National mathematics day: meet these 5 brilliant mathematicians of India

Since 2012, 22nd December of every year is observed as National Mathematics Day to commemorate the birth anniversary of Srinivasa Ramanujan (1887-1920). Ramanujan is widely known for his contributions to the number theory, continued fractions and infinite series, all of which provided solutions to complex mathematical problems. Sadly, at the age of 32, the country lost its gem, but his legacy of academic brilliance continues to live on.

Here are some of India’s exceptional mathematicians known for their unparalleled contributions to the world of mathematics:

1)P.C. Mahalanobis

Considered the Father of Modern Statistics in India, Mahalanobis was the member of the Planning Commission of the country, and played a poignant role in the development of industries during its Second Five-Year Plan.

The strategy was based on his mathematical understanding of the Indian Economy, known as the Mahalanobis Model. He also devised a statistical measure, the Mahalanobis distance. For his unmatched contributions, Mahalanobis was awarded Padma Vibhushan by the Indian Government in 1968.

2)C.R. Rao

C.R. Rao is very well known for his discoveries of Cramer-Rao bound and the Rao-Blackwell theorem among other major contributions.

During his tenure of over 40 years as the Head and later Director of the Research and Training School at the Indian Statistical Institute, Rao developed various research and training programs and produced several leaders in the field of Mathematics.

Rao has been awarded 38 honorary doctoral degrees from universities in 19 countries and numerous awards and medals for his contributions to statistics and science. The Times of India listed Rao as one of the top 10 Indian scientists of all time.

3) Satyendra Nath Bose

Bose is best known for his alliance with Albert Einstein in developing a theory regarding the gas-like qualities of electromagnetic radiation called the theory of the Bose-Einstein condensate, followed by Bose-Einstein statistics.

Rabindranath Tagore’s only book on science, Visva-Parichay is dedicated to S.N. Bose. He was also appointed as the National Professor for 15 years, the highest honour for a scholar in the country.

For his exemplary work, Bose was nominated for the Noble Prize several times. In 1954, he was awarded with Padma Vibhushan by the Government of India.

4) C.S. Seshadri

The founder of Chennai Mathematical Institute, Seshadri’s main field of work was algebraic geometry. Some of his widely praised contributions are Narasimhan-Seshadri theorem, Geometric Invariant Theory and his introduction of standard monomial theory.

He has the Seshadri Constant named after him. Seshadri has been a visiting professor to the prestigious Harvard University and UCLA among others. He was also a member of the Royal Society of India. For his excellence in the areas of mathematics, Seshadri was honoured with the Padma Bhushan in 2009.

5) Shakuntala Devi

Famously known as the “Human Computer”, Shakuntala Devi was an Indian writer who possessed unique mental calculation abilities. In an event in the year 1980, she correctly calculated the multiplication of two 13-digit numbers in just 28 seconds, setting up a new world record.

This was recorded in the 1982 edition of the Guinness Book of World Records for the fastest mental calculation till date.

To one’s amazement, Shakuntala Devi had not received any formal education in the field. Apart from this, Devi is known for her book, The World of Homosexuals. It is believed to be one of the earliest studies of Homosexuality in India.


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