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Sunday, April 21, 2013

Human computer Maths Wizard Shakuntala Devi is no more....

Mathematics  with its innumerable complexities coupled with Trigonometry and Algebra – bemused us in our school days… not that we were strong in others subjects – it is relatively speaking ! The problems with Maths or with simple computing continues to haunt us – throughout our life..  in an age, we are over-dependent on XL for calculations and figures, we still search for the calculator in our mobile to check the very simple tasks of the price of 4 tickets in a bus .. paying for 2 ½ kg of vegetable and the like…………… but there are people who does such things with ease and the World calls them genius, no qualms. 

This sadly is about a woman who could add a 6-digit number with another one and multiply the result with an equal array of numbers almost instantaneously, find the cube root of the resultant and pop up with an answer in just about the time taken for a wink. Humanly not possible as even to ask the question would !  Read that her father hailing from a orthodox Brahmin family, rebelled against becoming a temple priest and instead joined a circus !!! Her father worked in a circus as a trapeze and tightrope performer, and later as a lion tamer and a human cannonball.  She reportedly  was around three years old and she was roped in to help her father with card tricks. Her father left the circus and took her on road shows that displayed her amazing ability at number crunching. Her calculating gifts first demonstrated themselves while she was doing card tricks with her father when she was three. They report she "beat" them by memorization of cards rather than by sleight of hand. By age six she demonstrated her calculation and memorization abilities at the University of Mysore.  At the age of eight she had success at Annamalai University by doing the same. In 2006 she released In the Wonderland of Numbers with Orient Paperbacks which talks about a girl Neha and her fascination for numbers. She developed the concept of `mind dynamics`.....

It is all the Great Mathematician, 'human computer' Shakuntala Devi; sad because she breathed her last today.  Mathematical genius Shakuntala Devi died at a hospital in Bangalore today following respiratory problems. She was 80. According to PTI, she was declared dead at 8.15 am today.  She had been hospitalised a couple of weeks ago for critical respiratory problems; She developed heart and kidney problems late, a spokesperson of her Foundation is quoted as satying.  ," he added.

She deserved every inch of her fame in being nicknamed as "human computer" for her ability to make complex mental calculations. In 1977, Shakuntala Devi extracted the 23rd root of a 201-digit number mentally.

•        In 1977 in Dallas she competed with a computer to see who give the cube root of 188138517 faster, she won. At an American university she was asked to give the 23rd root of 916748676920039158098660927585380162483106680144308622407126516427934657040867096593279205767480806790022783016354924852380335745316935111903596577547340075681688305620821016129132845564805780158806771.  She answered in 50 seconds. 

Her answer of 546372891 took a UNIVAC 1108 computer a full minute (10 seconds more) to confirm that she was right after it was fed with 13000 instructions.

•        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 correctly answered 18,947,668,177,995,426,462,773,730 in 28 seconds. This event is mentioned in the 1995 Guinness Book of Records.
most of us may not be able to properly read the number that she could do with her memory… Hats off to her and may her soul rest in peace

With regards – S. Sampathkumar.
source :

21st April 2013 @ 0800 pm..


  1. may her soul Rest in peace.

  2. Shakuntala Devi was a gifted child for her parents.I had the opportunity of attending her physics/maths problemconducted in my college and everyone was stunt with her accurate answers in few seconds.Indeed incredible! Such persons are born once in many generations and it is said 'seeing is believing'

    One cannot find the immense ability Shakuntala had in answering complex problems be it physics/math geometry in even scholars in the aforesaid subjects.People who had the opportunity of witnessing Shakuntala"s genius capacity know the hidden capacity/knowledge in her.It is purely God given and also Mother NATURE'S gift.

    1. Mr. GS Laxman..Who ever you are you cannot even respect a lady of age 83+ in your so called respect text of yours? You could even add a Mrs/Miss(as she is divorced). Please respect Mrs. Shakuntala Devi. She is a pride of India,,Today google posted her in her site. Thats y ur talking abt her..She is pride of India..

  3. Amazing! RIP.


  4. She was a Supernova, GOD of mathematics...

  5. Amazing ....How Cool......indeed superhuman ability...respect you from my Heart Madam--Salute to you!

  6. We were given the gift to have her among us .....may she rest in peace.