One of India’s most famous mathematicians, Shakuntala Devi and her amazing talent has been all over the place for a while now. Days after the Vidya Balan-starrer film on India’s ‘Human-Computer’ Shakuntala Devi released, people now want to know more about the amazing person and surely see her in action.
For the unaware, Shakuntala Devi is one bright human who can solve a mathematical calculation without using a paper, pen or any such amenities. She also holds a Guinness Book World Record for correctly multiplying two randomly selected 13-digit numbers within 28 seconds.
So now sensing your excitement here is one video of her from 1977 wherein you can see her in action. The clip is from a Doordarshan episode featuring Devi performing for an Indian crowd shortly after her return from a series of international performances. It was originally shared on YouTube by the Prasar Bharti Archives.
Born to Kannadiga’s parents, Shakuntala Devi used to perform for the audience and was encouraged by his father to do so. She hadn’t received and formal schooling. Her performances helped her family financially. Devi was popular enough in the following years to set out for a Europe tour in 1950.
Twenty-seven years later, she competed with a UNIVAC computer to find the 23rd root of a 201-digit number. She completed her calculation in 50 seconds which was 12 seconds faster than the computer.