oct 11th, 2006
i heard about the kerala school of mathematics about two years ago when i attended a conference on indian mathematics in baton rouge, louisiana. amazing -- the calculus and infinite series were probably invented in kerala, not in europe.
also, i reiterate my claim that panini's grammar was pure genius -- it was the greatest invention of a single human mind in history. he invented the Grand Unified Theory of Language -- the audacity of which still boggles the mind 2600 years later!
someone sent me this paper, without a URL. i have met and interviewed k v sharma, a manuscriptologist, who edited the critical edition of the aryabhatiya. according to him, there is a tremendous amount of untapped mathematical knowledge in obscure palm-leaf manuscripts. these are rotting away, while the human resources minister invents ever newer ways of destroying indian education.
History of Mathematics in India
In all early civilizations, the first expression of mathematical understanding appears in the form of counting systems. Numbers in very early societies were typically represented by groups of lines, though later different numbers came to be assigned specific numeral names and symbols (as in India) or were designated by alphabetic letters (such as in Rome). Although today, we take our decimal system for granted, not all ancient civilizations based their numbers on a ten-base system. In ancient Babylon, a sexagesimal (base 60) system was in use...
thanks to drisya for the URL, which is: