Memory and How it Works?

Memory and How it Works?

One of the most common concerns of students is the fact that they tend to keep forgetting their lessons or they do not have enough memorizing ability to be able to prepare well for their examinations. As a matter of fact, memory skills are needed on a rather daily basis and not just during examinations because when students attend classes, they are taught something new every day and the learning or lessons from one day have to be carried forward to the next. Being able to remember or simply, memorizing is a skill that you will need to practice and over time, you will master it. Yes, a person who is able to memorize better isn’t born with the skill but is someone who practices it.

How memory works?

In order to practice skills that help you with your memory, we first need to understand how memory really works. Well, for that matter, it isn’t too clear on how memory works just as the brain but yes, there is some information that will help you with understanding the mechanism of memory based on the types of memory. Memory is typically of two types –

Short term memory:

This is generally considered to be the skill to remember your daily activities. This is also known as your working memory and in most cases, you tend to repeat the activities and hence, you may not really have to make an effort to remember the tasks in your short term memory.

Long term memory:

This is either related to what you did in the past or what you will need to do in days ahead. This is the part of your memory that retains most important events and typically, you tend to remember what your mind considers important. The long term memory can be explicit memory, implicit memory or autobiographical memory.

How to maintain and improve your memory?

Remembering is a skill and you need to hone this skill. It does require some training and practice but what more you will need is to keep your mind healthy and free from any external factors that can impact your ability to improve your memory.

Staying healthy

One of the most important things that you can do to maintain your memory is to stay healthy. The healthier you are, the stronger your memory would be. Here is how you can keep yourself healthy –

  • Eat right

There are certain foods that are known to improve your memory. Include such foods in your diet. Generally, you should be eating a well-balanced, nutritious diet. If your general health is good, your brain functions at its optimum best and that typically means, you will have a good memory.

  • Sleep well

Good sleep is extremely important for your mental health. if you sleep well, your brain gets the rest it needs and this only implies, you will have a stronger memory.

  • Stay active

Staying physically active is also important for a healthy mind. Regular exercise is important for those who lead a sedentary lifestyle.

  • Avoid stress

Stay positive about yourself and your environment. Avoid stress triggers and most importantly, remember that every bad situation will pass on and get you to good and happy times.

Some useful tips to improve memory

Improving memory needs practice and a consistent effort. Here are some tips that will help you in this regard –

  • Retrieval is the best way to remember. Once you have read something, try to recall what you have read with your eyes closed. This will help in improving your memory.
  • Explain to yourself what you have read. This will help you remember.

Reflect. When you elaborate, try to understand the topic better by reflecting. This activity will help you in remembering.

Shakuntala Devi – The Human Computer

Shakuntala Devi – The Human Computer

India, a land popular for it’s contribution in the field of mathematics has always been proud of it’s mathematical prodigies and one such prodigy in recent times of modern India was Shakuntala Devi who was world renowned & referred to as “Human Computer”.

Born in 1929 in a poor family in Bangalore (India), Shakuntala Devi dropped out of school because her father, a circus worker, could not afford the monthly school fee of Rs 2. She grew up in a slum and at a very young age, her mathematical abilities were recognized by her father. There is an interesting anecdote about how he recognized it. At the age of 3, when she started playing cards with her father, he was surprised to find that she was winning all the games against him everyday. Suspecting some foul play, he began his “investigation” during which he realized that she was memorizing all the card numbers and their sequence as the game progressed in the initial rounds and with her memory power, she was able to predict the sequence of cards in the subsequent rounds in the same game and thus wait to pick cards strategically to help her win.

Her father taught her mathematical operations like multiplication, division & square root and took her to his circus to demonstrate her quick calculation abilities & memory power to the crowds. As the word about her skills spread, she started doing road shows as well across the city. At the age of 6, she gave her first major show at Mysore University and there was no turning back after that.

shakuntala_devi_young

In her early 20s, she toured Europe extensively to demonstrate her skills. During an interview on BBC, she was given a complicated mathematical calculation which she solved within seconds but her answer was different from what the interviewer & his team had calculated. When she insisted that her answer was right, the interviewer & his team of math experts reexamined their calculations for several minutes and finally admitted that their initial calculations were wrong. That incident spread like wildfire across the world after which she was being popularly referred to as “The Human Computer”. During her Europe tour, she was invited by several reputed Universities including the University of Rome.

Here is a short video clip from her 1951 Europe tour where she solves a complex math problem:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lYPB6KcBgY8
In 1977, at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, she calculated the 23rd root of a 201-digit number. It had taken four minutes for a professor to write the problem on the board, and it took more than a minute for a Univac computer to figure out the answer. Shakuntala Devi got it in 50 seconds. Here is a newspaper excerpt of the same:

shakuntala_devi

Her father taught her mathematical operations like multiplication, division & square root and took her to his circus to demonstrate her quick calculation abilities & memory power to the crowds. As the word about her skills spread, she started doing road shows as well across the city. At the age of 6, she gave her first major show at Mysore University and there was no turning back after that.

shakuntala_devi2-660x436

Not only was she a genius & mathematical magician but also a role model for students and math enthusiasts. She played a great role in making mathematics an interesting subject for millions of students due to her practical, fast & efficient approach towards problem solving. She had authored several books for children to help them develop interest in maths and help them understand the subject better.

When shakunthala devi meets albert Einstein Here the things happen

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