At the age of 23, Neelakanta Bhanu is aiming to eliminate math anxiety by altering the way the subject is taught.
Neelakanta Bhanu, a five-year-old recuperating from a major brain injury, used his cognitive abilities to sharpen his competitive math abilities.
He had beaten four world records, 50 Limca Book Records, and was the “Fastest Human Calculator in the World” by the age of 21.
In 2020, he won gold at the Mental Calculation World Championship, becoming the championship’s first non-European winner in its 25-year existence.
This, according to Bhanu, is due to a combination of “lack of exposure” and the rigorous manner Math is taught in India. He also points out that while Indian coders and techies are in high demand in locations like Silicon Valley, the country still has poor PISA ranks.
He believes that individuals who reach the top of large corporations are a 10% minority and that it would be disingenuous to claim that they represent the majority.
Bhanu’s knowledge of India’s mathematics landscape is shaped by his engagement in math competitions and his work in public schools.
Bhanu opted to stay in India after earning a BSc Honours degree in Mathematics from St. Stephen’s College. He collaborated with the Telangana government to promote math education. He subsequently chose to create Bhanzu, a math-focused EdTech.
Bhanu’s obsession with speed leads him to provide an intriguing perspective on disciplines such as abacus and Vedic math, which teach how to solve equations rapidly using “shortcuts” but do not always teach how to grasp the reasoning behind an equation.
He contends that in a society that favours the private sector over the public sector, following the laws of capitalism might provide greater prospects for addressing the masses.