Monday, April 22, 2013

S is for Shakuntala Devi: The Human Computer Passes Away.

S is for Shakuntala Devi The Human Computer Passes Away.

Shakuntala Devi the human computer passed away on 21st April 2013.  She was born on November 4, 1939 in a poor family and could not get good formal education. She was admitted to St Theresa's Convent school in Chamarajpet in Karnataka for class I, but had to drop out as her parents could not afford the monthly fee of Rs 2.

Shakuntala Devi's father was a circus artist. It was once while she was playing cards with her father at the age of three that it was discovered that she is a calculating genius. When Shakuntala Devi was just 6 years old she demonstrated her calculation skills at the University of Mysore.  And in 1977, she received a standing ovation from an audience of learned mathematicians when she extracted the 23rd root of a 201-digit number in just 50 seconds. A high-powered and sophisticated computer then took 62 seconds.

The fame of her genius for numbers spread soon and on June 18, 1980, she solved 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. She came up with the answer — 18,947,668,177,995,426,462,773,730 — in 28 seconds flat, a Guinness record.

Her ability to make complex mental calculations is appreciated by many. She become a world renowned mathematical wizard also known as “Human Computer”
She died in Bangalore in a city hospital on Sunday (21st April 2013)

Press Trust of India,
Deccan Chronicle
Times of India