Mission Against Math Phobia
It is a matter of great pride that the fastest human calculator, winner of Mental Calculation World Championship, hails from our city. Having earned laurels and plaudits for the country with his mind-boggling calculation skills, Neelakantha Bhanu Prakash is on course to set up a startup and lab in the city to help those wishing to juggle with numbers. He is already helping hundreds of children from Telangana and even from abroad to overcome fear of numbers and ace Mathematics. The mathmagician reveals his life mission in a free-wheeling chat with Vasavi Kaleru
Hyderabad: Neelakantha Bhanu Prakash, who emerged as world's fastest human computer by winning the Mental Calculation World Championship at Mind Sports Olympiad in London earlier this month, is all set to embark on a mission to eradicate mathematics phobia both in India and abroad.
The 20-year-old Hyderabadi, who became the first Indian and also the first Asian to win the gold in the 23-year-old history of the Mind Sports Olympiad, has 'vision math' to eradicate math phobia across the world and make it lovable. He believes that the coveted title has catapulted him to a position where he can be a brand ambassador to change the very way mathematics is perceived in the country. This Maths prodigy is keen to make brain training a daily and popular culture like gym culture for physical fitness.
A graduate in maths from St. Stephen College, Delhi, Bhanu emerged the winner at Mental Calculation World Championship, which saw competitors from 13 countries vying for the top honours on August 15.
"They were all selected on the basis of their past performances. Since I hold few world records I was also invited. This time because of Covid-19 it was an online competition but it was lengthier and tougher. This is the first time that somebody from Asia won the gold medal at this competition and it was a proud moment for India."
He feels excited as he will use the spotlight on him to change things around and to make sure that children learn maths as a fun. He is keen to be a game changer like badminton star Pullela Gopichand or chess champion Viswanathan Anand who with their historic victories changed the landscape of these games in the country. Bhanu holds four world records and 15 Limca records for being the fastest human calculator.
Bhanu was a mathematical whiz kid when he enrolled himself for SIP Abacus programme when he was given. He completed 9 levels of Abacus, Grand Master programme offered by SIP Academy. He went on to win the International Abacus Champion 2013 and National Abacus Champion 2011 and 2012. His start-up Exploring Infinities (EI) is working with 60 government schools in Telangana.
"I founded the start-up to boost up children's cognitive development and to popularize mental arithmetic with novel games through workshops and courses in schools," he said.
'To build a community of Mathematicians'
My vision is to eradicate Math Phobia through our school interventions, student engagement and PR exercise, improve cognitive abilities through arithmetic learning, help students explore infinite capabilities of human brain, make Math fun and promote brain games as a structured sport. I want to build a community of Mathematicians," said Bhanu Prakash speaking to The Hans India.
Though he is just a 20-year-old, the math wizard has clear cut goals, He said, "My goal is to change the way Maths is taught. My aim is to produce mathematical geniuses from Government Schools in Telangana, Bhanu tells. He appeals to the government to give importance to mental sports and aims to found the first brain training lab in the state."
Bhanu has his start-up 'Exploring Infinities(EI)' which is working with the Government of Telangana and through them helps the children studying in government schools. He has reached out and engaged 10,000 in the past couple of years. His tips for students is to start calculations with some small exercises on a regular basis. He also had a meeting with KTR on Thursday on a Math Academy in the state. Bhanu is excited that the minister was keen on the idea. A meeting with the Chief Minister KCR too is to happen soon, said Bhanu.
I broke a record called the Fastest Human Calculator weed Record which was once held by the likes of Shakuntala Devi and Scott Flansburg. Scott is an American dubbed "The Human Calculator" and listed in the Guinness Book of World Records for speed of mental calculation. I want my records to be broken soon. I want to get challenged, he said as he signed off.
A prodigy, indeed
At the age of five he enrolled himself for SIP Abacus program and won several titles, broke records. He completed 9 levels of Abacus, Grand Master program offered by SIP Academy. He went on to win the International Abacus Champion'13 and National Abacus Champion '11 & '12. He competed with 30 participants from 13 countries such as UK, Germany, UAE, France, Greece, Lebanon and many other countries and reached to the top in his very attempt itself.
Amazing speed with 100% accuracy has earned him the nicknames "The Number Prodigy", "The Next Ramajunan" and "The Fastest Human Calculator in the World." His brain processes numbers 10 times faster than an average human brain.
Bhanu is a 4 times TEDx Speaker, Founder and has been invited by various global institutions in 17 countries to share and teach "how to amplify human brain's efficiency" where he shares his secrets and tools that he developed.