Neelakanta Bhanu Prakash, 21, from Hyderabad, has been declared the world’s fastest human calculator after bagging India’s first-ever gold in the Mental Calculation World Championship at the Mind Sport Olympiad in London on August 15.

Two Indians took home medals at the online event, with Neelakanta taking gold and Aaryan Shukla taking the bronze medal in the junior category.

What kind of questions does the world’s fastest human calculator have to answer? Some of the examples given by World Mental Calculations include finding the exact square root of 26306641, doing divisions like 860/1337 and calculating the day of the week on October 24, 1786.

Neelakanta’s journey to the top was partially sparked out of disaster. Speaking to BBC, he said that he suffered a head injury at the age of five which left him bedridden, prompting him to take up mental math calculations to keep himself engaged.

Neelakant, now a graduate of Mathematics from St Stephen’s College, realised early on that he had a natural tenacity for numbers. He picked up four world records and 50 Limca Book of Records. His gold medal at the MSO saw him beat 29 competitors—some as old as 57—with a 65 point lead ahead of the number two calculator, Mohammad El Mir from Lebanon.

The math prodigy told ANI that his vision was to create “Math labs” that would reach out to millions of children to get them to start loving math and arithmetic calculations. “Three out of every four students who study in the government schools of India have trouble in understanding basic Mathematics. The phobia caused by math and the demotivation is the number two cause for kids opting our of the rural schools in India,” he said.

News Source: The Week


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