Issue 104 - My Recent VM Workshop

Vedic Mathematics Newsletter No. 104

A warm welcome to our new subscribers.

Vedic Mathematics is becoming increasingly popular as more and more people are introduced to the beautifully unified and easy Vedic methods. The purpose of this Newsletter is to provide information about developments in education and research and books, articles, courses, talks etc., and also to bring together those working with Vedic Mathematics. If you are working with Vedic Mathematics - teaching it or doing research - please contact us and let us include you and some description of your work in the Newsletter. Perhaps you would like to submit an article for inclusion in a later issue or tell us about a course or talk you will be giving or have given. If you are learning Vedic Maths, let us know how you are getting on and what you think of this system.


This issue’s article is by Nathan Annenberg describing a recent highly successful VM workshop at a math conference in the USA.


2nd annual global online Vedic Mathematics conference

Following the success of the Inaugural global online VM conference in March and the Vedic Maths symposium at the World Sanskrit Conference in Bangkok in July, the Vedic Maths Academy is delighted to announce the 2nd global online VM conference, scheduled as a 2-day event over the weekend of 12th-13th March, 2016.
The theme this year will be “Vedic Maths in Education”.
As previously there will be workshops, presentation of projects and research papers with discussions.
Workshops – These will be live sessions for those new to VM to gain a taste of this wonderful approach to mathematics.
Projects – Informing us about the recent teaching and promotion of VM in local communities or schools around the world, courses on offer or any other aspect of learning and teaching VM.
Research papers – There will be presentations of research on applications of the Vedic Maths sutras. The papers will be made available before the conference to enable participation in discussions.
All sessions will have Q and A opportunities.
Please contact with any questions.
Registration and other details will be available later.

Call for Project Descriptions and Research Papers for the Conference

Projects: Longer project presentations may be in power-point or as a text read-out. The presentation material (power-point file or the document for read-out) should be received by the committee before the conference dates for uploading on to the conference hosting platform.
Research Papers: This year we are inviting both an abstract and a written paper for the VM research session. Please submit an abstract for the research papers by 15th of January, 2016. Following acceptance of the abstract you will be asked to submit a research paper. The pdf version of the paper will be uploaded ahead of time for the registered participants to read the paper beforehand for discussion of the paper on the conference day. Please consider the time required to write a good paper!
Both the longer projects and the research papers would be a minimum of 10 minutes duration including Q&A time. Depending upon the number received, the individual presentation/paper time may be extended.
Further details about Key Dates, research abstracts and formats see:

Submissions and questions should be sent to .


‘A Way to Better Focus the VM Base Division Algorithm’ by Nathan Annenberg. This article discusses the challenges of applying Tirthaji’s Base Division methods and shows how they may be mastered.
See here.


Spread out both the fingers of your hands. Number the ten fingers in order from 91 to 100. To find the square of say 93. Fold the third finger marked 93. Consider the fingers to the right of this folded finger.
Your answer will consist of two halves.
First half of the answer is got by subtracting the number of fingers to the right of the folded finger. In this case it would be 93 - 7 = 86.
Second half of the number will be squaring the number of fingers to the right
i. e. 7 *7 = 49. So the answer is 8649.

Point to remember is - The digits on the right half of the answer should be two digits.

Likewise if u want to find square of 98 . Applying the above method, the answer would be (98-2)/ square of 2 = 9604.

This method can be extended to finding squares of 991 to 1000 ; 9991 to 10000 ; 99991 to 100000 and so on. The number of digits in the second half should be 3, 4, 5 and so on...(say the number of zeros in 1000, 10000, 100000 ......)

We can use it for finding squares of numbers from 11 to 19; 101 to 109;  1001 to 1009 etc.
If we want the square of say 103, fold the third finger. Then the two part answer will be -
We add the number of fingers on the left inclusive of the folded finger (instead of the fingers on the right as done earlier)  / square of the number of fingers on the left inclusive of the folded finger.
That gives 103 + 3 / square of 3 = 106/09 = 10609.

From Hemalatha Sridhar (Madurai, Tamilnadu, India).


Vedic Maths tutor needed in Pondicherry, India. Please contact Lavanya Rajesh 9786800996


Applications are being taken for courses starting next January and February:
Teacher Training; Introductory Course; The Crowning Gem; Calculus.



A Possible Breakthrough For VM in the U.S.

By Nathan Annenberg, Math Consultant, Fordham University

Location: A convention center in Rochester, NY – a city near Lake Ontario, approaching the Canadian border.
Sponsor organization: AMTNYS: Association of Math Teachers of New York State
Date of workshop: November 12, 2015

    This was to be my first opportunity as a speaker at an AMTNYS convention. I wanted to attract a rapt audience by using a truly strong pull in my course description in the AMTNYS course schedule.  I may have succeeded too well. Below is the course description, word for word, as printed in the conference booklet:

The Magic of Vedic Mathematics –
Super-Efficient Methods From Ancient India

Nathan Annenberg                                                                                                              Retired NYC Math Coach

    Imagine your students doing math in half the time and space that traditional Western methods need.
Some highlights: addition done purely mentally from left to right; subtraction without ever having to borrow again; multiplying multi-digit numbers mentally, long division done horizontally and in a fraction of the time, solving quadratic equations with no need for trial-and-error factoring, solving linear equations from two points in under 10 seconds, and much more.

Nathan works as a math consultant  in an outreach program for Fordham University resuscitating math programs in NYC schools, K-12.

      One of the program coordinators warned all the speakers by email to make as many handout copies as the seating capacity of the room. My room had 50 seats. Apparently my promotion was such a lure, people were flooding into the room until there were no more seats available. My 50 handouts (the program agenda) ran out quickly. Not only that – the room was bursting beyond capacity 10 minutes before the time the course was supposed to start. I estimate at least 60 attendees were there at that early time. I decided to start right away and not wait for the scheduled time: 1:15, which would give me one hour.  I began at 1:05 – to give me 70 minutes. It’s good I did.

       While the other presenters had fancy flex cameras and Powerpoint slide projectors, I relied on an old school overhead projector.  The VM was to be so powerful, it was all I needed…

    I knew I needed to catch the attendees’ attention quickly, so I began the workshop with a tried and true crowd stunner: multiplying near a base. I stayed with a base of 100  ( I was going to do 1000 also, but I had to keep the remaining time in reserve for so much else I was going to cover – so I resisted the temptation to add it.) I deliberately used this sequence: deficiency demos  audience practice  excess demos  audience practice  ratio extensions in either direction. i.e. Enlarging or shrinking  audience practice, then finally mixing the number types: excess X deficient, and again audience practice.  Also within these demos, I stressed the preservation of 2 spaces in the vertical product answer. The attendees soon got used to: one digit means a leading zero, two digits is just right, three digits means carry leftward to increase the root of the product.

          You should also know the composition of the audience. It reflected the composition of the entire conference. About 50% college math education students (they received a nice students’ discount to attend), and 50% veteran math teachers.  Their responses to my talk were to be an indication of who they were. The students kept muttering “That is SO cool…” The teachers, perhaps thinking it was too good to be true, kept trying to give me exceptions to make it fail “Hey – suppose you  tried __________ instead?” They did not succeed. Two asked me in sheer wonderment, how certain methods were derived. I honestly didn’t know so I responded, “I could show you, but I have so much to cover in so little time.” Actually I was telling the truth. In 70 minutes – I used up 16 acetate transparency sheets. My effort was so concentrated, I had to purposely snap out of my trance to see the crowd copying furiously what I was showing – so I would make myself pause so they could catch up.

        To continue my order of presentation. The mixing of excess X deficient number types resulted in the vertical product of the offsets being negative. So I showed my students how to display this as a bar number and subtract it from the product root. This proved to be a natural segue to the next topic: subtraction with bar numbers.
I made a big pitch for the sutra “All from 9 and the last from 10.”  Once again, the students were muttering “cool” and once again some teachers were trying to see why it might not work. The big issue was that only middle school students could deal with negative numbers. I countered that with a little practice with a number line – elementary kids could definitely reach this level. I brought out that our new Common Core curriculum – the first attempt in the U.S. for a uniform national curriculum, told us what we should teach, but not necessarily how. I challenged them, “Are you sure you want to deprive our younger students of this simple, effective tool just because it was never tried before? Do you really want to go back to messy crossing out and borrowing?” This sobered them up quickly.

         Next was division: general case.  I began with one-digit divisors and the horizontally-oriented short division. The teachers liked the simplicity of it. Next: two-digit divisor flag division. I started simple with low ones digits, then lead to mid-high ones digits which lead to inevitable negative partial differences. I showed how to directly deal with them, or avoid them by lowering the quotient digit for a higher remainder. I stressed anticipatory calculating to plan the correct lower quotient digit first. In the interest of time, I had to forestall the bar version divisor for very high ones digits.

       My concluding three topics were for the high school teachers in the room:
    Simultaneous equations solved “positionally” – the crosswise variants of the x numerator and the x denominator, then plugging in the newly discovered x value back into the equation to solve for y. Then for good measure, we did the crosswise analysis of the y fractional components. Some teachers remembered determinants of matrices had similar diagonal cross structures, so they could relate to this even better. One young teacher remarked, why even bother with cross-products? Why not just switch the variables? I could not ascertain the validity of that in just a few seconds. So I responded “What this gentleman just suggested is a perfect example of the flexibility in thinking that Vedic math encourages.”
    Calculating the shorter leg of a Pythagorean triple, i.e. sum of the two known legs X the difference of these legs, then square root of the product. The teachers really liked that. It beat the ponderous c^2 – b^2 = a^2.
    Finally the VM way to solve a difficult quadratic equation: Take the differential of the trinomial to equal the square root (plus or minus) of the discriminant. They really liked the idea of not needing that intimidating quadratic formula. One teacher actually pleaded with me to get the derivation of this VM algorithm. I took her email and assured her I would get back to her.

The 70 minutes was finally up (but not before I told them about “” and Kenneth Williams. Actually some couldn’t believe that “math” could be written with an “s” after it. I had to remind them that British folks spelled it that way.) I received a nice round of applause. I need to be honest though. I heard other presenters also getting applause. I was indeed competing with some really sharp people. But since this was my very first time with as an AMTNYS presenter, i felt I had arrived. I will give myself 30% of the credit and VM 70%. i.e. the math did the work of putting my name on the AMTNYS map for me.

Actually, the most gratifying part came after the presentation was over. People kept coming up to me even till the night hours at a dance social  to tell me what an impression the talk had on them.  I was giving my email address out to them. They wanted to learn more – that was the best part.

End of article.

Your comments about this Newsletter are invited.
If you would like to send us details about your work or submit an article or details about a course/talk etc. for inclusion, please let us know on

Previous issues of this Newsletter can be viewed and copied from the Web Site:

Please pass a copy of this Newsletter on to anyone you think may be interested.
To unsubscribe from this newsletter simply reply to it putting the word unsubscribe in the subject box.

Editor: Kenneth Williams

Visit the Vedic Mathematics web site at:
19th November 2015


English Chinese (Traditional) Dutch Finnish French German Hindi Korean Russian Ukrainian