Great  Indian Mathematician : Shakuntala Devi

Dear friends in a few days i.e. on 8th March we celebrate International women’s Day and also we celebrate International Mathematics day on 14th March on this occasion we memorize the great Indian mathematician Shakuntala Devi



Shakuntala Devi was an Indian mathematician, writerand mental calculator, popularly known as the "Human Computer". Shakuntala Devi strove to simplify numerical calculations for students. Shakuntala Devi was born on 4th November1929 in Bangalore, Karnataka to a Kannada Brahmin family. Her father, C V Sundararaja Rao, worked as a trapeze artist, lion tamer, tightrope walker and magician in a circus. He discovered his daughter's ability to memorise numbers while teaching her a card trick when she was about three years old. At the age of six she demonstrated her arithmetic abilities at the University of Mysore.

Shakuntala Devi explained many of the methods she used to do mental calculations in her book “Figuring: The Joy of Numbers”, which is still in print.

So, What were her skills?

1.Cube roots: It began with extracting cube roots of large numbers, which she could do in her head rapidly while still a child in the 1930s. Then in 1988, in a test of her abilities conducted by the psychologist Arthur Jensen at the University of California-Berkeley, Shakuntala Devi mentally calculated the cube roots of 95,443,993 (answer 457) in 2 seconds, of 204,336,469 (answer 589) in 5 seconds, and of 2,373,927,704 (answer 1334) in 10 seconds.

2.Higher roots: She calculated the 7th root of 455,762,531,836,562,695,930,666,032,734,375 (answer 46,295) in 40 seconds. Shakuntala Devi worked backwards from the 7th power to derive the root. This too was recorded in the test at Berkeley in 1988.

3.Long multiplication: This is the skill that got her into the Guinness Book of Records in 1982. At Imperial College on June 18, 1980, Shakuntala Devi was asked to multiply two 13-digit numbers: She got the answer in 28 seconds

4.Calendar calculations: Given any date in the last century, she could instantly say which day of the week that date fell on. For example, if you gave her the date July 31, 1920, she would immediately tell you that it was a Saturday. If the date was stated in the order month, day, year (for example, July-13-1920), her average response time was about 1 second. But when the dates were stated to her in the order year, month, day (for example 1920-July-31), “her answers came about as fast as one could start the stopwatch”, the 1988 test at Berkeley found.

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