The 1st Professional Human Computer
Johann Dase, born in Hamburg, Germany in 1840, was of low intellect
except for his extraordinary calculating powers. He could multiply two,
20digit numbers in his head in 6 minutes. He could look at a field
of sheep for only a couple seconds, then tell the exact count. His powers
were attributed to a true photographic memory. Beginning at 16 years
old, he was enlisted by famous mathematician Carl Friedrich Gauss to
generate the most precise tables of the day for logarithms, hyperbolic
and trigonometric functions. These calculations would otherwise take
years to make and require an entire staff of mathematicians. Since Johann
was paid for his services, this possibly constituted the world's first
instance of rented computer time.
