The relationship between Mathematics and India is not new. It goes back to 1200 BC and the golden era between 400 AD and 1200 AD when great contribution to this field had been made by Indian mathematicians. India has given to the world the decimal system, the concept of zero, algebra, advanced trigonometry, negative numbers and lot more. Trigonometry was expanded in 15th century CE by a mathematician at a school in Kerala. This was done almost two centuries before the invention of calculus in Europe. Even the Vedas from Vedic Period show the evidences of the use of numbers. Most of the Vedic Period mathematics is found in the Vedic texts that are associated with rituals. Sanskrit is the main language in which all the ancient and medieval mathematical work has been done in India. Not only this but examples of the practical use of mathematics can been seen in the prehistoric period. Excavation of Indus Valley Civilizations such as Harappa and Mohenjo-daro shows the evidence of the use of practical mathematics. Decimal system was used in this civilization as weights related to ratios of 0.05, 0.1, 0.2, 0.5, 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200, and 500 have been found. They had also used the most stable dimensions of the bricks in the ratio of 4:2:1. Then we have many famous mathematicians in Vedic period, Classical Period (400-1200) and modern India.
Who hasn’t heard about this famous mathematician from Vedic age? He was born in 476 CE and place of his birth is known with uncertainty but it can be modern day Maharastra or Dhaka.
He wrote Aryabhatiya which contains the basic principles of mathematics in the form of 332 shlokas. In simple words Aryabhata I has given us Quadratic equations, Trigonometry, correct value of π upto four decimal places, sine table, cosine table, versine table, spherical trigonometry, calculations for astronomical constants, arithmetic, algebra and more.
It was he who had said that Earth rotates around its own axis daily and not the sun. He had scientifically explained the concept of solar and lunar eclipses.
Another very popular mathematician who contributed a lot to mathematics is Pingala. He had written Chhandas Shastra on prosody in Sanskrit. Even without the knowledge of Binomial theorem he had explained it along with Pascal triangle.
He was the last mathematician of Vedic period and written Katyayana Sulba Sutra. He explained the computation of square root of 2 to five correct decimal places. His contribution to geometry, and Pythagorean theory is just remarkable.
This famous mathematician of India belongs to ninth century who has developed cyclic method known as ‘Chakravala’ method.
A South Indian mathematician from ninth century has contributed a lot towards the problems related to quadratic and cubic equations.
This mathematician of India was great at astronomical work. He gave Brahmagupta’s theorem and Brahmagupta’s formula on which the popular Heron’s formula is based. Four methods of multiplications were also given by Brahmagupta.
He was the first mathematician of India to write numbers in decimal form in both Arabic and Hindu style.
Do you know who has given that if any number is divided by 0 the result is infinity? Yes, you are right. Bhaskaracharya also known as Bhaskara II has given this concept. Also lot about zero, permutation and combination, surds has been explained by him. Bhaskaracharya has also explained that why Earth appears flat because hundredth part of circumference of the circle looks to be straight.
He is one of the most famous and noticeable mathematicians of modern India. Study of pie function was one of his great contributions to the field of maths.
Apart from him there are many other mathematicians of modern India that have contributed in this field such as Tirukkannapuram Vijayaraghavan (1902–1955), Harish-Chandra (1920–1983), M. S. Narasimhan (born 1932), V. N. Bhat (1938–2009), Amit Garg (born 1978), L. Mahadevan etc.
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