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Russian peasant multiplication


The Russian peasant multiplication, also called the Russian peasant algorithm, uses a halving and doubling method to multiply whole numbers

I will illustrate the method with two good examples that you should study carefully.

When halving, disregard any remainder. Just put the quotient in the halving column

When the number in the halving column is 1, cross out all rows that have an even number in the halving column

the answer is found by adding the remaining numbers in the doubling column

Example # 1: 11 × 12


Halving                              Doubling

   11                    ×                  12

   5                      ×                  24

   2                      ×                  48

   1                      ×                  96



The sum is 12 + 24 + 96 = 132



Example # 2: 37 × 42


Halving                              Doubling

   37                    ×                  42

   18                    ×                  84

   9                      ×                168

   4                      ×                336

   2                      ×                672

   1                      ×              1344



The sum is 42 + 168 + 1344 = 1554

Your turn! try a few multiplication using the Russian peasant multiplication

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