Whiz kids compete in mental math competition

DUBAI - More than 1,500 school students aged between five and 12 from across the UAE gathered in Dubai over the weekend to prove their arithmetic skills by completing 200 calculations in eight minutes or an average calculation every 2.4 seconds at the UAE’s Eighth Annual National Abacus and Mental Arithmetic Competition held at Al Nasr Leisureland.

By (Staff Reporter)

Published: Tue 1 Nov 2011, 9:29 PM

Last updated: Tue 7 Apr 2015, 7:41 AM

Hosted by the Universal Concept of Mental Arithmetic System (UCMAS) UAE, the competition will give these math whiz-kids opportunity to use the abacus and their powers of mental arithmetic to outshine their peers and claim top spot in one of the 27 separate categories.

The winners from each category will now have the chance to represent the UAE in the World Abacus and Mental Arithmetic Competition to be held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on December 4.

The national competition, which is organised each year by Abacus Quest Point, the National Franchisee of UCMAS, is partly sponsored by LIC International in collaboration with Kingstar Agencies. The UCMAS system, developed in Malaysia in 1993, is designed to help children improve their powers of calculation.

The abacus, used by mankind for counting for millennia, is employed as a tool to help children improve their powers of arithmetic by allowing them to visualise calculations in pictorial, rather than numerical, form.

Soundari Raj, Managing Director, UCMAS UAE and Oman, said: “In the UAE today, more than 6,000 young scholars are enrolled on our programme. Our younger students and beginners to the programme all use an abacus, and then our older and advanced students progress to using pure mental arithmetic. The fastest children on our UCMAS programme are able to mentally add 10 columns of 12 digit numbers within 30 seconds – which is a staggering feat. In fact, most of us can’t even read and process the numbers themselves in less than a minute.”


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