Shakuntala Devi died at 83 in the southern Indian city of Bangalore on Sunday. Often called the “human computer”, Devi was adept at complicated mathematical equations, yet she had no formal education.
A household name in India, she once calculated the 23rd root of 201 digit number in her head in under a minute.
“God’s gift. A divine quality,” said Ms Devi once when she was asked about her ability..
Whether her family had any math ability, she said, “Not even remotely, although my father was a stage magician.” “It is a pity that her techniques died with her,” her father told The Hindu newspaper.
Devi was already being called a “child prodigy” when, at the age of six, she demonstrated her skills in a public performance at an university in her native state of Karnataka.