TODAY | October 16, 2012
>>> ordinary number cruncher, scott is known as the human calculator and holds a guinness world record to prove it. scott 's here as the ambassador for the american math challenge, we talk about it every year, an online event involving thousands of kids as they prepare for the world education games next march. scott brought along three top math students from st. ignatius school in new york city . good to see you.
>> scott , this has been an important cause for you for many, many years.
>> math-letics is trying to make it cool to be a mathlete, not an athlete.
>> you got that weird kind of brain. kathie, you've known him forever.
>> he came on a show with regis and me, how many years ago?
>> 20 years ago. you nicknamed me the human calculator .
>> i have a calculator here.
>> i was in the record books for counting a number faster than a machine. give me a two-digit number, tough number to start by. 73, plus 73. got it now? keep hitting equals, i'm going to add it up. 146. 219. 292. 365. 418. 657. 730. 490. --
>> see, and we rehearsed that all morning. no idea what number we were picking.
>> your brain's just clicking in automatically?
>> yes, i have a gift -- god-given ability for numbers, but i've discovered a shortcut way to teach kids arithmetic. we're trying to make math fun. you're going to meet three math mathletes .
>> john, ten years old.
>> talia, i'm 12.
>> lilianna, i'm 11.
>> you're going to compete against us? tragic and scary.
>> here we go. no pressure. we have some simple arithmetic questions. people at home will race you as well. hit your buzzer when you got the right answer.
>> we're allowed to have a minute?
>> you will not have time to use a calculator. these mathletes are way too fast. first question is, 14 plus 13. 27. the kids are up one. next one, 16 plus 18.
>> that was a tie.
>> hit the buzzer first.
>> i'm not hitting the buzzer.
>> i am.
>> tougher, here we go. 46 plus 25.
>> john pulls it out. he wins the match. great job.
>> congratulations, mathletes .
>> what's the prize?
>> not that they need them, but calculators.
>> thank you, jerry.
>> wait, nobody uses those calculators.
>> that's our whole goal is to get kids not to use calculators, but that's great.
>> thank you so much, scott .