Shakuntala Devi (Human Computer) Wiki, Age, Biography, Husband, Career, Personal Life, Family and More
Shakuntala Devi was an Indian mathematician and famous writer. She was adept at doing the most difficult mathematical calculations with her mind. That is why Shakuntala Devi is also popular by the name of “Human Computer”, her brain was faster than computer. Her extraordinary abilities have earned her a place in “The Guinness Book of World Records”.
Birth & Family
Shakuntala Devi was born on 4 November 1929 in Bengaluru. She was born in a poor family in South India. She was the daughter of a circus artist. At the age of 3, Shakuntala started demonstrating her great skills in numbers, which was impossible for any common man, and by the time she turned 5, she also started solving cube roots problems.
|Writer and Mathematician
|Date of Birth
|4 November 1929
|Bangalore, Mysore State
|21 April 2013
|83 (At the Time of Death)
|Place of Death
|Bangalore, Karnataka (At Home)
|Mother : Not Known
Father : Not Known (Circus Artist)
Sister : None
Brother : None
Husband : Paritosh Banerjee (m. 1960-1979; IAS Officer)
Daughter : Anupama Banerjee
|1. Most Distinguished Woman Of The Year by the University of Philippines (1969)
2. Ramanujan Mathematical Genius Award (1988)
3. Awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award (2013)
Shakuntala belongs to a poor family. she could not even get formal education due to her family’s severe financial condition but she visited various universities in southern India. When she was 6 years old, she demonstrated her mathematical art at the University of Mysore. In addition, she demonstrated her skills at Annamalai University, Osmania University and Universities of Hyderabad and Visakhapatnam. In 1944 she gained international recognition and moved to London with her father.
After reaching London, she became a internationally known name. She traveled to many countries including the United States, Hong Kong, Japan, Sri Lanka, Italy, Canada, Russia, France, Spain, Mauritius, Indonesia and Malaysia and demonstrated her expertise in mathematics.
Shakuntala had mastered her math skills to such an extent that, in January 1977, she was asked to calculate the 23rd root of the 201-digit number at the Southern Methodist University in Dallas (USA). She solved it in just 50 seconds while professor took 4 minutes to write this problem, and also took help from fastest computer UNIVAC (that time) then , it took more than a minute to answer this problem correctly. The correct answer was ‘546372891’. With this reply Shakuntala beat 62 seconds and 13,000 instructions of the fastest computer, UNIVAC.
Shakuntala Devi remembered for her multiplication of the randomly chosen 13-digit number on June 18, 1980, these numbers were ‘7,686,369,774,870 x 2,465,099,745,779’, This numbers were chosen by by the Computer Department of Imperial College, London whose correct answer was ‘18,947,668,177,995,426,462,773,730’. Shakuntala Devi gave answer in in just 28 seconds. Her arithmetic talent gives her place in the “Guinness Book of Records” in 1982.
Shakuntala Devi was from a conservative Kannada Brahmin family. Her father was a circus artist. There is not much specific information available about her mother and siblings. Shakuntala married Paritosh Banerjee, an Indian Administrative Service officer from Kolkata in 1960. They got divorced in 1979 due to some personal reasons. The couple has a daughter named Anupama Banerjee.
Shakuntala Devi died on 21 April 2013 at the age of 83 in Bangalore due to cardiac and respiratory problems. The first female mathematician of India took her last breath in her hometown Bangalore.
Some Facts About Shakuntala Devi
- Shakuntala Devi was a genius who had been influencing people since the age of three.
- Shakuntala also studied in a convent school for 3 months and was then expelled for not paying school fees.
- She was adept at solving complex algorithms and vedic mathematics with multiplication, division, square and cube root calculations, in addition to arithmetic problems due to her superb mathematical art.
- Shakuntala could beat even some of the fastest available computers of that era. Among her many feats, the most outstanding are those that featured her in the 1995 Guinness Book of World Records.
- On 5 October 1950, Shakuntala was invited in the BBC show where host Leslie Mitchell, asked her a difficult maths question. Shakuntala solved that question within a few seconds, but the host said that her answer was incorrect because, Shakuntala’s answer did not match the answer that was drawn by her team. Later, the host realized that Shakuntala’s answer was correct. After spreading this story around the world, she was named “Human Computer”.
- She is known by the name of human computer but she never liked the title. She said, “Human brain has incomparable capability compared to computer and it is not appropriate to compare human brain to computer.”
- In 1977, she wrote ‘The World of Homosexuals’, one of her most important books. This was the first comprehensive study of homosexuality in India.
- She was also a successful astrologer and wrote several books on the subject. She also wrote several texts on mathematics, puzzles, cookbooks and novels for children.
- Shakuntala Devi was voted the most prestigious woman of the year by the University of the Philippines in 1969.
- She was awarded the Ramanujan Mathematics Talent Award in 1988 at a Washington DC event.
- Shakuntala was also an active philanthropist. She also started the Shakuntala Devi Education Foundation Public Trust to provide good education to young children. She has also worked to spread global awareness about India’s contribution towards mathematics.
- In 2013, She was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award a month before her death.
- On 4 November 2013, Shakuntala was honored by Google Doodle for her achievements on her 84th birthday.
- In 2020, a biopic film based on her life, ‘Shakuntala Devi’ was released on Amazon Prime in which Bollywood actress, Vidya Balan portrayed her character.
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