# Memorizing Numbers

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#### Updated on Jan 17, 2013

The world is full of big, long numbers that you may need to memorize. From your best friend's phone number to the exact date George Washington was born, the more you can memorize, the better! But have you ever wondered how many numbers most people can remember? Gather up some of your friends and find out with this quick and fun project.

### Problem:

How many numbers can most people memorize in one minute?

• Paper
• Pen
• Notebook
• Volunteers
• Timer

### Procedure

1. Write a line of 15 random numbers on a piece of paper. Make sure you don't repeat any number too many times. You want to make this as hard to memorize as possible.
2. Look at the numbers. How many numbers do you think your volunteers can memorize within a minute?
3. Write your best guess, often called a hypothesis, in your notebook.
4. Test each volunteer separately: you don't want anyone having extra time to memorize the numbers!
5. Start your timer as soon as you give each volunteer the numbers.
6. Take away the paper as soon as the one minute is up.
7. Immediately ask the volunteer to recite as many numbers as he can.
8. Write down this number in your notebook.
9. Once you've tested each volunteer, wait one hour.
10. Separately ask each volunteer to try and recite the numbers again.
11. Write this number next to the previous number.