## ABACUS

Abacus is an ancient computing methodology developed in China, Japan, Babilonia etc. Wherein students learn to solve mathematical problems using a very simple instrument called ‘abacus’. Abacus is an apparatus used for counting and calculation.
Basic mathematical operations like addition, subtraction, multiplication and division are solved by simple movement of beads in this instrument. This helps the student to develop a pictorial representation of the problem in the brain and by regular practice; the brain learns to solve the problem without actual use of any aid including the abacus. The students thereby develop an exciting photographic memory. The user of an abacus is called an Abacist.
Like any other organ of human body, our brain too needs regular exercising to keep it fit and sharp. (Mental arithmetic)Mathematics provides the ideal exercise for our brain. Mathematics(Mental Arithmetic) is the logical and creative application of mind to tackle a particular problem. More time spent with mathematics would invariably result in a well exercised and a sharper brain. This is simply the reason why a child strong at mathematics is able to tackle other subjects with relative ease.
Abacus is used to teach the children, where they use both the hands to manipulate the beads. In the initial stages, they take the help of the abacus to work out the problems. Gradually the abacus is taken away and the child performs the manipulation of the beads mentally by imagining the beads in there mind. This enables them to achieve a high level of speed, efficiency, accuracy, concentration and increase in memory power. These programs are nothing but scientific brain management techniques that unveil the infinite potential of the human brain and its effective use.
Abacus(plural abaci or abacuses), is a counting frame, used as a calculating tool. It is a very ancient tool and was used widely by many ,particularly, the merchants and traders mainly in Asian and African countries and also in other parts of the world. Even though the oldest Abacus found is said to be as old as belonging to 300 BC, and were in use in Mesopotamia, Egypt, Persia, Greek, Rome and India, Its usage are much found in China and Japan.

#### Chinese Abacus

The Chines Abacus is called Suanpan. The documentary evidence is said to lead to the use of Abacus in China to 2nd century BC. The Chinese Abacus has more than seven rods. In the upper deck, there are 2 beads on each rod and in the bottom, there are 5 beads each.

#### Japanese Abacus

Japan used only the imported Abacus from China in the 14th century. In Japanese, the abacus is called SOROBON. Even in these days of electronic calculator, Abacus is in use in Japan and the Abacus is used in the primary schools of Japan to develop mental arithmetic skills.

#### Advantages Of Abacus

Dr. Toshio Hayashi, Director, Research Institute for Advanced Science and Technology (RIAST) is of the view that, starting abacus learning at a very young age, is useful in activating the brain of kids.
He also says, “We can activate the nerve cells by providing “stimuli” like moving fingers and talking aloud.”
When a child works on abacus it uses both its hand to move the beads. The finger movement of both hands activates the sensors of brain, the right hand coordinates with left brain and the left hand coordinates with right brain.
This facilitates the functioning of "The whole brain" and helps in added intellect, thereby creating 'child maths prodigy'.

Visualization: Ms. Kimiko Kawano, Researcher, Nippon Medical School, Center for Informatics and Sciences, is of the opinion that abacus users simply visualize an image of abacus in their head. They do not replace the image into words. This difference can be seen clearly in the EEGs.
What is important is that the ability to visualize can be put to use for other subjects.

Concentration: Decker Avenue School, California conducted a research on the effects of abacus training on children in the classroom. The study indicated that increased concentration of the abacus students was one of the pre-dominating effects of the training program.

Logical reasoning: Ms. Shizuko Amaiwa, Professor, Shinshu University, observed that advanced abacus learners were found to have received desirable effects in solving certain types of mathematical problems compared to non-abacus learners. In addition, a positive effect was seen, not only in mathematical problems with integers and decimals, but also in those with fractions, especially when higher level of logical thinking is required to solve them.

Photographic memory: Ms. Shizuko Amaiwa is also of the opinion that the beneficial effect of abacus training is the improvement in memory.As a result, abacus learners were found to score higher than non-abacus learners. It can be speculated that the training to obtain the abacus image visually had the effect of making students sensitive towards spatial arrangement or enhanced photographic memory.

Recall: Ms. Kimiko Kawano, Researcher, Nippon Medical School, has stated that, “some abacus experts use their ability for memorizing whole page of textbook or years in history. The ability developed by abacas can be used effectively in different ways” such as the capability to recall.

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