I still recall my thrill and disappointment when I read Mathematical Carnival, by Martin Gardner. I was thrilled because, as my high school teacher had recommended, mathematics was presented in a playful way that I had never seen before. I was disappointed because it contained a formula that I thought I had "invented" a few years earlier. I have always had a passion for mental calculation, and the following formula appears in Gardner's chapter on "Lightning Calculators." It was used by the mathematician A. C. Aitken to mentally square large numbers.
© 2012 Mathematical Association of America
Benjamin, AT. Squaring, cubing and cube rooting. Coll Math J. 2012;43(1).