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Shakunthala Devi, Human Computer of India

Updated on May 18, 2014

Shakunthala Devi, the Human Computer

Smt. Shakuntala Devi was world renowned mathematical wizard and was more known as the Human Computer of India. She breathed her last on April 21, 2013 at the age of 83.

Early Days of Shakuntala Devi

This inspirational persona was born in Bangalore in Karnataka State of India on 4th November 1929 to humble Kannada Brahmin parents . She was able to study upto 3rd standard only and she had to discontinue her studies as her father could not pay her school fee. Her father was a trapeze artist and it was her father who noticed her unusual god given gift of mathematics calculation. She showed her skill as a prodigy at the tender age of three by helping her father with card tricks.

At the tender age of six, Shakuntala Devi had bewildered her audience by demonstrating her skill in calculation at the University of Mysore and then again at the age of eight, at the Annamalai University, in India. . .

A Public Trust - Her contribution

She had started the Shakuntala Devi Educational Foundation Public Trust in order to spread her love for mathematics, astrology, and philosophy and make it a fun subject for students to learn.

Mathematical Genius

Shakunthala Devi was nicknamed as Human Computer because of her extra ordinary talent and skill in solving mathematical problems. She had the ability to tell the day of the week of any given date in the last century in a jiffy.

In 1977, in Dallas, Shakuntala Devi obtained the 23rd root of the digit number '201' mentally in just 50 seconds, faster than a computer.

Later, in June 1980, she again bewildered the audience by solving the multiplication of two 13-digit numbers 7,686,369,774,870 x 2,465,099,745,779 that were randomly picked by the computer department of Imperial College in London. Amazing everybody, she solved the problem in 28 seconds, and the answer was 18,947,668,177,995,426,462,773,730. The UNIVAC 1108 computer at the time took a full minute to confirm that she was right after it was fed with 13000 instructions.This extra ordinary mathematical skill brought her glory and a place in the Guinness Book of World Records in 1995. Following this, she was invited by several countries to demonstrate her mathematical skill.

Other interests of Shakunthala Devi

Astrology was her another passion, and she was also practicing as an astrologer. Though she had gone through trials and tribulations in her life, she had no bitterness. She had said that since she had suffered greatly in life, she used her gift to guide people on how to find happiness and achieve success through astrology.

Books by Shakuntala Devi

Shakuntala Devi has authored several books in mathematical calculations, astrology and cooking. Her books are - Figuring: The Joy of Numbers. Puzzles to puzzle You, More Puzzles to puzzle you, Super Memory, The Book of Numbers, Mathability: Awaken the Math Genius in Your Child, Astrology for you, Perfect Murder, In the Wonderland of Numbers.,Astrology for You and The World of Homosexuals.


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    • lex123 profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago

      Thanks Kulsum for reading the article and leaving your comment.

    • lex123 profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago

      Thank you Ruchira for reading and commenting the article. It is very rare we find people like her.

    • Kulsum Mehmood profile image

      Dr Kulsum Mehmood 

      6 years ago from Nagpur, India

      Very truly she was a mathematical genius. May God Bless her. Thanks was writing about her.

    • Ruchira profile image


      6 years ago from United States

      She was a genius. Glad you highlighted her.

      Loved the tribute.


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