2006 BBC program on Indian mathematics

Dominik Wujastyk wujastyk at GMAIL.COM
Wed Jan 9 07:48:58 EST 2013


   - http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p0038xb0

Indian Mathematics
> Availability:over a year left to play Duration: 45 minutesFirst broadcast:Thursday
> 14 December 2006
>
> Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss the contribution Indian mathematicians
> have made to our understanding of the subject. Mathematics from the Indian
> subcontinent has provided foundations for much of our modern thinking on
> the subject. They were thought to be the first to use zero as a number. Our
> modern numerals have their roots there too. And mathematicians in the area
> that is now India, Pakistan and Bangladesh were grappling with concepts
> such as infinity centuries before Europe got to grips with it. There’s even
> a suggestion that Indian mathematicians discovered Pythagoras’ theorem
> before Pythagoras.
>
> Some of these advances have their basis in early religious texts which
> describe the geometry necessary for building falcon-shaped altars of
> precise dimensions. Astronomical calculations used to decide the dates of
> religious festivals also encouraged these mathematical developments.
>
> So how were these advances passed on to the rest of the world? And why was
> the contribution of mathematicians from this area ignored by Europe for
> centuries?
> With George Gheverghese Joseph, Honorary Reader in Mathematics Education
> at Manchester University; Colva Roney-Dougal, Lecturer in Pure Mathematics
> at the University of St Andrews; Dennis Almeida, Lecturer in Mathematics
> Education at Exeter University and the Open University.
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