Talk:Zerah Colburn (mental calculator)

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Math prodigy?[edit]

... is a misnomer. Colburn may have superior arithmetic processing capabilities but that does not make him a math prodigy. In fact, many mathematicians are abysmal at arithmetic and being able to solve numerical calculations at high speed does not a mathematician make. Rlinfinity (talk) 19:58, 21 January 2010 (UTC)

Being a human calculator of the extent describe in the article is beyond the abilities of most people; I suppose "arithmetic prodigy" would be more accurate...but it doesn't have the same ring to it. (talk) 05:54, 31 October 2011 (UTC)

He apparently did have some impact on the field of mathematics by factoring a number that was supposed to be prime. It's true, "math prodigy" doesn't seem to fit. How about "calculation prodigy," or just use the category he fits in, "mental calculator"? Bob Burkhardt (talk) 15:44, 13 April 2012 (UTC)

Encounter with William Rowan Hamilton[edit]

The article for William Rowan Hamilton mentions that Zerah was pitted against William Rowan Hamilton in a calculation dual, which he won causing Hamilton to focus more on mathematics. If true, this is a major influence on one of the most important physicists of all time. Jason Quinn (talk) 00:40, 21 October 2013 (UTC)