How was Shakuntala Devi as a person

Again and again, Google shows colorful pictures or animations on the homepage - and thus reminds of special people or events. We'll tell you what you absolutely need to know about the Google Doodle. Today: 84th birthday of the "human computer" Shakuntala Devi who died in April.

This can be seen:

A calculator display - symbol of old technology. At least if you see it like Shakuntala Devi, whose face can also be seen on the Google Doodle computer display. For the Indian, buying such a device would have been the biggest bad investment ever. Because Shakuntala Devi solved even the most complicated arithmetic problems in no time - in a 1977 proven case even faster than a computer - and was even listed in the Guinness Book of Records. At the age of three, her father, a circus performer, noticed his daughter's talent for playing cards. From then on she was a star. Shakuntala Devi died in Bangalore in April 2013 at the age of 83.

Things you need to know

  • What the human brain can do: In 1977 Shakuntala Devi only needed 50 seconds to calculate the 23rd root of a number with 201 digits. We want to spare you the number at this point. But we like to call the solution: 546,372,891. In this 2009 video, you can see Shakuntala Devi, who incidentally had no formal schooling, in action.
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  • Even a math genius has human needs. Food, for example. Shakuntala Devi was not only a master of mental arithmetic, but also a fabulous cook. Recipes can be found in a cookbook that the Indian wrote. The title: Cooking for men and other beginners.
  • Some things even a super-brain cannot foresee. Shakuntala Devi married a man who was actually homosexual. That's how she told it in the documentary For straights only. The wedding was a mistake, Shakuntala Devi later said, but instead of being angry, the unhappy end of the marriage piqued her curiosity. Her book The World of Homosexuals from 1977, in which two young gay Indians are interviewed, is a fiery plea for tolerance. In India, where homosexuality is taboo to this day, an extraordinary and courageous move.

Interesting for:

Mathematics high-level course, Alfons Schuhbeck and fans of the TV show "Amlauf Band".

With this sentence you can score points at lunch:

"7,686,369,774,870 times 2,465,099,745,779 equals 18,947,668,177,995,426,462,773,730."

See all the episodes of our Google Doodle knowledge here.