A mathematical genius and widely-known as "human computer"Shakuntala Devi was born on November 4, 1929. A Genius from the age of three,an excellent writer, a living wonder and a motivational speaker, ShakuntalaDevi has spelled bound and challenged the world with her unique andextraordinary abilities. November 4, 2019, is her 90th birth anniversary. On thisspecial occasion, Startup City Magazine presents all about Shakuntala Deviincluding her family background, educational qualification, achievements andmore.

Early Lifeand Family

Shakuntala born in a reputed family of Brahmin priests inBangalore and she received her early lessons in mathematics from hergrandfather. Her father was a travelling magician, who had rebelled against histraditional family to pursue his professional instead of becoming a priest. Thefinancial condition of Shakuntala's family was very poor, that is why; shecould not even get a formal education.

But Shakuntala had unique knowledge and talent. As per ananecdote, she began playing card games with her father at the age of five. And,she used to win all the games every day. Shakuntala's father was surprised andsuspected that she was cheating. He closely studies and found that she wasmemorizing all the card numbers and their sequence. On discovering hisdaughter's ability, he started taking her on tours and displayed her ability atcalculation at road shows. Soon Shakuntala got much attention and was able toearn a good amount of money for her father.

Mathematicianand Writer

Slowly Shakuntala's wonderful talent got popularity and shestarted performing at universities.  Justat the age of five years, she was recognized as a child prodigy and a master intough mental arithmetic. Just one year later, Shakuntala demonstrated hertalents to a large assembly of students and professors at the University ofMysore. It was followed by another performance after two years at AnnamalaiUniversity.

Her phenomenal talent to do the tough mathematical calculationswithout using any technological device gained her much popularity and sheeventually became popular all across the world. Apart from excellence inmathematics, she was a powerful writer and her thinking was light years aheadof her time. She wrote books on numbers, mathematics and homosexuality. Sheauthored books like 'Fun with Numbers', 'Astrology for You', 'Puzzles to PuzzleYou, etc.

Shakuntala is the first person to publish the study onhomosexuality in India in the year 1977- The World of Homosexuals. She wasmarried to Paritosh Banerji in the mid of the 1960s. He was an officer ofIndian Administrative Service from Kolkata. Her marriage to a homosexual manwas the reason behind her interest in homosexuality and it encouraged her tostudy it.

Awards &achievements

  • In 1969 shewas awarded with the title of the 'Most Distinguished Woman of the Year' by theUniversity of Philippines.
  • Because ofher extraordinary abilities, Shakuntala also earned her place in the 1982edition of 'The Guinness Book of World Records'. 
  • She receivedthe 'Ramanujan Mathematical Genius' Award in Washington D.C in 1988.
  • The Googledoodle celebrated her 84th birthday through an animated doodle featuring acalculator screen with a digital sketch of her.


The Human Computer, Shakuntala Devi died on April 21, 2013, inBangalore.

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