the next-to-last digit of times the last digit of . This calculation is performed,

and we have a temporary result that is correct in the final two digits.

In general, for each position in the final result, we sum for all :

People can learn this algorithm and thus multiply four digit numbers in their head – writing down only the final result.

They would write it out starting with the rightmost digit and finishing with the leftmost.

Trachtenberg defined this algorithm with a kind of pairwise multiplication where two digits are multiplied by one

digit, essentially only keeping the middle digit of the result. By performing the above algorithm with this pairwise

multiplication, even fewer temporary results need to be held.

Example:

To find the first digit of the answer:

The units digit of .

To find the second digit of the answer, start at the second digit of the multiplicand:

The units digit of plus the tens digit of plus

The units digit of .

.

The second digit of the answer is and carry to the third digit.

To find the fourth digit of the answer, start at the fourth digit of the multiplicand:

The units digit of plus the tens digit of plus

The units digit of plus the tens digit of plus

The units digit of plus the tens digit of .

carried from the third digit.

The fourth digit of the answer is and carry to the next digit.

Professor Trachtenberg called this the 2 Finger Method. The calculations

for finding the fourth digit from the example above are illustrated at right.

The arrow from the nine will always point to the digit of the multiplicand

directly above the digit of the answer you wish to find, with the other

arrows each pointing one digit to the right. Each arrow head points to a

UT Pair, or Product Pair. The vertical arrow points to the product where

we will get the Units digit, and the sloping arrow points to the product

where we will get the Tens digits of the Product Pair. If an arrow points

to a space with no digit there is no calculation for that arrow. As you

solve for each digit you will move each of the arrows over the multiplicand one digit to the left until all of the arrows

point to prefixed zeros.

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Setting up for Division

General division

Division in the Trachtenberg System is done much the same as in

multiplication but with subtraction instead of addition. Splitting the

dividend into smaller Partial Dividends, then dividing this Partial Dividend

by only the left-most digit of the divisor will provide the answer one digit

at a time. As you solve each digit of the answer you then subtract

Product Pairs (UT pairs) and also NT pairs (Number-Tens) from the

Partial Dividend to find the next Partial Dividend. The Product Pairs are

found between the digits of the answer so far and the divisor. If a

subtraction results in a negative number you have to back up one digit

and reduce that digit of the answer by one. With enough practice this method can be done in your head.

General addition

A method of adding columns of numbers and accurately checking the result without repeating the first operation. An

intermediate sum, in the form of two rows of digits, is produced. The answer is obtained by taking the sum of the

intermediate results with an L-shaped algorithm. As a final step, the checking method that is advocated removes

both the risk of repeating any original errors and allows the precise column in which an error occurs to be identified

at once. It is based on a check (or digit) sums, such as the nines-remainder method.

For the procedure to be effective, the different operations used in each stages must be kept distinct, otherwise there

is a risk of interference.

Other multiplication algorithms

When performing any of these multiplication algorithms the following "steps" should be applied.

The answer must be found one digit at a time starting at the least significant digit and moving left. The last calculation

is on the leading zero of the multiplicand.

Each digit has a neighbor, i.e., the digit on its right. The rightmost digit's neighbor is the trailing zero.

The 'halve' operation has a particular meaning to the Trachtenberg system. It is intended to mean "half the digit,

rounded down" but for speed reasons people following the Trachtenberg system are encouraged to make this

halving process instantaneous. So instead of thinking "half of seven is three and a half, so three" it's suggested that

one thinks "seven, three". This speeds up calculation considerably. In this same way the tables for subtracting digits

from 10 or 9 are to be memorized.

And whenever the rule calls for adding half of the neighbor, always add 5 if the current digit is odd. This makes up

for dropping 0.5 in the next digit's calculation.

Multiplying by 11

4/22/2014 Trachtenberg system - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Trachtenberg_system&printable=yes 4/9

Rule: Add the digit to its neighbor. (By "neighbor" we mean the digit on the right.)

Example:

3 7 6 7 5

(= 0 + 3) (= 3 + 4) (= 4 + 2) (= 2 + 5) (= 5 + 0)

To illustrate:

Thus,

Multiplying by 12

Rule: to multiply by 12:

Starting from the rightmost digit, double each digit and add the neighbor. (The "neighbor" is the digit on the right.)

If the answer is greater than a single digit, simply carry over the extra digit (which will be a 1 or 2) to the next

operation. The remaining digit is one digit of the final result.

Example:

Determine neighbors in the multiplicand 0316:

digit 6 has no right neighbor

digit 1 has neighbor 6

digit 3 has neighbor 1

digit 0 (the prefixed zero) has neighbor 3

Multiplying by 6

Rule: to multiply by 6: Add half of the neighbor to each digit, then, if the current digit is odd, add 5.

4/22/2014 Trachtenberg system - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Example:

357 × 6 = 2142

Working right to left,

7 has no neighbor, add 5 (since 7 is odd) = 12. Write 2, carry the 1.

5 + half of 7 (3) + 5 (since the starting digit 5 is odd) + 1 (carried) = 14. Write 4, carry the 1.

3 + half of 5 (2) + 5 (since 3 is odd) + 1 (carried) = 11. Write 1, carry 1.

0 + half of 3 (1) + 1 (carried) = 2. Write 2.

Multiplying by 7

Rule: to multiply by 7:

1. Double each digit.

2. Add half of its neighbor.

3. If the digit is odd, add 5.

Example: 523 × 7 = 3,661.

3×2 + 0 + 5 = 11, 1.

2×2 + 1 + 1 = 6.

5×2 + 1 + 5 = 16, 6.

0×2 + 2 + 1 = 3.

3661.

Multiplying by 9

Rule:

1. Subtract the right-most digit from 10.

1. Subtract the remaining digits from 9.

2. Add the neighbor.

3. For the leading zero, subtract 1 from the neighbor.

For rules 9, 8, 4, and 3 only the first digit is subtracted from 10. After that each digit is subtracted from nine

instead.

Example: 2,130 × 9 = 19,170

Working from right to left:

(10 − 0) + 0 = 10. Write 0, carry 1.

(9 − 3) + 0 + 1 (carried) = 7. Write 7.

(9 − 1) + 3 = 11. Write 1, carry 1.

(9 − 2) + 1 + 1 (carried) = 9. Write 9.

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2 − 1 = 1. Write 1.

Multiplying by 8

Rule:

1. Subtract right-most digit from 10.

1. Subtract the remaining digits from 9.

2. Double the result.

3. Add the neighbor.

4. For the leading zero, subtract 2 from the neighbor.

Example: 456 × 8 = 3648

Working from right to left:

(10 − 6) × 2 + 0 = 8. Write 8.

(9 − 5) × 2 + 6 = 14, Write 4, carry 1.

(9 − 4) × 2 + 5 + 1 (carried) = 16. Write 6, carry 1.

4 − 2 + 1 (carried) = 3. Write 3.

Multiplying by 4

Rule:

1. Subtract the right-most digit from 10.

1. Subtract the remaining digits from 9.

2. Add half of the neighbor, plus 5 if the digit is odd.

3. For the leading 0, subtract 1 from half of the neighbor.

Example: 346 * 4 = 1384

Working from right to left:

(10 − 6) + Half of 0 (0) = 4. Write 4.

(9 − 4) + Half of 6 (3) = 8. Write 8.

(9 − 3) + Half of 4 (2) + 5 (since 3 is odd) = 13. Write 3, carry 1.

Half of 3 (1) − 1 + 1 (carried) = 1. Write 1.

Multiplying by 3

Rule:

1. Subtract the rightmost digit from 10.

1. Subtract the remaining digits from 9.

2. Double the result.

3. Add half of the neighbor, plus 5 if the digit is odd.

4/22/2014 Trachtenberg system - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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4. For the leading zero, subtract 2 from half of the neighbor.

Example: 492 × 3 = 1476

Working from right to left:

(10 − 2) × 2 + Half of 0 (0) = 16. Write 6, carry 1.

(9 − 9) × 2 + Half of 2 (1) + 5 (since 9 is odd) + 1 (carried) = 7. Write 7.

(9 − 4) × 2 + Half of 9 (4) = 14. Write 4, carry 1.

Half of 4 (2) − 2 + 1 (carried) = 1. Write 1.

Multiplying by 5

Rule: to multiply by 5: Take half of the neighbor, then, if the current digit is odd, add 5.

Example: 42×5=210

Half of 2's neighbor, the trailing zero, is 0.

Half of 4's neighbor is 1.

Half of the leading zero's neighbor is 2.

43×5 = 215

Half of 3's neighbor is 0, plus 5 because 3 is odd, is 5.

Half of 4's neighbor is 1.

Half of the leading zero's neighbor is 2.

93×5=465

Half of 3's neighbor is 0, plus 5 because 3 is odd, is 5.

Half of 9's neighbor is 1, plus 5 because 9 is odd, is 6.

Half of the leading zero's neighbor is 4.

Multiplying by 2

Rule: to multiply by 2, double each digit.

Publications

Rushan Ziatdinov, Sajid Musa. Rapid mental computation system as a tool for algorithmic thinking of

elementary school students development. European Researcher (http://erjournal.ru/en/index.html) 25(7):

1105-1110, 2012 [1] (http://erjournal.ru/journals_n/1342467174.pdf).

The Trachtenberg Speed System of Basic Mathematics by Jakow Trachtenberg, A. Cutler (Translator),

R. McShane (Translator), was published by Doubleday and Company, Inc. Garden City, New York in

1960.

[1]

The book contains specific algebraic explanations for each of the above operations.

Most of the information in this article is from the original book.

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The algorithms/operations for multiplication etc. can be expressed in other more compact ways that the book

doesn't specify, despite the chapter on algebraic description.

[2]

[3]

Other systems

There are many other methods of calculation in mental mathematics. The list below shows a few other methods of

calculating, though they may not be entirely mental.

Bharati Krishna Tirtha's book "Vedic mathematics"

Mental abacus – As students become used to manipulating the abacus with their fingers, they are typically

asked to do calculation by visualizing abacus in their head. Almost all proficient abacus users are adept at

doing arithmetic mentally.

[citation needed]

Chisanbop

Software

Following are known programs and sources available as teaching tools

Web

Vedic Mathematics Academy [2] (http://vedicmaths.org/Other%20Material/Trachtenberg.asp)

PC

Trachtenberg Speed Math [3] (http://www.shermankeene.com/tracten.html)

Trachtenberg Mathematics Software [4] (http://www.shermankeene.com/tracten.html)

iPhone

Mercury Math [5] (https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/mercury-math-fast-mathematics/id318133094?mt=8)

Multiply Without Times Table (both iPhone and iPad) [6] (https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/trachtenberg-

speed-system/id708337019)

Android

Multiply Without Times Table - Google Play [7] (https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?

id=com.ammobile.mentalcalc), Amazon [8] (http://www.amazon.com/Trachtenberg-Speed-System-

Multiplication-Without/dp/B00FBBLMJQ), Barnes and Noble [9]

(http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/trachtenberg-speed-system-basic-multiplication-without-times-table-

am-mobile/1116970588)

BlackBerry

Multiply Without Times Table [10] (http://appworld.blackberry.com/webstore/content/36799894/)

References

4/22/2014 Trachtenberg system - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Trachtenberg_system&printable=yes 9/9

Trachtenberg, J. (1960). The Trachtenberg Speed System of Basic Mathematics. Doubleday and Company,

Inc., Garden City, NY, USA.

Катлер Э., Мак-Шейн Р.Система быстрого счёта по Трахтенбергу, 1967.

Rushan Ziatdinov, Sajid Musa. Rapid mental computation system as a tool for algorithmic thinking of

elementary school students development. European Researcher 25(7): 1105-1110, 2012 [11]

(http://erjournal.ru/journals_n/1342467174.pdf).

External links

Learn All about Mathematical Shortcuts (http://www.sapnaedu.in/category/mathematical-shortcuts)

Retrieved from "http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Trachtenberg_system&oldid=603596073"

Categories: Arithmetic Mental calculation

This page was last modified on 10 April 2014 at 13:44.

Text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply.

By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. Wikipedia® is a registered trademark

of the Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., a non-profit organization.

1. ^ Trachtenberg, Jakow (1960). The Trachtenberg Speed System of Basic Mathematics. Translated by A. Cutler, R.

McShane. Doubleday and Company, Inc. p. 270.

2. ^ All of this information is from an original book published and printed in 1960. The original book has seven full

Chapters and is exactly 270 pages long. The Chapter Titles are as follows (the numerous sub-categories in each

chapter are not listed).

3. ^ The Trachtenberg speed system of basic mathematics

Chapter 1 Tables or no tables

Chapter 2 Rapid multiplication by the direct method

Chapter 3 Speed multiplication-"two-finger" method

Chapter 4 Addition and the right answer

Chapter 5 Division – Speed and accuracy

Chapter 6 Squares and square roots

Chapter 7 Algebraic description of the method

"A revolutionary new method for high-speed multiplication, division, addition, subtraction and square root." (1960)

"The best selling method for high-speed multiplication, division, addition, subtraction and square root – without a

calculator." (Reprinted 2009)

Multiplication is done without multiplication tables "Can you multiply 5132437201 times 4522736502785 in seventy

seconds?" "One young boy (grammar school-no calculator) did--successfully--by using The Trachtenberg Speed

System of Basic Mathematics"

Jakow Trachtenberg (its founder) escaped from Hitler's Germany from an active institution toward the close of

WWII. Professor Trachtenberg fled to Germany when the czarist regime was overthrown in his homeland Russia

and lived there peacefully until his mid-thirties when his anti-Hitler attitudes forced him to flee again. He was a

fugitive and when captured spent a total of seven years in various concentration camps. It was during these years

that Professor Trachtenberg devised the system of speed mathematics. Most of his work was done without pen or

paper. Therefore most of the techniques can be performed mentally.

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