Mike Byster, known as the mathemagician founder of Brainetics, is coming to Carbon County. He will demonstrate his system of near instantaneous multiplication, division and squaring of large numbers, and memorization of complex lists.
Having a senior moment? Have a child that isn't warming up to math? Then you might want to attend Byster's Brainetics presentation at 7 p.m. on Nov. 9 at the Deaf Welcome Center, 206 N. Sgt. Stanley Hoffman Blvd., in Lehighton.
The program will be part of the Center's Live Studio Audience Equal Access Sign Language Television. Participants will have an opportunity to win Brainetics-related giveaways, to watch Byster demonstrate his credibility, and to join in a "meet and greet."
"I saw Mike Byster on the Discovery Channel," said Theressa DuBois, CEO of the Deaf Welcome Center. "I wanted to let our kids do this."
DuBois plans to have two presentations – one for adults and the second for kids and math teachers. The program is not just for the deaf.
"It's for everyone," DuBois said. "I want the deaf to have equal access to everyone who is doing brilliant things."
DuBois is working through a network of local educators and hopes to spread the word through the school systems and home schoolers.
"Byster will teach amazing techniques that makes math easy and fun," DuBois said. "You've got to see this! He's been on '20/20' and the Discovery Channel."
He introduces himself by stating: "My name's Mike Byster and according to psychologists, I have one of the fastest mathematical minds in the world."
The Brainetics web site, www.brainetics.com, calls Byster "a 'mathemagician' who can dazzle anybody with his amazing feats of mathematics. But the true magic is his ability to ignite a passion for mathematics in our children. When students learn Mike's techniques, you can see the excitement, not just for math, but for the possibilities. Mike teaches that they can do anything, and for the first time in their lives, they believe it."
Byster recommends the program for kids nine-years-old and up, "from those with special needs to the highly gifted. The system teaches kids the priceless skills of focus, following directions, problem solving, organizational skills and memory improvement."
The web site says that 35 percent of those in the program are adults-many are seniors.
"By practicing mental exercises and challenging your brain with games and puzzles you can stave off mental aging, staying sharp and increasing mental clarity," it states.
Brainetics explains that its system teaches "focus, concentration, problem solving, thinking outside the box, organizational, increased mental capacity and memory skills: trains the two sides of the mind: and accomplishes these things in a fun manner."
Byster was working as a stockbroker when his cousin, an elementary school math teacher, invited him to show the class his shortcuts for doing arithmetic. After working with the children, Byster decided to devote himself to teaching "Mike's Math" full-time.
A scan of the Internet revealed support for the technique underlying the Brainetics program-a technique that has been around for a long time and is available from a variety of authors.
Reviewers felt that the techniques could stimulate student's interest by adding a mathemagician framework to what may otherwise seem like a boring and repetitious subject.
"The Brainetics folks turn down 4,000 schools each year but they have agreed to make deaf welcome!" DuBois said.
Seating is limited and reservations are required. Reservations can be made at: firstname.lastname@example.org (preferred), or call: (610) 379-4800 office (or (610) 440-3111-videophone for the deaf). A suggested donation is requested for the event.