Math is everywhere around us. From discovering the wheel to developing a vaccine for a pandemic, math is a strong founding block. Behind all these revolutionary discoveries made by scientists, there were some people standing with huge piles of mathematical findings and proofs. These stalwarts are purely “mathemagicians”, but we generally call them as mathematicians.
We have had great mathematicians for thousands of years but we wouldn’t be able to denote thousand if we didn’t have the number zero. Factually, zero is something that is valueless but it was one of the earliest mathematical findings and has a vast history associated with it. The number zero was given to the world by a great mathematician who hailed from a far away land in the east. He was the great sage “Aryabhata” aka “Aryabhatt” and he was from India. India also has a fair share of other great mathematicians. Here’s a list of the top 20 famous Indian mathematicians and their great contribution:
Table of Contents
Aryabhata aka Aryabhatta
Aryabhata was an Indian mathematician and astronomer of the Gupta Era (4000 CE to 6000 CE). His only known surviving work is “Aryabhatiya”. He mentioned in Aryabhatiya that he was 23 years of age in 3600 Kaliyuga (or 499 CE). From this annotation we can calculate that he was born in his birth year to be 476 CE. Aryabhata has done tremendous work in the field of algebra, arithmetic, trigonometry, quadratic and indeterminate equations, and astronomy.
Brahmagupta was an Indian mathematician and astronomer (598 CE to 668 CE). Brahmagupta was an author of two books namely Brahmasphutasiddhanta and Khandakhadyaka. Brahmagupta was the first to give rules to do mathematical calculations with zero. His work includes solution of the general linear equation, sum of the squares and cubes of the first n integers, calculations involving integers, generating Pythagorean triples, Brahmagupta’s Interpolation formula and Brahmagupta’s theorem for cyclic quadrilaterals.
Bhaskara – I was a 7th-century mathematician and astronomer. He was the first to write numbers in the Hindu decimal system. It is also found that Bhaskara-I was the first to denote zero with a circle. One of the most valuable findings of Bhaskara- I involves finding a unique rational approximation of the sine function.
Srinivasa Ramanujan Iyengar (22 December 1887 – 26 April 1920) was an Indian mathematician who lived during the British colonization in India. He has made tremendous contributions in the fields of mathematical analysis, number theory, infinite series, and continued fractions. His work published in the form of Ramanujan’s journal, has inspired many generations of mathematicians. He was one of the youngest fellows of the Royal society and the first Indian to be elected as a fellow of Trinity college London.
Popularly known as the “human computer”, Shakuntala Devi was an Indian mathematician, writer, and a novelist. Shakuntala Devi had immense talent in the field of mental calculation and memorisation. She holds the Guiness world record for computing a multiplication of two randomly picked thirteen digit numbers in mere 28 seconds.
Dr. Raman Parimala (born 21 November 1948) is an Indian mathematician. She is best known for her major contributions in the field of algebra. She is currently working as the Arts & Sciences Distinguished Professor of Mathematics at Emory University. Dr. Parimala also holds a place in the Abel prize selection Committee.
Prasanta Chandra Mahalanobis (29 June 1893– 28 June 1972) was an Indian scientist and statistician. His revolutionary contribution was the Mahalanobis distance, a statistical measure. He was one of the pioneering members of the first Planning Commission of free India. Mahalanobis is credited to popularize the study of anthropometry in India. He founded the Indian Statistical Institute, in the year of 1931. He is also popularly known as the father of modern statistics in India.
Neena Gupta (born in 1984) is currently working as a professor at the Statistics and Mathematics Unit of the prestigious Indian Statistical Institute (ISI), Kolkata. Her area of expertise includes commutative algebra and affine algebraic geometry. In 2019 she won the Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Prize for Science and Technology in the category of mathematical sciences and the Ramanujan award of 2022.
[Read: Top mathematical influencers]
C R Rao
Dr. Calyampudi Radhakrishna Rao, (born 10 September 1920) is an Indian-American mathematician and statistician. He is currently professor emeritus at Pennsylvania State University and Research Professor at the University at Buffalo. Rao has won many prestigious awards and is conferred by the American Statistical Association as a living legend.
Sujatha Ramdorai (born 1962) is an algebraic number theorist and is acclaimed in the field of Iwasawa theory.She is currently working as a professor of mathematics and Canada Research Chair at University of British Columbia, Canada.
Ashutosh Mukherjee (29 June 1864 – 25 May 1924) was a mathematician hailing from the current day West Bengal. He was the first student to be awarded a dual degree (MA in Mathematics and MSc in Physics) from Calcutta University. Mukherjee founded the Bengal Technical Institute in 1906, which was later known as Jadavpur University. He also founded the University College of Science (Rajabazar Science College) of Calcutta University in 1914.
R C Bose
Raj Chandra Bose (19 June 1901 – 31 October 1987) was an Indian American mathematician and statistician renowned for his work in design theory, finite geometry and the theory of error-correcting codes. He has done notable work in developing the notions of partial geometry, association schemes and study of difference sets to construct symmetric block designs. Dr. Bose was a major contributor for his work along with S. S. Shrikhande and E. T. Parker in their disproof of the famous conjecture made by Leonhard Euler dated 1782, about the existence of two mutually orthogonal Latin squares of order 4n + 2 for every n.
She is an Indian mathematician who has done research in pure mathematics. She initially worked at the esteemed Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR) in Mumbai and went on to work with University of Pune.
Vanaja Iyengar (died 2001) was an Indian mathematician from the state of Andhra Pradesh. She had laid the foundations of Sri Padmavati Mahila Visvavidyalayam, and also worked as a Vice Chancellor there. Vanaja was also one of the founders of the Andhra Mahila Sabha School of Informatics.
R S Kulkarni
Ravindra Shripad Kulkarni (born 1942) is an Indian mathematician and is well acclaimed in the field of differential geometry. He is also best known for the Kulkarni–Nomizu product. He was awarded a PhD from Harvard University in the year of 1968.
Ajit Iqbal Singh
Ajit Iqbal Singh (born 1943) is an Indian mathematician. Her major contributions have been in the field of functional analysis and harmonic analysis. Dr, Singh is a Fellow of the Indian National Science Academy (INSA) and the National Academy of Sciences (India), based in Allahabad.
Kalyanapuram Rangachari Parthasarathy (born 25 June 1936) is an Indian probabilist, and a former part of the Indian Statistical Institute. He has done revolutionary work in the field of quantum stochastic calculus.
Phoolan Prasad (born 1 January 1944) is an Indian mathematician. His area of excellence includes Partial differential equations and fluid mechanics. He was awarded with the highest honor in the field of Science and Technology by the Indian Government and is also a fellow of many Indian national science institutes.
T. A. Sarasvati Amma
Sarasvati Amma (26 December 1918 – 15 August 2000) was an Indian mathematician who majorly worked on popularizing work on geometry done in ancient and medieval India. She translated most of the ancient work from Sanskrit to English.
Bhama Srinivasan (born 22 April 1935) is an Indian mathematician and is vastly known for her work in the representation theory of finite groups. The 1990 Noether Lecture was dedicated to her contributions .She presently works as a professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago.
All these “mathemagicians” have one thing in common, they all had a strong conceptual understanding of math right from their childhood. Conceptual understanding and a strong foundation in math is the aim of Byju’s Future School. The focus of the teaching in Byju’s Future School is centered on the best way in which a student can understand math. Also, the Byju’s Future School online classes play a pivotal part in getting conceptual clarity of the math syllabus, which helps the students gain distinctions and they are more confident as compared to their peers! A trial class should be valuable for a student to opt for the classes offered by Byju’s Future School.