“This machine is not that smart. This calculator only does what you tell it to do. You all have imagination — creativity. Your brains are amazing. This is a boring little machine that if you say five plus six it tells you it’s 11. That’s it; it’s not that smart,” Scott Flansburg said to a group of All Angels Academy students Friday, Feb. 17.

Referred to as the human calculator, Flansburg is a national celebrity because of his extraordinary talents of calculating faster than the speed of a calculator.

He’s appeared many times on national television shows and stations such as the “Oprah Winfrey Show,” Fox News Channel, Discovery Channel, and he is the spokesperson for the American Math Challenge.

Flansburg visited All Angels Academy to energize students as they prepare for an event called World Math Day. This is the second year students from the school will participate in this event.

World Math Day is an online event where students from across the world have 48 hours to compete in five levels with 20 games a level and gain as many points as possible. The only catch is that in each game students only have 60 seconds.

He asked 12-year-old student Gabriella Camilo to select four three-digit numbers randomly for him to add. Meanwhile, Terry Alexander, a mathematic and social studies teacher for All Angels Academy, calculated them on screen for the group.

“OK, three-digit numbers. Numbers like 499 or 325; I want you give me three-digit numbers. I’ll try to add them up in my head while she does it on the calculator,” said Flansburg.

Camilo randomly selected four three-digit numbers — 499, 568, 722, and 399 — for Flansburg to add. Less than a second later after the final data value was stated, he asserted “2-1-8-8.” This calculation was answered faster than the time it took for Alexander to input the data values into the on-screen calculator.

Students sat astonished at Flansburg’s swift and accurate answer, which would take the average individual about one or two minutes to solve.

Flansburg explained to the students that the problem with learning mathematic today is that most people are not using their rudimentary math skills.

“How did you get up to 14 so quick? You memorized it. You’re not practicing your math; you’re practicing your memory,” Flansburg said, referring to a problem he gave the group to solve together.

Alexander expressed the overall tone she felt was left from Flansburg’s presentation at the school.

“It’s safe to say that the students were inspired to see math in a new way. However, it was not only the students who gained a new perspective about math, we all came away with a whole new way of seeing math,” said Alexander.