Key Points

Human Computer Shakuntala Devi Biography

Shakuntala Devi, hailed as the "Human Computer," was an extraordinary Indian mathematician who astounded the world with her prodigious mental calculation abilities.

Her life story is a captivating blend of brilliance, resilience, and groundbreaking achievements that revolutionized the field of mathematics.

From humble beginnings in Bangalore to becoming a global sensation, this biography sheds light on the incredible journey of Shakuntala Devi and unveils the remarkable mind that continues to inspire awe and admiration to this day.

Shakuntala Devi Biography
Shakuntala Devi Biography


📖 Topic of Contents:

  1. Introduction
  2. Early life and education
  3. Shakuntala Devi's career and achievements
  4. Shakuntala Devi contribution to mathematics
  5. Personal life
  6. Legacy and impact on the world
  7. Conclusion
  8. FAQs


Early life and education

Shakuntala Devi was born on November 4, 1929, in Bangalore, India. Her father was a circus performer who worked as a trapeze artist, tightrope walker, and magician. He discovered her mathematical abilities when she was just three years old when she solved a complex math problem.

From a young age, Shakuntala had an exceptional aptitude for numbers, and she quickly became known as a child prodigy. Her father, recognizing her talent, began to showcase her abilities in various performances, notably labeling her as a "Human Computer."

However, her education was limited as she did not attend a formal school. Instead, her father homeschooled her and taught her basic mathematical concepts and techniques. She quickly mastered mental arithmetic and advanced mathematical calculations, including complicated equations.

By the age of six, Shakuntala Devi demonstrated her prowess in mathematics by solving a problem that took a renowned professor at the University of Mysore ten minutes to complete. This incident allowed her fame to spread, and she started performing in public shows, which garnered her national and international attention.

Despite lacking a formal education, Shakuntala Devi's mathematical abilities were well-regarded across the globe. She performed in many countries and interacted with mathematicians, scientists, and researchers. Her mental calculations and problem-solving skills earned her a place in the 1982 edition of the Guinness Book of World Records.

Shakuntala Devi's incredible mathematical talent and ability to quickly solve complex problems without formal education made her a unique figure in the field of mathematics. Despite her unconventional upbringing, her contributions to mathematics, mental calculation, and number theory continue to be revered to this day.


Shakuntala Devi's career and achievements

  1. Mental Calculation Skills: Devi had an incredible ability to perform complex mathematical calculations mentally, including multiplication, division, and calculating large numbers up to several decimal places. She showcased her skills in numerous public performances, astonishing experts and audiences around the world.
  2. Guinness World Record: In 1980, Devi earned a place in the Guinness Book of World Records for correctly multiplying two 13-digit numbers in just 28 seconds. This remarkable feat demonstrated her exceptional mathematical abilities.
  3. Books and Publications: Devi authored several books that focused on mathematics, puzzles, and other related topics. Her works aimed to make mathematics accessible and enjoyable for people of all ages and backgrounds.
  4. Human Computer: Devi was often referred to as the "Human Computer" due to her exceptional mental calculation skills. She could solve complex mathematical problems without the aid of any mechanical or electronic devices, displaying an intuitive understanding of numbers and calculations.
  5. Global Recognition: Devi's mathematical skills and achievements gained her worldwide recognition. She performed demonstrations and lectures in various countries, including the United States, Germany, Australia, and the United Kingdom.
  6. Mathematics Education: Devi was an advocate for mathematics education and believed in promoting the subject as an enjoyable and practical discipline. Through her work, she aimed to eliminate the fear and apprehension associated with math, particularly among students.

Shakuntala Devi's career and achievements not only showcased her exceptional mathematical prowess but also highlighted her passion for promoting mathematics as a subject accessible to all.

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Shakuntala Devi contribution to mathematics

Shakuntala Devi is best known for her exceptional mental arithmetic abilities and her ability to perform complex calculations mentally. Her mathematical skills were versatile and included various branches such as arithmetic, algebra, and calculus.

One of Shakuntala Devi's most notable contributions was in the field of mental mathematics. She could solve complex mathematical problems mentally within seconds. Devi's remarkable mental calculation skills made her a celebrated performer who was able to provide accurate answers without the use of any physical tools or devices.

Apart from her natural talent, Devi developed her mental calculation techniques and strategies. She conducted extensive research on mathematics, number patterns, and mathematical tricks, which she later shared with the world through her books and lectures. Devi aimed to make mathematics more accessible and exciting for students and the general public.

Shakuntala Devi proved that mathematics can be fascinating, and through her work, she encouraged people to embrace the beauty of numbers and calculations. Devi's contribution to mathematics lies not only in her exceptional abilities but also in her commitment to sharing her knowledge and making mathematics more approachable for everyone.


Personal life of Shakuntala Devi

Married life:

Shakuntala Devi was married twice. Her first marriage, which took place at the age of 16, ended in divorce. She then married Paritosh Banerji, an officer in the Indian Administrative Service (IAS), with whom she had a daughter named Anupama Banerjee. However, this marriage also ended in separation.

Later life and legacy:

In her later years, Shakuntala Devi relocated to London, where she continued to engage in writing, consulting, and delivering lectures on mathematics and numeracy. She also worked towards spreading awareness about the importance of developing mathematical skills among children and promoting mental mathematics as a subject.

Shakuntala Devi passed away on 21st April 2013 due to respiratory problems. She left behind a legacy as a brilliant mathematician who challenged conventions and stereotypes, contributing significantly to the field of mathematics and mental calculations. Her life story was depicted in the 2020 biographical film "Shakuntala Devi," starring Vidya Balan.

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Legacy and impact on the world

Shakuntala Devi played a crucial role in popularizing mathematics among the masses. She held several public performances and demonstrations worldwide, showcasing her remarkable mental calculation abilities.

Her ability to make complex mathematical concepts accessible and understandable to the general public helped eliminate the fear and stigma associated with the subject. Her teaching style focused on making mathematics enjoyable and engaging, resulting in increased interest and appreciation for the subject.

Shakuntala Devi publicly shared her struggles with mental health issues, including depression and schizophrenia. Her openness and candid conversations about her own experiences helped break the stigma surrounding mental health in India and encouraged dialogue and understanding on the subject. Her advocacy contributed significantly to raising awareness and promoting mental health discussions in society.

Her story serves as a reminder that with determination, passion, and hard work, one can overcome societal barriers and achieve greatness. She continues to be a role model for individuals, particularly women and girls, pursuing careers in mathematics and STEM fields.

Shakuntala Devi's methods of mental calculations have been studied and analyzed to gain insights into the human brain's computational abilities, memory, and cognitive processes. Her legacy continues to influence the study of mathematics and cognitive sciences.



Shakuntala Devi was an extraordinary individual whose life and accomplishments continue to inspire generations. Her incredible mathematical abilities, demonstrated through mental calculations and record-breaking feats, earned her the title of the "Human Computer."

Additionally, her work in advocating for education and developing innovative learning methods is a testament to her unwavering commitment to empowering individuals through knowledge.

Shakuntala Devi's biography serves as a profound reminder that perseverance, talent, and a thirst for knowledge can truly revolutionize the world.

Remember that by reading about such great personalities today, do not forget them tomorrow, rather learn from their lives and know your talent and keep moving in that direction so that tomorrow someone writes a biography on your life too.



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FAQs About Shakuntala Devi

Who defeated Shakuntala Devi?

Neelakantha Bhanu Prakash.

How does Shakuntala Devi calculate so fast?

Shakuntala Devi's incredible speed in calculations can be attributed to a combination of her natural talent, years of dedicated practice, mental strategies and shortcuts, exceptional memory, and deep understanding of numbers.

What is the famous work of Shakuntala Devi?

Shakuntala Devi's famous feat is to multiply two 13 digit numbers in just 28 seconds.