GEORGE LANE: The Mental Calculations Wizard

  By VennerRoad, 5th Jan 2015

George Lane has one of the most formidable mathematical minds in the world.

George Lane

Londoner George Lane has been a regular at the Mind Sports Olympiad since the second event in 1998; games may be his forte, but they are not his greatest talent. Although he admits to having anything but a phenomenal memory, there are few who can match him where mental calculations are concerned. In 2013, he won the gold in the Mental Calculations event, and this year was runner up. Since 2004 it has been dominated by German Gert Mittring, but to date George has won the title no fewer than five times, the first in 1999, then 2003, 2004 and 2008 as well as 2013.

Last August he also split the gold medal in the General Knowledge quiz, and two months later, he competed in the Mental Calculations World Cup at Dresden in which he was third in the Most Versatile Calculator category. Two of the questions posed were what is the fifth root of 30,000 to two decimal places, and what is the seventh root of 7,701,771,143,776,896. He answered them both correctly!

With those sort of talents it is a wonder George hasn't been offered a fellowship by some institution of higher learning, or snapped up by a public relations firm to do promo work, alas...

Nor has he been asked to contribute to academic journals, but you can find a technical paper by him here.

Winning even a gold medal at the Mind Sports Olympiad will not make you rich, nor will writing a book, necessarily. In 2004, George published Amazing Mental Arithmetic Made Easy. A revamped paperback edition was published in 2012 as Brain Games: The Greatest Puzzle Book Ever. This has now been translated into Italian, and will shortly be translated into Turkish. Considering the way the Chinese hothouse their kids, one might ask if it should not also be translated into Mandarin, which would surely boost his royalties.

George has also been teaching his talents live including in Germany for the Mental Calculations Junior World Championships two years in a row, and has lectured at the MSO as well as helping to organise the event.

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