Stephen Wolfram Q&A

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Some collected questions and answers by Stephen Wolfram

Questions may be edited for brevity; see links for full questions.

December 18, 2019

From: Interview by Guy Kawasaki, Remarkable People Podcast

Is it true that you had difficulty learning arithmetic in school?

Oh yeah. I was terrible at arithmetic. I found it boring. In one of these educational lessons about education, when I was seven or something, there was always this game of who can do arithmetic facts, and I discovered that there’s only one fact that you needed to know to win that game most of the time, which is that seven times eight is 56. That was the one fact nobody else would know. But I never learned the other ones. I have a decent memory, so I remember roughly when I learned six times nine. I think I learned it in my 40s…

I never found it terribly interesting. Occasionally you’d need to work out six times nine. Okay, I can figure it out. It takes a few seconds to figure it out, but it was something where… I don’t really have a great excuse. It was something that I never found that interesting.

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