Shakuntala Devi was India’s most famous mnemonist who could easily remember long lists of numbers, days, names and would make complex math calculations in her mind within seconds. Her genius ability of solving complex arithmetic problems earned her the title of “Human Computer” and “Mental Calculator”.
A biopic movie Shakuntala Devi-Human Computer has been announced on the life of mathematical genius in which the National Award winner actor Vidya Balan will be playing the titular role.
Watch the movie trailer of Shakuntala Devi in Amazon Prime:
Here are some lesser known but interesting facts about Shakuntala Devi, a Human Computer to let you feed your bug of curiosity. So let’s start.
Interesting facts about Shakuntala Devi:
1)- Shakuntala Devi was a brilliant child and without much formal education she proved her talent at the small age of six years and that too at the University of Mysore.
2)- Shakuntala’s father would do road shows with her demonstrating her mental math abilities. Later, she placed herself as an expert in highly complex mental arithmetic and further developed the concept known as “Mind Dynamics”.
3)- In 1944, Shakuntala Devi, alongwith her father, left for London. She also travelled different countries of the world showcasing her innate talent. She also visited Europe and America between 1950-1977 and impressed all with mathemagical abilities.
4)- It was 1977, when Shakuntala Devi stunned all at Southern Methodist University by giving the 23rd root of a 201-digit number in just 50 seconds. The correct answer was 546,372,891 which was confirmed by a specially designed computer program written by the US Bureau of Standards.
5)- On 18 June 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 correctly answered 18,947,668,177,995,426,462,773,730 in 28 seconds. This event was later recorded in The Guinness Book of World Records.
6)- On 4th November 2013, Google honoured India’s Human Computer Shakuntala Devi on her 84th birth anniversary with a Google Doodle.
7)- In 1977, Mrs. Devi also wrote a book The World of Homosexuals which is considered a unique book on the subject matter. She had a soft heart towards homosexuality and looked at it in an understanding and empathetic way.
8)- Shakuntala Devi married an IAS officer Paritosh Banerjee from Kolkata. In 1979, both of them divorced and left with a daughter namely Anupama Banerjee.
9)- In 1980, Mrs. Devi contested in the two Lok Sabha elections, one from South Mumbai and another from Medak, Telangana. In Medak she contested against Indira Gandhi and lost.
10)- On 21st April 2013, at the age of 83, Mrs. Devi took her last breath in a hospital at Bengaluru. She was suffering respiratory related problems which got complicated and got elevated from other complications from heart and kidney. It can be said that she was a true genius who despite all hurdles and hardships, made India proud by displaying her mental math skills.