20 Lesser Known Shakuntala Devi Facts a Human Computer

Shakuntala Devi Facts

Here is the list of the Lesser Known Shakuntala Devi Facts a Human-Computer:

Some Interesting Shakuntala Devi Facts:

  • “In 1977, at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, she extracted the 23rd root of a 201-digit number in 50 seconds, beating a Univac computer, which took 62 seconds.”
  • Three years later, she earned herself a spot in the Guinness Book of World Records when she multiplied two 13-digit numbers (7,686,369,774,870 and 2,465,099,745,779) *and* articulated the solution (26-digits: 18,947,668,177,995,426,462,773,730) in just 28 seconds.
  • A 1976 article about her described her abilities thusly: “She could give you the cube root of 188,132,517 — or almost any other number — in the time it took to ask the question. If you gave her any date in the last century, she would tell you what day of the week it fell on.”
  • Not once but twice while on tour in Europe — one time on the BBC, the second at the University of Rome — her quizzers pronounced her wrong and they were forced to admit to calculation errors in their own work.
  • And, according to the Times, she “was also a successful astrologer, cookbook author, and novelist.” (Source: The Atlantic)
  • She was also a writer. Her book, The World of Homosexuals (1977) is the first comprehensive study of homosexuals in India. She also wrote on other topics such as astrology and memorizing power.
  • Google commemorated her birthday via this doodle. (Source: Quora)

shakuntala devi doodle






  • She wrote a novel: she wrote several books on math and her techniques, including “Puzzles to Puzzle You,” “Super Memory: It Can Be Yours” and “Math ability: Awaken the Math Genius in Your Child.” But decades prior, in 1976, Devi also wrote a crime thriller called “Perfect Murder.”
  • She once tried to forge a path into politics: In 1980, Devi ran for Parliament, the Lok Sabha, as an independent candidate from two different localities — Mumbai and Medak (in the present-day state of Telangana). In Medak, her main opponent was the former prime minister, Indira Gandhi, whom Devi had openly criticized. 
  • She applied her mathematical strength to a pursuit of astrology:  Devi tried her hand at astrology, which is highly revered in Indian culture. “Personal Astrologer of Presidents, Prime Ministers, Royalty, Movie Stars and Top Business Tycoons of the world is now available for Astrological Consultations” a newspaper ad claimed at the time.
  • She was an ally of L.G.B.T.Q. people: In 1960: Devi married Paritosh Banerji. They divorced years later, and the 2001 documentary “For Straights Only” claimed the marriage fell apart because Banerji was gay. Devi said in the documentary that she set out to learn more about the challenges faced by L.G.B.T.Q. individuals to promote wider acceptance.
  • Devi holds the Guinness World Record for “Fastest Human Computation.” (Source: NY Times)

Related Post:

Few Random Shakuntala Devi Facts:

  • Her father was a circus artist. And she was just 3 years old when her father discovered her memorizing power as she was memorizing sequences of playing cards.
  • Shakuntala Devi used to perform on the streets along with her father where she solved complex math problems without any formal education.
  • At 6 years old, she showcased her abilities at the University of Mysore, Annamalai University, and other varsities in Vishakapatnam and Hyderabad.
  • on October 5th, 1950, BBC Host Leslie Mitchell gave her a complex math problem and Shakuntala Devi solved it in seconds but the answer did not match. Later it turned out that the original answer was wrong and Shankutala Devi had actually given the correct answer. (Source: Quora)

Amazing Shakuntala Devi Facts:

  • Shakuntala Devi was born in Bengaluru, India, on 4 November 1929 to an orthodox Kannada Brahmin family. Her father was a traveling magician who had rebelled against his traditional family to pursue this unconventional profession instead of becoming a priest or astrologer as his forefathers had been. (Source: Quora)
  • The movie tells us how Shakuntala Devi was never formally educated but did you know that it was her grandfather who taught her mathematics every single day? Yeah. That’s how she had her first maths “performance” of sorts, at the University of Mysore when she was just 6 years old!
  • Ever since she became an expert at mental math calculations, solving highly complex arithmetic equations in seconds, she developed a new concept in mathematics called “Mind Dynamics”. (Source: Mirchi Play)
  • Shakuntala was only 6 when she demonstrated her arithmetic prowess at the University of Mysore. (Source: Her Zindagi)

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *