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The Human Calculator- Priyanshi Somani

Anyone who has grappled with math calculations must know how difficult it is to not reach for the calculator when faced with large numbers; and if not the calculator, then a good old pen and paper to do the calculations manually. But, Priyanshi Somani is made of a different mettle. This Surat girl is known as the ‘human calculator’, and not for nothing too. Meet Priyanshi Somani- winner of numerous global awards for mental calculation of large numbers and bestowed with the moniker- ‘Human Calculator’ as a result.

Born in November 1998, Priyanshi loved playing with numbers from a young age. Recognizing her affinity for numbers, her parents, Satyen and Anju Somani, enrolled her in abacus classes- the Japanese mental calculation technique- at the age of six. Priyanshi soon mastered the nitty gritties of Abacus mental maths.

In 2006, at the tender age of seven, she became the National champion in abacus and mental arithmetic competition in India. She retained the title in 2007 and 2008 too. Alongside these, Priyanshi even gained recognition for her mental arithmetic skills at the international level- becoming the International Champion in Abacus in 2007 at the world competition held in Malaysia.

Having gained expertise and success with Abacus, Priyanshi soon set her sights on higher laurels. She enrolled for the Mental Calculation World Cup, 2010 and reached the finals, to be held in Germany. At the World Cup Finals, she was the youngest finalist- she was only eleven then, among older mental maths heavyweights from across the world. But her young age did not stand in the way of her glittering show at the finals.

Priyanshi became the World Mental Calculation Champion, wresting the title from 37 competitors from 16 countries. At the World Cup, she stood 1st in extracting square roots from 6 digit numbers up to 8 significant digits in 6:51 minutes, 2nd in addition (10 numbers of 10 digits) and multiplication (2 numbers of 8 digits). Priyanshi also solved 10 assigned tasks of square root correctly in 6:28 minutes, a staggering task for a girl so young.

Priyanshi’s World Cup performance has stood the test of time. She is the only participant who has performed with 100% accuracy in Addition, Multiplication, and Square Root in all four mental calculation world cups till date.

In 2012, Priyanshi won the Memoriad Cup and qualified for the Memoriad World Mental Olympics competition held in Turkey 2012. On 3 January 2012, Priyanshi Somani became the new world record holder in Mental Square Roots, finishing 10 tasks of 6 digit numbers in 2:43:05 minutes. All tasks were calculated correctly to 8 significant digits.

Impressed with her superb performance, the Indian Government named her as the Indian Ambassador for the World Maths Day, 2011, event. Priyanshi’s feats as a human calculator have earned her a place in The Guinness Book of World Records, 2014, in the Mind and Memory page. Her name has also been included in the Limca Book of Records.

Gifted children such as Priyanshi, who make use of their inherent aptitudes, stand out like a beacon of inspiration and hope for other children who are born with exceptional talents, encouraging them to fulfil the promise Nature has bestowed on them.