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Shakuntala Devi: Story of a mathematician


Shakuntala Devi, a genius who made India proud by showing her mathematical gift around the world of calculating complex numbers in just seconds. She was born on 4th November 1929 in Banglore, Karnataka to a Hindu Brahman family. Her father, Bisva Mitra Mani,  worked as a trapeze artist in a circus, who found this quilty of her daughter to memorize numbers, who defeated him several times in card tricks. Her father saw this excellent gift from her at the age of 3. And from then her father takes her to the roadshows, where she solves complex maths problems within seconds. She did this all without having any proper formal education. Besides all these hardships and hard work, she embraces her path towards growing herself. 

From roadshows to different countries, Shakuntala Devi has proved herself at every step of her life. At the age of six, Shakuntala Devi showed her talent at the University of Mysore. And from there, her journey takes a new way to fly on. Her father took her to London in 1944. She there presented her skills in solving maths problems in seconds. She also moved to countries like United States, Japan, Hong Cong, Canada, Russia, France, and many. In an interview with BBC, which is hosted by Leslie Mitchell, who gave her a complex maths problem, but somehow the answer did not match.  At the age of only 6, the World starts considering her as a math prodigy. She could even outperform the fastest computers of her time. 

After showing her talent around the world, she went back to India. And after coming back, she married to Paritosh Banerjee, an IAS officer, in 1960. They got blessed with a girl name “Anupama Benerjee”. But they get divorced, in 1979 because Paritosh disclosed his feelings towards sexuality. At that time homosexuality was a taboo for Indian people. Shakuntala wants to fight for her husband. And this encourages Shakuntala Devi to research more and more about Homosexuality. And she wrote a book “ The world of homosexuals”, which is one of the great books written by her. In this book, she fights against section 377 of the Indian penal code (in 1977), which gets stuck down in 2018. She is also an author who writes several books about astrology, numbers, and puzzles. Some of her books are astrology for you, puzzles to puzzle you, figuring the joy of numbers, book of numbers.   

Her talent made her name placed in the Guinness Book of World Record in 1982 for calculating the multiplication of two 13-digits numbers in just 28 seconds. Can you all imagine doing this marvelous thing in just a few seconds????  She always believes that no human brain is less than a computer. That is why she is popularly known as “the Human-Computer”. 

Shakuntala Devi was the first female mathematician of India. She has helped young students to learn about new maths skills. She has started “Shakuntala Devi Education Foundation Public Trust” to educate children who can not afford to school. Shakuntala Devi inspires youth to find a new world of mathematics. She has explained the methods of metal multiplication and the methods to find out the day of the week of any given date or year.

She was a member of Parliament as an independent individual representing the two different cities Medak and Mumbai in Loksabha. In Medak, She was standing against Indira Gandhi, the former prime minister of India, but Shakuntala stands on the ninth place. 

Shakuntala Devi is such an immense source of motivation for the people around the Globe. She was a woman that every other woman aspires to be.   


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