Renowned Mathematicians of India

Dr. P. V. Narayanan Nair India has a long-standing tradition of fundamental developments in Mathematics. A brief account is presented here, confined to the work of some famous mathematicians based on available references.

tudies indicate that the first geometry, they had simple ways of use of mathematics in India doing different mathematical Swas during the Indus Valley operations. For example, to Civilisation. It was concerned multiply a two-digit number by 11, mainly with weights and measures say, 45 x 11, it can be calculated by and a basic knowledge of geometry. writing down numbers 4 and 5 and There were seven famous inserting between them their sum: ancient mathematicians among 4 (4+5) 5 or 495. whom Baudhyana is the best known. Another interesting rule was for They formulated the four major calculating the square of two-digit Shulba Sutras or rules. One of the numbers ending with five. For rules was later formulated by example, to find the square of 35 you Pythagoras as a theorem. write down 25 and before it, the In addition to advanced product of 3×4. The result is 1225.

Bhavan’s Journal, 15 August, 2020 u 153 Classic Period notable works were The period between 400 CE and Panchasiddhantika and Brihat 1500 CE was the golden age of Samhita. He improved the accuracy Indian Mathematics and was of the sine tables of Aryabhata. He called the Classic Period. There was among the first were outstanding mathematicians mathematicians to discover a such as Aryabhata, Varahamihira, version of what is now known as the Brahmagupta, Bhaskara I, Pascal’s triangle and binomial Mahavira and Bhaskara II. coefficients. He invented the first Aryabhata known 4×4 magic square. Aryabhata was born in 476 CE Brahmagupta in Patna, Bihar. Some say he was Brahmagupta was born in 598 born in Kerala. He is famous for CE in Ujjain. His book his work on lunar eclipse and Brahmasphutasiddhanta is the solar eclipse, rotation of Earth on first text that mentions zero as a its axis, reflection of light by number. He gave many algebraic moon, value of pi correctly to 4 and arithmetic concepts and decimal places and calculating the formulae. circumference of Earth with 99.8 Brahmagupta advocated per cent accuracy. He wrote the observation and use of famous Aryabhatiya when he was instruments. He dedicated an just 23 years old. entire chapter to yantras, or simple Varahamihira devices to observe the sky. He He was born in the 6th century explained negative numbers and CE in Ujjain. Varahamihira’s most their properties.

Aryabhata Varahamihira Brahmagupta 154 u Bhavan’s Journal, 15 August, 2020 Bhaskara I Mahavira Bhaskara II Bhaskara I unknown. He devised a formula for He was born in Parbhani the area and perimeters of ellipses district, Maharashtra in the 7th and found methods to calculate the century CE. He was the first to write square and cube roots of a number. Hindu-Arabic numerals and zero Bhaskara II with a circle. He gave a unique and Bhaskara II was born in 1114 remarkable rational CE in Bijapur, Karnataka. He is approximation of the sine function known as the greatest in his commentary on Aryabhata’s mathematician of medieval India. work, Aryabhatiyabhashya, written His work Siddhanta Shiromani has in 629 CE. It is among the oldest laid the foundations for many known prose works in Sanskrit on theories in arithmetic, algebra, mathematics and astronomy. He mathematics of the planets, and also wrote Mahabhaskariya and spheres. He conceived differential Laghubhaskariya. coefficient and differential Mahavira calculus, way before Newton and He was a Jain Mathematician Leibniz. He also wrote a treatise born in Gulbarga, Karnataka. His named Karana Kautuhala. work was Ganithasarasangraha. Modern Era The work comprises more than There are outstanding 1,130 versified rules and examples contributions to mathematics, divided in nine chapters on basic during the last century, by scholars operations, reductions of fractions, such as P C Mahalanobis, Narendra and problems involving a linear or Karmarkar, D R Kaprekar, Harish quadratic equation with one Chandra, C R Rao, C S Seshadri,

Bhavan’s Journal, 15 August, 2020 u 155 Hemachandra and C P Ramanujan. Well-known women mathematicians include T. A. Sarasvati Amma, Vasanti N. Bhat- Nayak, Ushadevi Bhosle, Vyjayanthi Chari, Nilanjana Datta, Shakuntala Devi, and many, many more. Srinivasa Ramanujan Srinivasa Ramanujan was born on December 22, 1887 in Tamil Nadu. He is one of the most Shakuntala Devi recognised Indian mathematicians Shakuntala Devi was known as although he had almost no formal the human computer. In Dallas, training in pure mathematics. He USA, she calculated the cube root sent a set of 120 Theorems to Prof. of 188138517 faster than a Hardy at Cambridge University and computer. She also competed was invited to work there. He is against a UNIVAC, then the world’s known for mathematical analysis, fastest computer to solve the 23rd number theory, infinite series, and root of a 201-digit number and won. continued fractions. She had outstanding talent and set world records. Satyendra Nath Bose Satyendra Nath Bose was born on January 1, 1894 in Kolkata. He was a theoretical physicist, known for his work on quantum mechanics in the early 1920s, providing the foundation for Bose- Einstein statistics and the theory of the Bose-Einstein condensate. He was awarded the Padma Vibhushan in 1954. The class of particles that obey Bose-Einstein Srinivasa Ramanujan statistics are called Bosons.

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