Posted: 10:58 p.m. Thursday, April 25, 2013
By Rick Couri
You probably never knew her name but you sure wish you had her math skills.
Called “The Human Computer” Shakuntala Devi first showed her talent when she was three years old and then amazed scientists for years with her innate ability to do complicated math in seconds.
Example: 1977 she was able to extract the 23rd root of a 201-digit number in 50 seconds. When a computer tried the same equation it took 62 seconds.
Maybe the most remarkable showcase of her skills came when a researcher wanted to time her trying to find the cube root of 61,629,875, and the seventh root of 170,859,375. Not only did she solve the problem but she was finished before the man’s wife started her stopwatch.
Devi was 83 when she died in Bangalore.