Among the world’s ancient civilizations, India made innovative, wide-ranging and seminal contributions to mathematics. From the Shulbasutras of the eighth to sixth century BCE to Sankara Varma’s Sadratnamala of the 19th century, Indian mathematics boasts a long, continuous and cumulative intellectual tradition, with illustrious names such as Aryabhata, Brahmagupta, Bhaskaracharya or Madhava, but also a host of lesser-known yet brilliant scholars from almost every part of the subcontinent. Through its advances in number systems, geometry, algebra, trigonometry, and algorithmic methods, India contributed to some of the foundations of modern mathematics.
In the twentieth century, this production continued on a new foundation. While S. Ramanujan now stands out among the world’s mathematicians, others, such as Syamadas Mukhopadhyay, Raj Chandra Bose, Harishchandra, K. Chandrasekharan, S.S. Abhyankar, S.S. Shrikhande, and many more, made significant contributions to various branches of mathematics.
This conference, to be held at IIT Gandhinagar’s new campus, will be conducted in collaboration with the Indian Society for the History of Mathematics (ISHM). It will host some of the finest scholars in the field from India and overseas, who will throw fresh light on India’s advances in ancient to twentieth-century Indian mathematics. Some lectures will be of a general, popular or historical nature, thus accessible to a wider audience, while others will explore more technical issues and methods.
Every day will have five to six senior speakers and two to three junior ones. Panel discussions will create more space for interaction between the scholars and the participants. A carefully compiled collection of fundamental papers and book chapters on the history of Indian mathematics will be distributed to all participants. Lectures will be video-recorded and shared online.
The history of mathematics in India has not received from the academic world the attention it deserves. The event is expected to stimulate interest in this rich field among mathematicians and students alike.