The great Indian mathematicians

India gave significant contributions in the field of mathematics through some of its immensely talented mathematicians, this article gives a look on few of them.

It was from the era of Indus Valley Civilization and the Vedas, the contributions from the Indian mathematicians were started and till continued in the modern era also, the Indian mathematicians have made innumerable and important contributions in the field of mathematics which also includes place value arithmetical notation and the concept of ‘Zero’.

Let us have a short profile about few mathematicians from India who have made significant contributions in the field of mathematics.

Bhaskara I

He was the first Indian mathematician according the prevailing history who belongs to 7th century, he was said to be the first mathematician to write numbers in the decimal system in Hindu and Arabic style with a circle for the zero, he was the responsible for a unique and most remarkable rational approximation of the function ‘Sine’ in his commentary on Aryabhata’s work.

The three treatises on which his fame rests and which were said to be composed based on the works of Aryabhata I, both his works today known as Mahabhaskariya and Laghubhaskariya, which stressed the importance of proving mathematical rules as it has avoided the relying on traditionally with expediency.

Bhaskara II

Bhaskara II is also known as Bhaskaracharya which literally ‘Acharya’ means the Teacher, in most of the ways he has represented the peak stage of mathematical knowledge who belongs to 12th century. He has an good understanding of the number systems and also solving several equations which was said to be has not been achieved anywhere else even for several centuries.

Maheswara is the name of the father of Bhaskara II, he was a Brahmin and an famous astrologer, ultimately Bhaskara II was the head of the astronomical observatory in Ujjain at the time, which was considered as the leading mathematical center in India in those days, other outstanding mathematicians of his time ‘Varahamihira’ and ‘Brahmagupta’ were also worked in that astronomical observatory, with the help of knowledge of all these three famous mathematicians that center has become a strong base of mathematical school.

The works of Bhaskara II, were the first of its kind to make full and systematic use of the decimal system, he was the first person to learn the meaning of division by zero, he has used letters which were represented as quantities almost similar to modern day algebra and he has solved indeterminate equations belongs to 1st and 2nd degrees, then he has wrote several theories on astronomical observations of planetary positions, conjunctions, eclipses, cosmography, mathematical techniques and geography and also he was thorough in using astronomical equipments which were used in those days.


He was the famous Indian mathematicians of the Vedic age, the other famous mathematicians of his time were Apastamba, Baudhayana, Katyayana, Manava, Panini and Yajnavalkya, who have the credit of authoring the most famous ‘Shatapatha Brahmana’, which has contained calculations which are related to altar construction. In that time another noted mathematician ‘Budhayana’, he was also a priest who has authored the famous ‘Sulabha Sutra’ which were considered as appendices to Vedas, which were explained in detail about the rules of construction of altars and later it was called as ‘Budhayana Sulabha Sutra’, as several mathematical results were shown in this book.

The name of Aryabhata will stand first from the point of contribution to mathematical field is concerned, he is an famous astronomer too, few of his famous works are Aryabhatiya and Arya Siddhanta.

Other prominent mathematicians were Jayadeva, he belongs to ninth century, who have developed further on cyclic method which is known as ‘Chakravala’ method. Brahmagupta was another famous mathematician, he has studied and explained briefly the Pell’s equation which is of prime importance, and another great mathematician was Bhaskaracharya, who have made some notable contributions as mathematician was algorithmic approach at an very early age.

Mahaveera was another mathematician from South India, he belongs to 9th century and his contributions has given some special emphasis on the problems related to quadratic and cubic equations, his contributions were particularly more influential in Southern part of India.

Another notable mathematician of 14th century was ‘Madhava’, his works includes discovery of elements related to differential calculus, he had also made an approximation of pie, not only that he has initiated a school of mathematics in Kerala, and few of his followers including Nilakantha and Jyesthadeva.

Gopala who was also one of the noted mathematician in India, who have studied the Fibonacci numbers in 1135 and the astonishing thing here is these numbers were popularized by Fibonacci after a half century period, Pingala was also ancient mathematician and an eminent writer, his famous work was Chandas Shastra, it was a Sanskrit treatise on prosody which has been considered as one of the famous Vedanga, and he is root person in the development of advanced mathematical concepts for his descriptions on patterns of prosody.

Some other famous mathematicians in the later stage are S. Ramanujan, A. A. Krishnaswami Ayyangar, P. C Mahalanobis, D. K. Ray-Chaudhuri, Harish-Chandra, Calyampudi Radhakrishna Rao, Shreeram Shankar Abhyankar, Ramdas Lotu Bhirud, Jayant Narlikar, and Manjul Bhargava, etc.

The person who have made significant contribution in the field of ternary quadratic forms was Manjula Bhargava, his works have a deep insight and will continue to help as an mathematical guidance in the coming and modern decades.

Harish Chandra was also another person but was as famous as others, his works consists of the basis of Langland’s theory of automorphic forms, which have a vast generalization in the modular forms.


S.Ramanujan was in all probability the most famous in those year of modern mathematics in India, he has wonderful works which resulted in the number of theories but out of them the most famous discovery was in the field of mathematic and arithmetic theory of modular form type, in the year 1916 he has presented a paper which contained the study of pie function.


He is famous for his work in number theory and also in algebraic geometry, but his life was very short spanned life, he had realized at an tender stage that the spirit of mathematics is the need of the hour and it demanded him not only his routine work on this but it is on developments, he has all the ambition to develop theorems.

He was born in the year 1938 in the month of January in Chennai, among his siblings he was the eldest, from his very early age he has shown immense interest in learning mathematics, he had started designing few complex mechanical devices at the tender age of ten, it was done with his Lego set, at the age of 12 he had a chemistry laboratory in his room, where he used to make experiments constantly with different chemicals as he had an extraordinary zeal for learning, he used to embarrass his teachers with different and difficult questions.

Later he had joined Loyola College in Chennai, he took mathematics as his electives, at the age of eighteen he went to Mumbai to join Tata Institute of Fundamental Research in the year 1957. He had shown immense versatility and incredible talent and as a result of this he took his doctorate and also honored with the post of Associate Professor.

But mathematics was only not his passion he had also interested in literature he has written several fiction and non-fiction stories also. As in the year 1974 at the tender age of 37 he left for heavenly abode and cause for his death was later knows as depression.

Satyendranath Bose

He was an Indian mathematician and also a physicist, he was collaborated with Albert Einstein in the development of an theory in connection with gas-like qualities and electromagnetic radiation, but he was better known for his work on quantum mechanics, which ultimately known as Bose-Einstein statistics and also called as Bose-Einstein condensate.

He was born at Kolkata, he had studied at Hindu School and later he joined Presidency College, he was always remembered as a brilliant student and these qualities he had maintained throughout his life, his eminent teachers when he was studying was Jagadish Chandra Bose and Prafull Roy, he had worked as lecturer in physics department in the university of Kolkata, but in the year 1924 he presented a paper which did not took much interest in others, but in the later stages it catch the eye of Einstein, and invited him to join him, Bose had also studied and shown much interest in the field of Chemistry, geology, zoology, anthropology, engineering and in Bengali literature, he has prepared several of his science papers in Bengali language, in the year 1958 he got his fellowship from Royal Society of England.


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