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Mathematics in Ancient India


Mathematics in Ancient India: In the UPSC exam, they often ask questions about poets, saints, and foreign travelers in Ancient and Medieval Indian history, as well as in the Modern Indian history section. Similarly, you might encounter questions about Indian mathematicians spanning from ancient to modern times. So, it’s crucial to be well-prepared across these diverse historical and mathematical topics for the exam.

Famous Indian Mathematicians and their Contributions

1. Bhaskara

  • He is also recognized by the name Bhaskaracharya.
  • He was born in the year 1114.
  • He was the one who came up with the idea that if you divide any number by zero, the result is infinity.
  • Additionally, he acknowledged that the sum of any number and infinity is also infinity.
  • The famous book “Siddhanta Siromani” is credited to him.

2. Aryabhata

  • Born in 476 CE in Kusumapura.
  • Known as the first big-shot math and astronomy expert from the olden days.
  • Wrote Aryabhaṭiya and Arya-Siddhanta.
  • Played around with the idea of using letters for numbers and talking about their qualities.
  • Figured out where the 9 planets hang out and that they go around the sun.
  • Mentioned that there are 365 days in a year.

3. Brahmagupta

  • Brahmagupta was born in the year 598 CE.
  • His birthplace was near present-day Rajasthan.
  • Brahmagupta’s most significant contribution to mathematics was the introduction of the concept and computation methods of zero (0).

4. Srinivasa Ramanujan

  • He was born on 1887.
  • His important contributions to this field are
    • Hardy-Ramanujan-Littlewood circle method in number theory
    • Roger-Ramanujan’s identities in the partition of numbers
    • Work on the algebra of inequalities
    • Elliptic functions
    • Continued fractions
    • Partial sums and products of hypergeometric series

5. P.C. Mahalanobis

  • P.C. Mahalanobis, born in 1893, is remembered for his contributions in two main areas:
  • Mahalanobis Distance
  • Feldman–Mahalanobis Model

6. Narendra Karamkar

  • Narendra Karmarkar is renowned for his groundbreaking contributions to polynomial algorithms, particularly in the realm of linear programming. He has earned recognition as an ISI highly cited researcher.
  • Notably, Karmarkar developed one of the initial provably polynomial time algorithms for linear programming, widely known as the interior point method. This algorithm stands as a pivotal achievement in the field of Linear Programming, marking a significant milestone in making these computations more efficient and feasible.

7. Shakuntala Devi

  • Meet the incredible ‘Human Computer’ – renowned for effortlessly cracking the trickiest math problems without relying on calculators.
  • This extraordinary individual gained fame for achieving numerous world records in mathematics, showcasing her exceptional intelligence and unmatched problem-solving skills.

8. Satyendranath Bose

  • He was born in 1894.
  • He’s famous for working closely with Albert Einstein.
  • His main claim to fame is his significant contributions to the field of quantum mechanics.
  • Notable Contributions:
    • Explored the interesting correlations between particles, now known as Bose-Einstein correlations.
    • Pioneered the concept of Bose-Einstein condensate, a unique state of matter.
    • Developed the statistical mechanics distribution that bears his name, describing the behavior of indistinguishable particles.
    • Formulated the statistical rules governing particles that obey Bose-Einstein statistics.
    • Contributed to the understanding of bosons, a class of particles.
    • Explored the behavior of a gas composed of bosons.
    • Applied his insights to the behavior of a gas made up of photons.
    • Developed an equation describing the ideal behavior of bosons in certain conditions.

9. D. R. Kaprekar

  • Well known for “Kaprekar Constant” 6174.
  • Take any four digit number in which all digits are not alike. Arrange its digits in descending order and subtract from it the number formed by arranging the digits in ascending order. If this process is repeated with reminders, ultimately number 6174 is obtained, which then generates itself.

10. Calyampudi Radhakrishna Rao

  • R Rao was born in 1920.
  • He is a well-known statistician.
  • He is famous for his ‘Theory of estimation’.
  • He is known for
    • Cramer–Rao bound
    • Rao–Blackwell theorem
    • Orthogonal arrays
    • Score test

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