News / Science & Technology

Google Doodle Celebrates 'Human Calculator'

Today's Google doodle celebrates Shakuntala Devi, the
Today's Google doodle celebrates Shakuntala Devi, the "human calculator."

Related Articles

Google Pays Homage to Roswell UFO Legend

Some say US government covered up signs of a UFO crash and has hidden evidence of extraterrestrial life ever since

Google Unveils Build-Your-Own-Phone Plan

The phones could also put a dent in electronic waste

Google 'Outraged' by NSA Spying Reports

Reports say NSA and its British counterpart run a project which taps into fiber-optic cables carrying data between global facilities of Google and Yahoo
If you’re wondering why the Google homepage has a calculator-like image today, it’s to honor Shakuntala Devi, the so-called human calculator.

From the age of three, Devi showed amazing math skills. She was able to memorize large numbers and perform incredibly complex calculations in her head, all without any formal education.

In 1977, Devi was able to solve the cube root of 188,132,517 faster than a computer.

In 1980 she multiplied two 13-digit numbers within 28 seconds, a feat that landed her in the Guinness Book of Records.

Devi was born in 1929 in Bangalore, India, and traveled the world wowing people with her mathematical ability. She died in April in her hometown.

“Today we're celebrating ‘Human Computer’ Shakuntala Devi who once said, ‘The purpose of my life is to make everybody, especially children, enjoy maths as an affable and joyful experience,’" said Ryan Germick, the Google doodle team lead. “We hope people are as inspired by Ms. Devi's brilliant mathematical mind and life-long dedication to promote math education as we are.”

According to Google, doodles are “the fun, surprising, and sometimes spontaneous changes that are made to the Google logo to celebrate holidays, anniversaries, and the lives of famous artists, pioneers and scientists.”

You May Like

US, Brazil's Climate-Change Plan: More Renewables, Less Deforestation

Officials say joint initiative on climate change will allow Brazil, United States to strengthen and accelerate cooperation on issues ranging from land use to clean energy More

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Reporting from Somali capital for past decade, Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal has been working at one of Mogadishu's leading radio stations covering parliament More

After Nearly a Century, Voodoo Opera Rises Again

Opera centers on character named Lolo, a Louisiana plantation worker and Voodoo priestess More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Jack from: Texas
November 05, 2013 9:38 AM
I love what Google is doing especially Google Doodle. These help me learn a bit of interesting information with affable and joyful experience as Devi said. At least, it's better than nothing or advertising.

by: Ci Ci from: Philadelphia, PA
November 05, 2013 7:56 AM
I actually love the Google doodles. They're cool, creative, and informative. There are a few that have actually introduced me to some missing bits of history and culture that I never thought to even seek out, much more research. Keep it up Google!

by: Casey from: North Carolina
November 05, 2013 7:18 AM
I adore your "doodles" and the gifts they bring of information we wouldn't ordinarily know. Thanks so much and keep up the great sharing. Those who think blank pages are better make me sad. They miss out on the wonder and magic of life...full of mystery, fascination, people, and events who keep weaving the tapestry of wonder.

by: Ralph from: Cherry Hill, NJ
November 04, 2013 10:22 PM
This is horribly ugly. Can we have an option for just a very plain search page, pleeeease? Seriously, these special logos are annoying, but this one is just the worst ever. I think the woman's achievement is wonderful, but the page is hideous.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishui
X
Abdulaziz Billow
June 30, 2015 2:16 PM
Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Texas Defies Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

Texas state officials have criticized the US Supreme Court decision giving same-sex couples the right to marry nationwide. The attorney general of Texas says last week's decision did not overrule constitutional "rights of religious liberty," and therefore officials performing wedding services can refuse to perform them for same-sex couples if it is against their religious beliefs. Zlatica Hoke reports on the controversy.
Video

Video US Gay Marriage Ruling Yields Real-life Impact

Friday’s landmark Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage throughout the United States is an outcome few thought possible just years ago, and shows a nation that increasingly tolerates and even celebrates the hopes and aspirations of gay people. VOA’s Michael Bowman spoke to a same-sex couple that will benefit from the high court ruling, and to a Christian scholar who is apprehensive about its potential consequences for America’s faith community.
Video

Video Syrians Flee IS Advance in Hasaka

The Syrian government said Monday it has taken back one of several districts in Hasaka overrun by Islamic State militants. But continued fighting elsewhere in the northern city has forced thousands of civilians from their homes. In this report narrated by Bill Rodgers, VOA Kurdish Service reporter Zana Omer describes the scene in Amouda, where some of the displaced are taking refuge.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.
Video

Video S. Korea Christians Protest Gay Rights Festival

The U.S. Supreme Court decision mandating marriage equality nationwide has energized gay rights supporters around the world. Gay rights remain a highly contentious issue in a key U.S. ally, South Korea, where police did a deft job Sunday of preventing potential clashes between Christian protesters and gay activists. Kurt Achin reports from Seoul.
Video

Video Saudi Leaks Expose ‘Checkbook Diplomacy’ In Battle With Iran

Saudi Arabia’s willingness to wield its oil money on the global diplomatic stage appears to have been laid bare, after the website WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of leaked cables from Riyadh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Nubians in Kenya Face Land Challenges

East Africa's ethnic Nubians have a rich cultural history that dates back thousands of years, but in Kenya they are facing hardships, including the loss of lands they have lived on for generations. They say the government has reneged on its pledge to award them title deeds for the plots. VOA's Lenny Ruvaga reports.
Video

Video Syrian Refugees Return to Tal Abyad

Syrian refugees in Turkey confirm they left their hometown of Tal Abyad because of intense fighting and coalition airstrikes, not because Kurdish fighters were engaged in ethnic cleansing, as some Turkish officials charged. VOA Kurdish Service reporter Zana Omer, in Tal Abyad, finds that civilians coming back to the town agree, as we hear in this report narrated by Roger Wilkison.
Video

Video Military Experts Question New Russian Tank Capabilities

Russia has been showing off its new tank design – the Armata T-14. Designers claim it is 20 years ahead of current Western designs - and driving it feels like playing a computer game. But military analysts question those assertions, and warn the cost could be too heavy a burden for Russia’s struggling economy. Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video In Kenya, Police Said to Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

An organization that documents torture and extrajudicial killings says Kenyan police were responsible for 1,252 shooting deaths in five cities, including Nairobi, between 2009 and 2014, representing 67 percent of all gun deaths in the areas reviewed. Gabe Joselow has more from Nairobi.
Video

Video In Syrian Crisis, Social Media Offer Small Comforts

Za’atari, a makeshift city in Jordan, may be the only Syrian refugee camp to tweet its activities, in an effort to keep donors motivated as the war in Syria intensifies and the humanitarian crisis deepens. Inside the camp, families say mobile phone applications help hold together families that are physically torn apart. VOA’s Heather Murdock reports.

VOA Blogs