Google doodle honors Indian math whiz dubbed the 'human computer'

Nov. 4, 2013 at 1:12 PM
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MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., Nov. 4 (UPI) -- Shakuntala Devi, an Indian child prodigy-mental calculator also known as the "human computer," has been honored with the latest home page doodle from Google.

Devi, who died in April of this year, showed an ability to memorize large numbers and perform complex calculations in her head from the age of 3 without any formal education.

Her talent took her many parts of the world in the 1950s through the 1970s demonstrating her unique abilities, and garnered her a listing in the 1982 edition of The Guinness Book of World Records.

In 1977 she was pitted against a computer in figuring the cube root of 188,132,517 -- Devi was faster.

Born in Bangalore on Nov. 4, 1929, Devi was also a prolific author as well, writing books like Fun with Numbers, Astrology for You, Puzzles to Puzzle You, and Mathablit.

In 1988 her abilities were studied by Arthur Jensen, a professor of psychology at the University of California, Berkeley.

Jensen tested her performance at calculating large numbers, discovering she often had the solution before Jensen could copy them into his notebooks from a math textbook.

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