UPSC IAS Exam: Indian Mathematicians and their Contributions

History is an important part of UPSC IAS Prelims and UPSC Mains Examination. It is essential to know about the ancient, medieval and modern time Indian mathematicians and their contribution to Science and Mathematics. Ancient Indian mathematicians have contributed immensly to the field of mathematics. The invention of zero is attributed to Indians and this contribution outweighs all other made by any other nation since it is the basis of the decimal number system, without which no advancement in mathematics would have been possible. The number system used today was invented by Indians and it is still called Indo-Arabic numerals because Indians invented them and the Arab merchants took them to the western world.

Here we are giving the list of important Indian mathematicians from ancient to modern times.

Indian Mathematicians and their Contributions

Bhaskara

  • He is also known as Bhaskaracharya.
  • He was born in 1114.
  • He was the one who acknowledged that any number divided by zero is infinity and that the sum of any number and infinity is also infinity.
  • The famous book “Siddhanta Siromani” was written by him.

Aryabhata

  • He was born in 476 CE at Kusumapura.
  • He was regarded as the first of the major mathematician-astronomers from the classical age.
  • Aryabhaṭiya and Arya-Siddhanta were his known works.
  • He worked on the ‘place value system’ using letters to signify numbers and stating qualities.
  • He discovered the position of the 9 planets and found that these planets revolve around the sun.
  • He also described the number of days in a year to be 365.

Brahmagupta

  • He was born in 598 CE near present-day Rajasthan.
  • The most important contribution of Brahmagupta to mathematics was introducing the concept and computing methods of zero (0).

Srinivasa Ramanujan

  • He was born on 1887.
  • His important contributions to this field are
    • Hardy-Ramanujan-Littlewood circle method in number theory
    • Roger-Ramanujan’s identities in partition of numbers
    • Work on algebra of inequalities
    • Elliptic functions
    • Continued fractions
    • Partial sums and products of hypergeometric series

P.C. Mahalanobis

  • P.C. Mahalanobis was born in 1893.
  • He is known for
    • Mahalanobis distance
    • Feldman–Mahalanobis model

Calyampudi Radhakrishna Rao

  • R Rao was born in 1920.
  • He is a well-known statistician.
  • He is famous for his ‘Theory of estimation’.
  • He is known for
    • Cramer–Rao bound
    • Rao–Blackwell theorem
    • Orthogonal arrays
    • Score test

D. R. Kaprekar

  • D. R. Kaprekar was a recreational mathematician.
  • He discovered several results in number theory, comprising a class of numbers and a constant named after him.

Satyendranath Bose

  • He was born in 1894.
  • He is known for his collaboration with Albert Einstein.
  • He is best known for his work on quantum mechanics.
  • He famous contributions are
    • Bose–Einstein correlations
    • Bose–Einstein condensate
    • Bose–Einstein distribution
    • Bose–Einstein statistics
    • Boson
    • Bose gas
    • Photon gas
    • Ideal Bose equation of state

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