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Shakuntala Devi honoured by calculator-styled Google doodle

By Ritu Singh | Last Updated: Monday, November 4, 2013 - 12:35

Zee Media Bureau

New Delhi: Today Google celebrates the 84th birth anniversary of mathematical genius Shakuntala Devi with its customary doodle. Shakuntala Devi, popularly known as the "Human Computer", was a child prodigy and mental calculator who had the remarkable ability to mentally solve complex mathematical problems. Google paid its tribute to her with a calculator font and her smiling picture.

Hailing from a humble family in Bangalore, she received no formal education. Shakuntala Devi`s father was a circus performer who did trapeze, tightrope and cannonball shows. Her father discovered her amazing ability to memorize numbers while teaching her a card trick when she was only three years old. Thereafter he left the circus and took her on road shows that displayed her ability at number crunching.

Possessing amazing memory powers,she had the ability to tell the day of the week of any given date in the last century in an instant. In 1977 in USA, Shakuntala Devi competed with a computer to see who gives the cube root of 188132517 faster and she won. Similarly on June 18, 1980, Shakuntala Devi demonstrated the multiplication of two 13-digit numbers 7,686,369,774,870 × 2,465,099,745,779 picked at random by the Computer Department of Imperial College, London. She answered 18,947,668,177,995,426,462,773,730 in 28 seconds which is correct.

Gradually, owing to her tremendous mathematical abilities, Shakuntala Devi earned a place in the Guinness Book of World Records. Further she also wrote numerous books like `Fun with Numbers`, `Astrology for You`, `Puzzles to Puzzle You`, and `Mathablit`.
Shakuntala Devi recently passed away on April 21, 2013 in a hospital in Bangalore from complications of the heart and kidneys at the age of 83.

First Published: Monday, November 4, 2013 - 09:36

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