Chennai Mathematical Institute

Seminars




3.00 - 3.45 pm; 3.45 - 4.00 pm (break for coffee); 4.00 - 4.45 pm, Seminar Hall
Found in Translation: Rediscovering Classical Indian Mathematics

Glen Van Brummelen, Quest University, Canada, Clemency Montelle, University of Canterbury, New Zealand,
Kim Plofker, Union College, Schenectady, NY, USA, Gautami Bhowmik, Lille University, France.
05-12-14


Abstract

Many scholars are aware of certain aspects of Indian mathematics, such as the invention of zero and the "pulverizer" for solutions of indeterminate equations. But Indian mathematics is much richer and deeper than these public expressions. We present examples of texts from our current research, under the auspices of CMI and the working group of the History of Astronomical and Mathematical Sciences in India (HAMSI), that reveal little-known, but powerful expressions of mathematics: both strictly within Indian culture, and in dialogue with others.

Glen Van Brummelen, Quest University, Canada, will present sophisticated methods for computing sine tables, originally devised in 15th-century Iran, that we have discovered in an early 18th-century Sanskrit manuscript.

Clemency Montelle, University of Canterbury, New Zealand, will explore the massive sine table of 17th-century court astronomer Nityananda and its relation to earlier Persian and Arabic sources.

Kim Plofker, Union College, Schenectady, NY, USA, will discuss some of the ingenious Sanskrit algorithms for computing rates of change that have sometimes been described as a medieval Indian anticipation of differential calculus.

Gautami Bhowmik, Lille University, France, will describe arithmetic progressions as described in several medieval Sankrit works.





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