Google celebrates Shakuntala Devi's birthday today with a Google Doodle!
Born November 4th, 1929, Shakuntala was known as the Human Computer for her ability to to compute numbers. Born in Bangalore, India she demonstrated the ability to memorize numbers to her father when she was three. Her father, a circus performer, took her on road shows to demonstrate her ability to memorize and calculate numbers, despite no formal education. In 1944 Devi and her father moved to England and for many years would travel the world demonstrating her abilities.
- In 1977 she beat a computer in a competition by calculating the cube root of 188,132,517 faster.
- In 1980 she multiplied two 13 digit numbers, 7,686,369,774,870 × 2,465,099,745,779 picked at random by Computer Department of Imperial College of London. She gave the correct answer in 28 seconds, earning her a mention in the Guinness Book of World Records.
Devi was also an Astrologer and an author. In 1977 she wrote The World of Homosexuals, the first study on gay people written in India. She would later state her interest came from her marriage to a gay man and a desire to understand the subject. In her book she not only called for the decriminalization of homosexuality but "full and complete acceptance—not tolerance and not sympathy".
Shakuntala Devi unfortunately passed away April 21st, 2013, leaving behind a great legacy.
Info Via Wikipedia