Science: Numbers Game

When Shakuntala Devi was five years old in Bangalore, India, she liked to sit at the side of her uncle, who was studying mathematics at the university. As a joke, he told the little girl about cube roots. One day, when Shakuntala wanted money to buy candy, she offered to help her uncle with a problem in cube root if he would finance the candy. When he laughed, she promptly wrote down the correct answer on a sheet of paper.

From then on, Shakuntala (meaning "baby brought up by the birds") was a marked little Brahman. Her odd mathematical ability improved...

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