The latest Google doodle takes its initiative from Shakuntala Devi, a math child prodigy. She was born in pre-partition days in the Indian city of Bangalore. This year, Google is celebrating the wonderful mathematical genius’s 84th birth anniversary.
A lively doodle in the shape of the word Google with 6’s in place of the G’s was shown on Google’s India home page. Furthermore, a picture of Shakuntala Devi was attached at the beginning. She was a human scientific calculator alright. Although born in poverty and with little in the way of education, the whiz kid began to perform feats of magic with numbers at an early age.
At the age of three, she beat her father at a game of cards by merely memorizing the sequence of kings, queens, spades and hearts. She openly displayed her abilities at a contest held at the University of Mysore when she was barely six years old. And the mindboggling thing is that her prodigious abilities remained intact well into adulthood. The limits of her capacity for computation was tested and found adequate when she multiplied two 13 digit random numbers picked by a computer correctly. This took place in the year 1980 in London.
Shakuntala Devi finally made it to the Guinness Book of World Records. She also published various books on having fun with mathematics. This remarkable lady passed away at the ripe age of 83 from various respiratory and cardiac complications. She will be long remembered for her extraordinary mathematical powers.