Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Course on Mathematics in India, from Vedic period to modern times

From Michel Danino & Mamata Dash: 
It is perhaps the first time that such a course is offered, that too by some of the very best scholars in the field. Please pass the information around. From May 15 to May 28. Fees are not mentioned.

The course information, syllabus, and email contact are here http://nptel.iitm.ac.in
Normally, videos are made available online for all NPTL courses.

Gopu's comments:
This will cover the development of mathematics in India, before such things as the plus sign, minus sign, equations, logarithms, calculus etc. were invented. In fact, it will talk about how Brahmagupta invented negative numbers in the 7th century. Before paper was common, and maths books were written on palm leaves. 

A knowledge of Sanskrit will be useful, but I don't think it's essential. A passion for mathematics and history will be more useful.

The course designers have translated two Sanskrit books, Nilakanta Somyajji's TantraSangraha (15th century) and JyeshtaDeva's GanitaYuktiBhasha (16th century), into English. The first book proposed that five planets revolved around the sun (but that the sun revolved around the earth). The second book has concepts that form the rudiments of calculus.

An excellent collection of Sanskrit books, especially on astronomy & mathematics, with English translations, is available in the KV Sarma library, near Adyar bus stand.

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