The significant contributions of Ancient India to the field of Mathematics are well-known to us. Now the entire world has acknowledged it. But, even we Indian don’t know much about the specific contributions of the ancient Indian Mathematicians. As a result, people either believe all the things floating around on the cyber media, which may not be true; or they end up dismissing everything as a fake forward. Therefore, creating awareness about the real inputs by ancient Indian mathematical scholars becomes imperative.
Ancient Indian scholars have made major and significant contributions to the field of Mathematics. Some of these contributions are wrongly attributed to European Mathematicians and general Indian populace is blissfully ignorant about this. Mathematicians and historians of mathematics around the world now acknowledge and rightfully attribute these to the ancient Indian scholarship. There is a need to make common Indians aware about these facts and clear their misconceptions. This will also ensure a sense of informed pride about our glorious past, and a zealous interest to scale newer heights.
The greatest service to the society is to enlighten it. Hence when the Convenor of Indic Academy, Coimbatore Chapter, Shri Pramod Kumar Ji, invited me to give talks and lectures on India’s Mathematical Heritage at various schools, colleges, and universities of Coimbatore, Tiruppur, and Madurai district, I immediately grabbed the opportunity to reach out to the teacher and student community of this part of India.
Shri Pramod kumar ji, who is also an Assistant Professor at the Amrita University’s Coimbatore Campus along with his associate Miss Manjushree Hedge planned and coordinated my lecture tour to Coimbatore, Tiruppur, and Madurai. Indic Academy wonderfully arranged and managed the logistics. So on the morning of 7th November, 2019, I flew from Mumbai to Coimbatore. My friend Pramod ji received and welcomed me at the Coimbatore airport. A traditional Tamil lunch was hosted in my honour by the members of the Indic Academy, Coimbatore Chapter. After lunch Pramod ji took me to Rathnavel Subramaniam (RVS) College of Arts and Science, where the first lecture of the tour was scheduled.
The staff and students of RVS College gave a warm welcome to members of Indic Academy – Pramod ji, Mr. Rajesh Govindarajulu, and me. There was a gathering of around 170 people comprising of teachers and students of B Sc and M Sc (Mathematics) to attend the talk. I made the most of this opportunity to make the audience aware of India’s contribution to the field of mathematics. The students of RVS College were very enthusiastic to learn about Indian Mathematics. I was overwhelmed by the respect shown to us by the staff and students of the RVS College.
In the evening I was welcomed by Ms Manjushree Hegde at the Amrita University Guest House. On the following day, the 8th November, the full day workshop on Indian Mathematical Heritage at Amrita University was attended by around 250 people comprising of the staff, post-graduate students (M Tech, M Sc, MA, MSW) of the Amrita University, and even interested commoners. The enthusiastic response of the participants was really encouraging. I am thankful to Pramod ji, Ms Manjushree, and other staff at Amrita University for the excellent arrangements. I am also thankful to Indic Academy and Amrita University for organising this workshop.
Next day morning 9th November, I traveled to Nambiyur, a small town in Tiruppur district to deliver a lecture at Kamaraj HR Secondary School. I received a warm welcome from the staff and students of the school. Mr. Gautam of Indic Academy, Tiruppur Chapter was present at the school to assist me. Around 150 students of 10th, 11th, and 12th standards along with the staff and teachers of the school attended the lecture. The students were very eager to learn Indian Mathematics. Though the school lacked in resources, the dedication and zeal of the teachers in this school surpassed others. Their devoted efforts were evident from the unmatched mathematical skills and understanding of the students. This lecture was organised by Indic Academy along with Igen Plus. After the lecture I continued my onward journey to Madurai.
The next morning, on 10th November, I delivered a lecture at Staret’s Academy to around 70 young and bright students of standard 8th, 9th and 10th from various schools of Madurai. I thank Mr. Jayapradeep, Convenor of Indic Academy, Madurai Chapter for arranging this lecture. Indic Academy had organised this lecture along with Igen Plus.
On 11th November, I delivered lectures at two schools of the Vikasa groups of schools at Madurai. In the morning I delivered a lecture to around 100 students of standard 11th and 12th of Vikasa School (ICSE board). And in the noon I delivered a lecture to around 50 students of standard 9th and 11th of Vikasa World School (IGCSE board). Both the lectures were arranged by Indic Academy along with Igen Plus. This marked the end of my amazing lecture tour.
I was overwhelmed by the response from the people who attended my lectures. The most amazing experience of this tour was that my lectures were equally appreciated by an 8th standard student as well as a retired Head of Mathematics department of a Science college, who herself is a PhD in Mathematics and guides others in doing their PhD.
I thank the entire Indica team for giving me an excellent opportunity to make teachers and students aware about India’s Mathematical Heritage.
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