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Home >> Person of the Week

Mathematicians of India - Aryabhata


Considered one of the biggest innovative thinkers and contributors to the Indian history, Aryabhata gave a whole new dimension to astronomy, mathematical rules and propositions.

Born in 476 A.D, in Kerala, the Hindu astronomer Aryabhata studied in Nalanda University near Kusumaputra, now Patna. His only surviving work is amassed in Aryabhatiya, recognised as a masterpiece. His genius led the ruler Gupta to promote him as the head of the University.

Aryabhata was the first to expound that the Earth is round and days and nights are caused because the Earth rotates around its axis. He also rightly explained about the occurrence of the eclipses. According to the Hindu Mythology, solar and lunar eclipses occur because "Rahu" gobbled up the moon and the sun. But he said the eclipses transpired due to the shadows cast by the Earth and the Moon.

His contributions in Mathematics are spectacular and very valuable. He gave the value of (PI) 3.1416, claiming, for the first time that it was just an analogue. It’s believed that he also formulated tables in maths, which later came to be called as the "Tables of Sine". His method to find solution for quadratic equations of the sort: ax(sq.) – by(sq.) = c is also recognised world-wide. He devised a method to write the cumbersome numbers in a poetic form. But this summary is rather complex to grasp. Basically, Aryabhatiya dealt with aspects of mathematics, astronomical calculations, geometry, square root, cube root, progression and celestial sphere, all written in Sanskrit in the form of verses.

His contribution is so vast that it is hard to write a small gist of the whole thing. In acknowledgement to his contributions in Astronomy and maths, India’s first satellite was named "ARYABHATA".

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