Internet giant Google paid tribute to mathematical child prodigy Shakuntala Devi on Monday with a doodle showing a calculator that forms the word 'Google' along with an image of Devi.
Fondly known as the 'human calculator', Devi was born on 4 November 1929 in Bangalore. Her father, a magician at a circus, realised she was a child prodigy when she beat him in a sleight of hands at the age of three by memorising all the cards in just fractions of a second.
Her mathematical abilities to make complex mental calculations could not be hidden for long.
At the age of six she made her first public performance at the University of Mysore. Two years later, she demonstrated her calculation skills as a mathematician prodigy again at Annamalai University. The Math whiz could tell the day of the week of any given date in the 20th century within seconds.
Devi received a standing ovation from an audience of learned mathematicians in 1977 for calculating the 23rd root of a 201-digit number in just 50 seconds.
Devi made a Guinness World Record in 1980 by demonstrating the multiplication of two 13-digit numbers in just 28 seconds at the Imperial College of London. When asked how she was able to calculate within fractions of a second, Devi had said "It's a god given gift and I have been doing it since childhood."
She wrote a number of books, including 'Puzzles to Puzzle You', 'Book of Numbers', 'Perfect Murder'. She was also interested in the subject of homosexuality for which she wrote 'The World of Homosexuals'. In the documentary 'For Straights Only', Devi had said that her interest in the topic came out of her marriage to a homosexual man.
Devi loved to travel to different places for meeting new people and spread the 'magic of math'. She passed away due to respiratory problems on 22 April this year.