• Subscribe

iSGTW Image of the Week - Wim Klein

Image of the Week - Wim Klein

Wim Klein, known as one of the fastest "human computers" in the world, gives a demonstration of his mathematical prowess.
Image courtesy of CERN

Put down your high powered computers for just a second to pay homage to Willem (Wim) Klein, a man whose incredible calculation abilities earned him the nickname of "human calculator."

A quirky part of early computing history, Wim was recruited to CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, in 1957. He was tasked with the challenge of double-checking the results of CERN's early computer programs.

Wim not only checked the computer's results, he regularly beat them to the answer. His mathematical prowess was such that hundreds of physicists and mathematicians would gather from around the world to watch him at work.

During one such demonstration, in September 1973, Wim calculated the 19th root of a 133-digit number in one minute and 43 seconds. Unsatisfied with this tremendous feat, he went on to improve his time, continuing to break his own world records even after retiring from CERN at 64 years of age, 18 years after first walking through its gates.

Join the conversation

Do you have story ideas or something to contribute? Let us know!

Copyright © 2022 Science Node ™  |  Privacy Notice  |  Sitemap

Disclaimer: While Science Node ™ does its best to provide complete and up-to-date information, it does not warrant that the information is error-free and disclaims all liability with respect to results from the use of the information.


We encourage you to republish this article online and in print, it’s free under our creative commons attribution license, but please follow some simple guidelines:
  1. You have to credit our authors.
  2. You have to credit ScienceNode.org — where possible include our logo with a link back to the original article.
  3. You can simply run the first few lines of the article and then add: “Read the full article on ScienceNode.org” containing a link back to the original article.
  4. The easiest way to get the article on your site is to embed the code below.