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It is always difficult saying goodbye to someone we love and cherish. Family and friends must say goodbye to their beloved Ilan Zadik Samson (San Diego, California), who passed away at the age of 84, on October 25, 2023. Leave a sympathy message to the family in the guestbook on this memorial page of Ilan Zadik Samson to show support. A funeral service was held on Friday, October 27th 2023 at 2:30 PM.

The Inventor of QAMA: Living off inventing is a nearly impossible but extremely rewarding career.

Physicist ILAN SAMSON is doing just that – serially inventing products which people  really  need, and thus many millions of them use. Further information may be found at

One of his hardest but most important challenges was the well known ‘calculator problem’ - The constant usage of calculators seriously subverting against the understanding of arithmetic and math.

The resulting situation is particularly serious as our subsistence increasingly relies on advanced science-based technology which, without a firm grounding in math, is like Opera without music.

From his previous work in developing ground-breaking math-education tools (Demathtifying – Demystifying Mathematics  QED/Tarquin Books a), Ilan knew that, with suitable teaching means, people could in fact get a lot better at math than they ever dreamt, do so rapidly, and enjoy it too. 


However, the performance of all quantitative work without the engagement of the brain is a non-starter for learning math.

So, a new, imaginative calculator had to be thought up, and this is how the QAMA calculator came about - a calculator that reveals the result only after the user has also entered a mental estimate of the result – just good enough to convince the calculator that he and she understood what they were dealing with.

As with every successful invention, an idea is not enough: It is the details that matter, and here it was the nearly insurmountable task of devising algorithms that prepare a reasonable acceptance-tolerance for any calculation whatsoever, namely, tolerances that must reflect the difficulty or ease of the task, so that the user would invariably find that estimates which they regarded as reasonable, would indeed be accepted, while wild guesses be rejected. With infinitely many calculation types and combinations, it was not clear from the start that this could be achieved at all…

Ilan Samson graduated in physics at Imperial College, specialized in Transportation, industrial and engineering Operations Research and software, and lectured Operations Research at Tel Aviv University. Since 1978 Ilan pursues the unusual career of a full time independent inventor whose inventions get realised and manufactured by market-leading licensees worldwide.

Ilan Samson also has a keen interest in the development of mathematics and science teaching methods that lead to lasting understanding rather than temporary, mystification-ridden performance. He has embodied his techniques in a book called "Demathifying - Demystifying Mathematics" and in "Qama", a calculator which is considered to be the single most effective way to achieve global drastic improvement in numeracy education.