Born in a poor family she could not study at a school but was taught basic multiplication and division and other calculations at home by her father. Her ability to memorise sequences while playing cards with her father, made her father realise her potential to be able to do calculations mentally, and he encouraged her there on.
From beginning to demonstrate her skill to crowds at a circus, to road shows, she went up to touring Europe and demonstrating her skill. She became popular when she gave a BBC interview and insisted her answer was correct, leading to re - examination of the mathematical problem given to her by experts and her answer was finally declared correct.
Sakuntala Devi was also invited to various universities as a guest speaker. At Southern Methodist University in Dallas, she extracted the 23rd root of a 201 - digit number in 50 seconds, beating a Univac computer, which took 62 seconds. In 1980, she correctly multiplied two 13 - digit numbers in only 28 seconds at the Imperial College in London. The feat, which earned her a place in the 1982 edition of the Guinness Book of World Records, was even more remarkable because it included the time to recite the 26 - digit solution.
Not only was she a genius & mathematical magician but also a role model for students and math enthusiasts. She played a great role in making mathematics an interesting subject for millions of students due to her practical, fast & efficient approach towards problem solving. She had authored several books for children to help them develop interest in maths and help them understand the subject better.
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