M A I N   N E W S

Haryana boy creates world record in mental division
Aditi Tandon/TNS

New Delhi, April 23
At a time when the world is addicted to calculators and computers for even minor mathematical calculations, a Haryana boy and former IIT topper has created a new world record in mental division.

Dr Amit Garg, who did his masters in industrial technology from IIT Delhi before moving to the US for higher research, mentally divided a 10-digit number with a five-digit number in 34.5 seconds. The previous world record of a similar mental calculation is 36 seconds.

Dr Garg, currently a Senior Operations Research Analyst at Baybridge Decision Technology, Annapolis, USA, broke the record of Willem Bouman from the Netherlands. Based on the feat, he has been selected to represent India at the coveted Mental Calculations World Cup due to be held in Germany between September 29 and October 1 this year.

Speaking to The Tribune from the US today, Amit, whose current work profile involves writing mathematical and operations research algorithms to solve complex business problems, said he was proud to have achieved the record in 2012, which India is celebrating as the Year of Mathematics.

“Mathematics is my passion. These days when most people are habituated to calculators for division or multiplication, my feat, I hope, will help revive interest in mental calculations or at least pen and paper calculations,” said Amit, who moved to the US in 2002 for higher studies and started working there.

He broke the record in the US on March 15. The record has been accepted and published in two important record books -- the UK’s Book of Alternative Records and the US Record Setter.

On March 15, Amit did 10 such divisions correctly without writing any intermediate results or using any instruments in a record time of 34.5 seconds per division at Annapolis, MD, USA. These numbers were randomly selected by the programme provided by Ralf Laue, author of The Book of Alternative Records and organiser of the Mental Calculations World Cup and Co-Chairman of Memoriad, an institution dedicated to mental calculations.

“These tasks were such that there was no remainder. The world record was organised with the help of my employer in the US and there were witnesses,” said Amit, who has often surprised his colleagues by computing square roots and cube roots before the calculator could do it.

On March 31, Ralf Laue announced that Amit's world record of 5:45 minutes for 10 divisions had been accepted and beat the previous record of 6:07 minutes by Willem Bouman from the Netherlands.

“On the basis of my feat, I received the invitation to represent India in the fifth Mental Calculation World Cup competition in Giessen, Germany,” Amit said.

This international competition invites only 40 participants from the whole world with no individual country limit. Participants would be asked to find square root, do multiplications, additions as also surprise tasks like cube root, fractions, prime factors in a record time.

For Amit, whose parents are settled in Noida, this is no mean achievement, though he has had a history of successes during his academic career as well. He had achieved a 100 on 100 in statistics during his masters at IIT Delhi.

He later went on to do his PhD in Operations Research from Case Western Reserve University at Cleveland, Ohio. Ask him if he plans to stay put in the US and he says, “I plan to return to India soon.”





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