Mathematician ‘human computer’ Shakuntala Devi dies | Deccan Chronicle
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Mathematician ‘human computer’ Shakuntala Devi dies

PTI | 21st Apr 2013

Bengaluru: Mathematical genius Shakuntala Devi, nicknamed as ‘human computer’ for her ability to make complex mental calculations, died at a hospital on Sunday following respiratory problems. She was 80.

"She passed away at Bangalore Hospital," Shakuntala Devi Educational Foundation Public Trust Trustee D C Shivadev said. Doctors declared her dead at 8.15 AM, he said.

Devi was hospitalised a couple of weeks ago for critical respiratory problems, Shivadev said. "She developed heart and kidney problems later," he added.

She found a slot in the Guiness Book of World Record for her outstanding ability and wrote numerous books like 'Fun with Numbers', 'Astrology for You', 'Puzzles to Puzzle You', and 'Mathablit'.

She had the ability to tell the day of the week of any given date in the last century in a jiffy.

Coming from a humble family, Shakuntala Devi's father was a circus performer who did trapeze, tightrope and cannonball shows. It was while she was playing cards with her father at the tender age of three that he found his daughter's calculation abilities.

It turned out that she beat him not by sleight of hand, but by memorising the cards. At the age of six, she demonstrated her calculation skills in her first major public performance at the University of Mysore and two years later, she again proved herself successful as a child prodigy at Annamalai University.

However, despite apprehensions in some quarters, Devi did not lose her calculating ability when she turned adult like other prodigies such as Truman Henry Safford. In 1977, Devi extracted the 23rd root of a 201-digit number mentally.

On June 18, 1980 she demonstrated the multiplication of two 13-digit numbers 7,686,369,774,870 x 2,465,099,745,779 picked at random by the Computer Department of Imperial College, London. She answered the question in 28 seconds.


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Saif, LONDON.'s picture
by Saif, LONDON. (not verified) on
R.I.P A Legend who India never paid the enough recognition she very much deserved. Sadly mass murderer like Nali (sewage)Ka Modi gets all the admiration of the Brainwashed Thugs. While legends like this go un-noticed in a Billion+ country. India is being lost to terrorist outfits like RSS My great India and guess what we ain't doing anything about it.
truthisbitter's picture
by truthisbitter (not verified) on
True that She did not get the recognition she deserved,but that does not give anybody the right to bash Modi, How many people got benefitted by her genius???? one man like Modi is greater than 1 thousand mathematical geniuses like S.Devi,because millions of people get benefitted by people like Modi...,..Pople like Modi give such a good governance that ,it creates a atmosphere where Many more people like Shakuntala devi's will be born and their geniuses will be used for the benefit of common man...not just beat a computer,but beat corruption and unemployment.
Mark Nathan's picture
by Mark Nathan (not verified) on
Salute to the greatest lady of our time.


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