Neelakanta Bhanu Prakash, a 20-year-old from Hyderabad has won gold in the Mental Calculation World Championship, conducted at Mind Sports Olympiad in London recently. Bhanu has won the title of being the ‘fastest human calculator.’
Bhanu is a graduate with a degree in Maths from St Stephens College in Delhi. The young man found an interest in Maths from a very young age and decided to hone his skills by enrolling in the SIP Abacus program. He has won the International Abacus Champion '13 and National Abacus Champion 2011 and 2012.
The Mental Calculation World Championship is an annual competition with various disciplines for mental skills and mind sports that began in the year 1997. This was the first year the competition was conducted online due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
Bhanu competed alongside 30 participants from 13 countries such as the UK, Germany, UAE, France, Greece, Lebanon to reach the coveted title. He was also 65 points ahead of the Lebanese contestant who came in second.
He broke the ‘Fastest Human Calculator Record’ that was previously held by the likes of Shakuntala Devi and Scott Flansburg. Scott Flansburg is an American who was listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the Fastest Human Calculator.
But Neelakanta says, “Records come and go. I do not like personal pride. I want to build a community of mathematicians, human calculators.”
Bhanu says his work is to amplify the human brain’s efficiency using mathematics. He also has a startup, ‘Exploring Infinities’ through which he seeks to improve children’s cognitive development and popularise mental arithmetic with novel games through workshops conducted in schools.
His startup is also working with the government of Telangana and the T-SAT network to create 700 hours of math content for Classes 6-10. ”My goal is to change the way maths is taught. My aim is to produce mathematical geniuses from Government Schools in Telangana,” he said.