Tuesday, August 14, 2007

kerala school of mathematics and calculus

aug 14th, 2007

the information about george joseph's research is not new; he has had a couple of editions of his book out already. and it's not as though he personally dug up all this information either. the late manuscriptologist k v sharma shared a good bit of information about the aryabhatiya, and the works by the kerala school of mathematics and astronomy some years ago with me, and if i am not mistaken, they were *mostly* written in sanskrit, not malayalam. ian pierce's website has been my standard reference for this.

anyway, the person who has done the most to follow up the trail is professor c k n raju. i met him a few years ago at a conference, and he mentioned how he had tried to access the vatican archives to follow the trail of how the material got from the jesuits in cochin to the europeans, but had been denied permission (how not-surprising!) to pursue that line of research.

see the next post, which is recent mail from c k n raju about how the royal society in britain is stealing his work! the more things change, the more they remain the same. yet another instance of some white guy stealing an indian's ideas. (yes, i am willing to give ckn raju the benefit of the doubt).

here's a previous post of mine on the topic of indian mathematics on this blog, from july 2005:

jul 5

i was asked to provide references. here's one from ck raju whom i have met
and had some discussions with. the force of circumstantial evidence for the
invention of the infinetismal calculus in kerala is quite overwhelming. the
gregory series should rightly be renamed after madhava, neelakantha, et al
based on the usual principle of first discoverer getting the credit.

this is one of the problems i have about the deification of the DWMs. some
of the deification rightfully belongs to DIMs (dead ind ian males). :-)

i also discussed this issue with the manuscriptologist kv sharma. he has the
authoritative critical edition of the 'aryabhatiya' to his credit, among
many, many other manuscripts in mathematics that show an astonishingly high
level of mathematical knowledge that is not acknowledged by europeans to
this day.


ian pearce's website has a lot of info on ind ian mathematics and is worth a
visit. the particular page about this topic is. pearce is a young research
scholar, and when i talked to him, he said he was convinced that ind ian
mathematics has not gotten anywhere near the recognition it deserves.