Shakuntala Devi Contribution To Mathematics

Shakuntala Devi Contribution To Mathematics: A Human Computer

Shakuntala Devi, known as the “Human Computer,” left an indelible mark on the world of mathematics through her extraordinary talent and contributions. Born in Bangalore, India, on November 4, 1929, Shakuntala Devi exhibited an uncanny affinity for numbers from an early age. Unlike most children, who would shy away from arithmetic, she embraced it with fervor, paving the way for a remarkable journey ahead. Her father, a circus performer and a talented mathematician himself, recognized her prodigious talent and began nurturing it at an early age. Little did they know that Shakuntala Devi would soon become a household name, revered for her extraordinary mathematical prowess.

Her Achievements

Shakuntala Devi’s achievements in the realm of mathematics are nothing short of legendary. Her ability to perform complex mental calculations with lightning speed earned her the title of “Human Computer.” From extracting cube roots to multiplying enormous numbers, she astounded audiences with her unparalleled computational skills. Her feats weren’t confined to mere parlor tricks; rather, they showcased a deep understanding of mathematical principles coupled with an innate intuition that defied explanation.

One of her most famous achievements occurred in 1980 when she demonstrated her exceptional abilities at the University of California, Berkeley. In just 28 seconds, she accurately multiplied two randomly selected 13-digit numbers—a feat that would take most individuals several minutes, if not hours, to accomplish with pen and paper. This jaw-dropping display of mental acuity solidified her reputation as a mathematical prodigy on the world stage.

Beyond her feats of mental calculation, Shakuntala Devi was also a prolific author, writing several books on mathematics, puzzles, and astrology. Her works, including “Figuring: The Joy of Numbers” and “Puzzles to Puzzle You,” continue to inspire and educate readers worldwide, fostering a love for mathematics in generations to come.

Secret Revealed: How did Shakuntala Devi Learn Mathematical Skills?

Many have pondered the origins of Shakuntala Devi’s remarkable mathematical abilities. Was she born with an innate gift, or did she acquire her skills through rigorous training? The truth, as with most extraordinary talents, lies somewhere in between. From a young age, Shakuntala Devi’s father recognized her aptitude for numbers and began honing her skills through playful yet challenging exercises. He devised innovative methods to stimulate her mind, fostering a deep curiosity and passion for mathematics. Rather than imposing strict rote memorization, he encouraged her to explore mathematical concepts intuitively, allowing her to develop her unique problem-solving techniques.

In addition to her father’s guidance, Shakuntala Devi’s own tenacity and determination played a crucial role in her development as a mathematical prodigy. She embraced challenges with an unwavering confidence, viewing each problem as an opportunity to expand her understanding of the mathematical universe. Her relentless pursuit of knowledge propelled her to new heights, enabling her to tackle increasingly complex mathematical puzzles with ease.

How much maths has Shakuntala Devi studied?

Despite her lack of formal education beyond high school, Shakuntala Devi’s mathematical abilities rivaled that of seasoned academics. Her intuitive grasp of mathematical concepts allowed her to navigate complex problems with unparalleled agility, often arriving at solutions long before her peers. While she may not have pursued advanced degrees in mathematics, her innate talent and insatiable curiosity propelled her to become one of the most celebrated figures in the field.

Shakuntala Devi’s legacy extends far beyond her extraordinary ability to perform mental calculations. She was a trailblazer, challenging societal norms and inspiring countless individuals, especially women, to pursue their passions fearlessly. Her story serves as a testament to the power of perseverance, passion, and the boundless potential that resides within each of us.

Writings/Selected Works of Shakuntala Devi

Shakuntala Devi’s prowess in mathematics was not confined to solving complex equations; she also possessed the gift of articulating mathematical concepts in a relatable manner, making her a revered figure in the world of mathematics. Her written works, including “Figuring: The Joy of Numbers” and “Astrology for You,” not only showcase her mathematical brilliance but also her ability to make mathematics accessible to all.

In “Figuring: The Joy of Numbers,” Devi embarks on a captivating exploration of the beauty and intrigue of mathematics. Through engaging narratives and practical examples, she demystifies mathematical principles, inviting readers to join her on a journey of discovery and appreciation for the world of numbers.

Her venture into astrology with “Astrology for You” demonstrates her multifaceted interests and expertise. While some may question the validity of astrology, Devi’s exploration of the subject reflects her curiosity and willingness to explore diverse fields of knowledge, showcasing her insatiable thirst for understanding the intricacies of the world around her.

Interesting Facts about Shakuntala Devi

Beyond her mathematical prowess, Shakuntala Devi was a woman of many facets, each contributing to the tapestry of her remarkable life. Here are some intriguing facts that shed light on her extraordinary journey:

  1. Human Computer: Devi earned the illustrious title of “Human Computer” for her remarkable ability to perform complex calculations mentally at astonishing speeds. Her exceptional computational skills astounded mathematicians and audiences alike, earning her international acclaim and recognition.
  2. World Record Holder: In 1980, Devi demonstrated her mathematical prowess at the Imperial College London, where she astounded onlookers by correctly multiplying two 13-digit numbers in just 28 seconds. This remarkable feat secured her a place in the Guinness Book of World Records and solidified her reputation as a mathematical prodigy.
  3. Author and Educator: Devi’s literary contributions extended far beyond the realm of mathematics. She authored several books on diverse subjects, including puzzles, cookery, and astrology, showcasing her versatility and intellectual depth. Through her writings and lectures, she sought to share her knowledge and passion for learning with audiences worldwide, leaving an indelible mark on countless minds.
  4. Mathematical Prodigy: Devi’s extraordinary mathematical talents manifested at a remarkably young age. By the age of six, she displayed an innate ability to solve complex mathematical problems effortlessly, a testament to her innate brilliance and intuitive grasp of numbers. Her prodigious talent set her on a path to greatness, inspiring awe and admiration in all who witnessed her remarkable abilities.
Related Post

Father of Vedic Maths

Aryabhatta Contribution in Mathematics

Was Shakuntala Devi an Astrologer?

While Shakuntala Devi explored astrology and authored a book on the subject, her involvement in astrology does not overshadow her towering achievements in mathematics. Devi’s interest in astrology stemmed from a genuine curiosity about various belief systems and their cultural significance, reflecting her broad-ranging intellectual pursuits.

It’s crucial to distinguish between Devi’s mathematical accomplishments, which are widely celebrated and documented, and her exploration of astrology, which remains a subject of debate and interpretation. While her contributions to mathematics are unequivocal, her foray into astrology adds another layer of complexity to her multifaceted persona, inviting further exploration and reflection.

Death of Shakuntala Devi

The untimely demise of Shakuntala Devi in April 2013 marked the end of an era in the world of mathematics. Her passing left a void in the mathematical community, but her legacy continues to inspire mathematicians, educators, and enthusiasts worldwide Devi’s legacy lives on through her writings, lectures, and mathematical achievements, which serve as a testament to her enduring influence on the field of mathematics. While her physical presence may be gone, her spirit and intellect continue to resonate, inspiring future generations to pursue their passions and embrace the beauty of mathematics.


In conclusion, Shakuntala Devi’s contributions to mathematics overtakes mere calculations; they embody a spirit of curiosity, innovation, and relentless pursuit of knowledge. Despite facing numerous challenges and skeptics throughout her life, Devi remained steadfast in her passion for mathematics, leaving an indelible mark on the world.At Medh, we celebrate Shakuntala Devi’s legacy by offering educational courses that empower individuals to explore the wonders of mathematics. Through interactive learning experiences and expert guidance, we aim to inspire the next generation of mathematical trailblazers, keeping alive the spirit of inquiry and discovery that defined Devi’s illustrious career. As we reflect on the life and achievements of Shakuntala Devi, let us embrace her legacy and continue to push the boundaries of mathematical discovery. In doing so, we honor her memory and perpetuate her legacy for generations to come, ensuring that her contributions to mathematics will never be forgotten.

Leave a Reply

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

Scan the code