Using daring displays of algorithmic trickery, lightning calculator and number wizard Arthur Benjamin mesmerizes audiences with mathematical mystery and beauty.

Why you should listen

Arthur Benjamin makes numbers dance. In his day job, he's a professor of math at Harvey Mudd College; in his other day job, he's a "Mathemagician," taking the stage in his tuxedo to perform high-speed mental calculations, memorizations and other astounding math stunts. It's part of his drive to teach math and mental agility in interesting ways, following in the footsteps of such heroes as Martin Gardner.

Benjamin is the co-author, with Michael Shermer, of Secrets of Mental Math (which shares his secrets for rapid mental calculation), as well as the co-author of the MAA award-winning Proofs That Really Count: The Art of Combinatorial Proof. For a glimpse of his broad approach to math, see the list of research talks on his website, which seesaws between high-level math (such as his "Vandermonde's Determinant and Fibonacci SAWs," presented at MIT in 2004) and engaging math talks for the rest of us ("An Amazing Mathematical Card Trick").

What others say

“Mathematics can be a difficult and perhaps puzzling subject for many. But watch in amazement as one of the world’s fastest human calculators shows his ability to turn math into magic.” — keentalks.com

Arthur Benjamin’s TED talks

Arthur Benjamin on the TED Blog
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Playlist

8 TED Talks about the wonders of patterns

November 8, 2013

Arthur Benjamin is perhaps the world’s leading mathemagician and, in today’s talk, he aims to show the creativity, beauty and wonder that is as much a part of math as logic. Stepping onto the TEDGlobal 2013 stage, Benjamin takes us on a spirited tour of the Fibonacci numbers, where the patterns to be found go […]

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Live from TEDGlobal 2013

Turn arithmetic into mathemagic: Arthur Benjamin at TEDGlobal 2013

June 13, 2013

Mathemagician Arthur Benjamin says that there are three reasons we learn math: calculation, application and inspiration. Yes, inspiration. Math is the science of patterns, and learning it teaches us not just logic but creative thinking, says Benjamin. So why, when math is beautiful and exciting, is so much of what we learn in school about preparing for […]

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Live from TEDGlobal 2013

Imagined Beauty: The speakers in Session 10 at TEDGlobal 2013

June 13, 2013

Beauty is always a key theme at TED, and in this session, Imagined Beauty, there’s something for everyone, with speakers including a couple whose professions have required the coining of new words.  Meet the “cloudspotter,” the “mathemagician,” and the others who presented to us in this session of TEDGlobal. Click on their name for a […]

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Quotes from Arthur Benjamin

I think if our students, if our high school students — if all of the American citizens — knew about probability and statistics, we wouldn’t be in the economic mess that we’re in today.
Arthur Benjamin
TED2009 • 1.4M views Jun 2009
Persuasive, Inspiring