Education, Experimentation, Nostalgia, Tools, Usability

Criss-cross Applesauce — Multiplication in Japan

This nice little video, dredged up by, threw me for a loop when I first saw it. It took me back to 1988, when I was in Japan and saw Japanese students, workers, and housewives doing multiplication like this so swiftly and confidently it blew my mind. To see it again, and explicated slowly and clearly, settled some neurotransmitter flotsam into place, at long last. A fascinating alternative to stacked numbers.

Now, try 458 x 16 using this technique, just for the fun of it.

Happy Friday!

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About Kent Anderson

I am the CEO of RedLink and RedLink Network, a past-President of SSP, and the founder of the Scholarly Kitchen. I’ve worked as Publisher at AAAS/Science, CEO/Publisher of JBJS, Inc., a publishing executive at the Massachusetts Medical Society, Publishing Director of the New England Journal of Medicine, and Director of Medical Journals at the American Academy of Pediatrics. Opinions on social media or blogs are my own.


3 thoughts on “Criss-cross Applesauce — Multiplication in Japan

  1. Really interesting, however, I find it quite time-consuming to do when dealing with 3-digit numbers or when any of the digits gets larger than 3 or 4. For instance, 999 X 3 is really burdensome using this technique, but is quite easy if you think of it as (1000 X 3) – 3

    Posted by Phil Davis | Feb 10, 2012, 11:13 am
  2. Brilliant! Thank you, Kent, for posting this. It’s a demystifier.

    Posted by Joseph Esposito | Feb 10, 2012, 1:14 pm
  3. Whoa, this is really neat. Thanks for sharing!

    Posted by Darlena | Feb 10, 2012, 11:19 pm

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The mission of the Society for Scholarly Publishing (SSP) is "[t]o advance scholarly publishing and communication, and the professional development of its members through education, collaboration, and networking." SSP established The Scholarly Kitchen blog in February 2008 to keep SSP members and interested parties aware of new developments in publishing.
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