I recently discovered a book called Secrets of Mental Math: The Mathemagician’s Guide to Lightning Calculation and Amazing Math Tricks by Arthur Benjamin and Michael Shermer. Obviously I need a way to practice these techniques so I don’t forget them. This led me to an idea for a new android app that I will be working on this weekend. Here’s the design document (So the form isn’t very rigorous, I just want to remember my plans):
Quick Math; Android
- Configurable math tester/timer
- Any of the 4 basic functions + power function can be tested (power function allows for radicals by using < 0 exponents)
Not really in the book but might get into the app:
- Systems of equations? (You sort of need paper for this)
The main purpose is to practice techniques for fast calculations in your head
- It will keep track of stats like time by test type
- The arguments to the functions are configurable.
- Ability to choose only n-digit numbers
- Ability to choose only < n numbers
- Option to type in the answer or stop the time then type it in
- Possibly able to write a function for arguments (a*b) / c where (a*b) is an argument and / is the function making c the second argument
I’m learning these techniques from a book so I’m not sure it’d be legal to put them in the app. However, it’s not like the author independently thought of all of them.
There’s also an awesome layout and input design I have but that would be difficult to include in a text file.
As for my other ideas, I still want to make them but I’ve found myself spending a lot of time on extra-curricular activities and homework. When I do find some free time it is usually spent playing games on steam or writing code for Ep1c G4m3 (Which btw, compiles now).
This weekend my plan is to get something working on Quick Math so I can begin to learn the techniques. As I get farther in the book I’ll add features that allow me to practice the new techniques. Quick Math will be open source (GPL?), on github and the Android Market for free.