Human Calculators

Daniel Tammet – The Mathematical Genius

Last Updated on August 12, 2020 by Darshan Modi

Daniel Tammet


Daniel Tammet has astonishing memory, can learn a language in just a week and also possesses the ability to calculate complex mathematical problems in his mind.


Daniel Tammet is born on 31st January 1979 in Barking, East London, England.

Early Life

As a young child, Daniel suffered from epilepsy.
Despite his abnormal behavior, he received a standard education where he had great success, being nominated as Student of the Year twice. Also, he had won the town's “Eager Reader” prize at the age of just eleven, due to his fondness and love towards reading books.
He was diagnosed with the Asperger syndrome at the age of twenty-five.
He had participated in World Memory Championships, once placing at 11th place in 1999 and once at 4th place in 2000.
He is one of the rare people that have been diagnosed with the high-functioning autistic savant syndrome.

About Daniel Tammet

Daniel received the public's attention when he recited the Pi mathematical number from just his memory. He recited 22,514 decimal numbers in 5 hours and 9 minutes, and while doing that he did not make one single error.
He is often the subject of research for scientists given his rare condition and his different perception of the world around him compared to other ordinary human beings.
Daniel is also a polyglot (a person who can master multiple languages). His extraordinary memory gave him the chance to master ten languages: English, Finnish, German, Esperanto, Spanish, French, Lithuanian, Romanian, Welsh and Icelandic (which is said to be the hardest language to learn out of all the languages).
He has also written several books in some of which he explores the way he percieves the world and shows it to us.

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Genetic Or Learned

Daniel is a person who is trapped inside his own world, his personal bubble. The term used for this is “savant”.
The savant syndrome is fascinating, unusual and infrequent. It might just be one of the most extraordinary phenomena that has occurred in the fields of human psychological development.
Furthermore, given the fact that Daniel has this rare condition, we can conclude that his ability has a big genetic factor, but his abilities have surely improved more and more as time progressed.


  • American Library Association Booklist magazine “Editors' Choice Adult Books”
  • The Sunday Times “Top Choice of Books”
  • American Library Association Young Adult Library Services magazine “Best Books for Young Adults”
  • Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti Reads “Selection for 2012”
  • Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts

Official Website


Books Published

  • Born On A Blue Day: Inside the Extraordinary Mind of an Autistic Savant
  • Thinking in Numbers
  • Embracing the Wide Sky: A Tour Across the Horizons of the Mind
  • Every Word is a Bird We Teach to Sing: Encounters with the Mysteries & Meanings of Language
  • Fragments of Heaven