Monday, 11 August 2014

Mental calculators in fiction

In Roald Dahl's novel, "Matilda", the lead character is portrayed having exceptional mathematical skills as he computes her dad's profit without the necessity for paper computations. In the coursework of class (he is a first-year simple school student), he does large-number multiplication issues in her head  instantly.

In Frank Herbert's novel Dune, specially trained mental calculators known as Mentats have replaced mechanical computers . Several important supporting characters in the novel, namely Piter De Vries & Thufir Hawat, are Mentats. Paul Atreides was originally trained as without his knowledge. However, these Mentats do not focus on mathematical calculations, but in total recall of plenty of different kinds of knowledge. For example, Thufir Hawat can recite various details of a mining operation, including the number of various pieces of equipment, the people to work them, the profits & costs involved, etc. In the novel he is seldom depicted as doing actual academic mathematical calculations. Mentats were valued for their capacity as humans to store knowledge, because computers & "thinking machines" are outlawed.

In the USA Network legal drama Suits, the main character, Mike Ross, is asked to multiply considerably large numbers in his head to impress girls, & does so subsequently.

Andrew Jackson "Slipstick" Libby is a calculating prodigy in Robert A. Heinlein's story Methuselah's Babies.

In Haruki Murakami's novel Hard-Boiled Wonderland & the Finish of the World, a class of mental calculators known as Calcutecs perform cryptography in a sealed-off portion of their brains, the results of which they are unable to access from their normal waking consciousness.

In the Fox tv show Malcolm in the Middle, Malcolm Wilkerson displays incredible feats of automatic mental calculation, which causes him to fear his relatives will see him as a "freak," & causes his brother to ask, "Is Malcolm a robot?"

In Darren Aronofsky's film, Pi, Maximillian Cohen is asked a few times by a young kid with a calculator to do large multiplications & divisions in his head, to which he promptly answers.

In the film Tiny Man Tate, Fred Tate in the audience blurts out the answer in the coursework of a mental calculation contest.

In the sci-fi thriller Cube, of the prisoners, Kazan, appears to be mentally disabled but is revealed later in the film to be an autistic savant, who can calculate prime factors in his head.

In the 2006 film Stranger than Fiction, the main character, Harold Crick, can perform quick arithmetic at the request of his co-workers.

In the 2009 Japanese animated film Summer Wars, the main character, mathematical genius Kenji Koiso, can mentally break purely mathematical encryption codes generated by the OZ virtual world's security technique. He can also mentally calculate the day of the week a person was born based on their birthday.

In another Fox tv show Fringe the third episode of the third season Olivia & her fellow Fringe Division members encounter an individual with extreme cognitive impairment who has been given experimental nootropics & as a result has become a mathematical genius. The individual can calculate hundreds of simultaneous equations simultaneously which he makes use of to manipulate to his advantage to keep away from being returned to his original state of cognitive impairment.

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