- In 1977 at the Southern Methodist University she was asked to give the 23rd root of a 201-digit number; she answered in 50 seconds. Her answer—546,372,891—was confirmed by calculations done at the U.S. Bureau of Standards by the UNIVAC 1101 computer, for which a special program had to be written to perform such a large calculation.
- On June 18, 1980, she demonstrated the multiplication of two 13-digit numbers — 7,686,369,774,870 × 2,465,099,745,779 — picked at random by the Computer Department ofImperial College, London. She correctly answered 18,947,668,177,995,426,462,773,730 in 28 seconds. This event is mentioned in the 1982 Guinness Book of Records.
Such feats are well beyond any remotely normal human brain. One has to wonder how different her brain had to be?
The only reasonable way to imagine that she could take a 23rd root of an extremely large number is to be able to accurately convert the number to a logarithm, do a division and then calculate an exponent in her head. This is the process that people used slide rules to calculate much smaller numbers. Doing this on paper could take hours. The software on your computer couldn't handle this. There probably are special programs that can handle it.
If that was her method, then she would have to have extremely large tables of logarithms memorized. However, if she was this brilliant, maybe she came up with other ways of solving math problems.