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Google doodle celebrates Shakuntala Devi's 84th birthday
HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times
New Delhi, November 04, 2013
First Published: 10:45 IST(4/11/2013)
Last Updated: 11:05 IST(4/11/2013)

Google is celebrating mathematical genius Shakuntala Devi’s 84th birthday with a doodle dedicated to her. Popularly known as the "human computer" for her ability to make complex mental calculations, Shakuntala Devi passed away in a hospital in Bangalore from complications of the heart and kidneys at the age of 83 in April this year.

Instead of its usual mult-icoloured logo, Google's homepage on Monday features a calculator screen with a smiling image of the math wizard.

Also known as the ‘mental calculator’, Shakuntala Devi was included in The Guinness Book of World Records in 1982.

http://www.hindustantimes.com/Images/popup/2013/11/google.jpg

Without any formal education as a child, Shakuntala Devi had the ability to memorise and calculate numbers mentally an ability her circus artist father discovered when she was just three.

A prolific author as well, she wrote books like Fun with Numbers, Astrology for You, Puzzles to Puzzle You, and Mathablit.

In 1977 in USA, Shakuntala Devi competed with a computer to see who gives the cube root of 188132517 faster, she won.

On June 18, 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 answered 18,947,668,177,995,426,462,773,730 in 28 seconds which is correct. This event is mentioned in the Guinness Book of Records.

With the ability to calculate the cube root of 61,629,875, and the seventh root of 170,859,375 without writing it down or using a calculator, Shakuntala Devi's abilities were studied by Arthur Jensen, a professor of psychology at the University of California, Berkeley in 1988.

Jensen wrote in his report that the calculation was done and answers given even before he wrote the answer in his notebook. The findings were published in the academic journal Intelligence in 1990.


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