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Indian Mathematicians and their Contributions to Mathematics

  • June 06, 2022

Once upon a time, in the mystical land of ancient India, beneath the shade of towering banyan trees and amidst the soft whispers of the monsoon rains, a remarkable journey in the realm of mathematics began. It was an era when the world was still struggling to count its blessings, while the Indian mathematicians were diving deep into the enigmatic universe of numbers.

In this captivating tale, we shall embark on a journey to explore the profound contributions of Indian mathematicians to the world of mathematics. These luminaries of their time left an indelible mark, not only on the pages of history but also on the very foundation of mathematical thought. From the mind-boggling concept of zero to the mystical realms of algebra, calculus, and Vedic mathematics. Indian mathematicians were trailblazers who paved the way for modern mathematics.

Join us as we unravel the complex tapestry of mathematical wonders created by Aryabhata, Brahmagupta, and Ramanujan, whose brilliance transcended time and continues to inspire generations of mathematicians across the world. Their stories are more than simply chapters in a book; they are windows into a world where numbers danced to the beat of the universe, revealing truths that would change the destiny of human understanding.



Aryabhata, the ancient Indian mathematician and astronomer, is celebrated for his remarkable contributions to the field of mathematics. Born in 476 CE in Kusumapura (modern-day Patna), his groundbreaking work, the "Aryabhatiya," revolutionized mathematical thought in India and beyond.

One of Aryabhata's most notable achievements was his introduction of the decimal system and the concept of zero. He used a place-value notation system and symbols for numbers, which laid the foundation for the numerical system we use today. His recognition of zero as a numerical placeholder was a pivotal moment in the history of mathematics, enabling complex calculations and the development of algebra.

Aryabhata also made significant advancements in trigonometry. He provided accurate approximations for the values of trigonometric functions, including sine and cosine, and calculated the value of π (pi) to an astonishingly precise value of 3.1416.

Aryabhata's legacy not only shaped the mathematical landscape of his time but also influenced generations of mathematicians and astronomers, leaving an indelible mark on the world of science and mathematics.


Brahmagupta was a 7th-century CE Indian mathematician and astronomer. He made substantial contributions to mathematics, notably algebra and number theory. Some of his significant contributions include:

 Brahmagupta developed principles for solving quadratic equations and devised a method for determining the two solutions to the general quadratic problem. This was a significant development in algebra. He is credited for establishing the notion of zero as a number, as well as describing the operations using zero. He also dealt with negative numbers and set rules for their operations, albeit he saw negative solutions to equations as "debts" or "losses."

Brahmagupta developed rules for arithmetic operations with fractions, which laid the foundation for modern fractional mathematics. In addition to algebra, he made contributions to geometry. He studied various types of quadrilaterals and provided formulas for calculating the area of cyclic quadrilaterals.

Brahmagupta's work had a lasting impact on Indian and Islamic mathematics and played a crucial role in the development of algebra and number theory in the ancient world. His pioneering ideas, especially the concept of zero, continue to be fundamental in modern mathematics.

Srinivasa Ramanujan

Srinivasa Ramanujan made significant contributions to mathematics, particularly in the field of number theory. Some of his key contributions include:

Ramanujan's work on modular forms revolutionized the study of elliptic functions and modular functions. He discovered a vast number of new identities and properties of these functions, which had a profound impact on the theory of numbers. He devised the famous Ramanujan prime, a special type of prime number that has unique properties related to its distribution, and it's often used in number theory. Ramanujan made ground-breaking discoveries related to partitions of numbers. His work on the partition function, denoted as "p(n)," provided new insights into the ways in which integers can be expressed as sums of positive integers. Ramanujan collaborated with G. H. Hardy and J. E. Littlewood on the circle method, which is an important technique in analytic number theory.

Ramanujan's work has had a lasting impact on mathematics, inspiring further research in number theory, modular forms, and related fields. His notebooks, containing thousands of theorems and results, continue to be a source of inspiration for mathematicians worldwide.


Bhaskara II, also known as Bhaskaracharya, made significant contributions to various branches of mathematics. Some of his notable contributions include:

Bhaskara II made substantial advancements in algebra. In his work "Lilavati," he solved various algebraic equations and arithmetic topics, including methods for finding square and cube roots, divisibility rules, and techniques for solving problems related to interest rates and mixtures. He also introduced the concept of "Bijaganita" (algebra) as a separate branch of mathematics. Bhaskara's "Bijaganita" contains geometric principles and methods for solving geometric problems. He explored topics like the geometry of spheres and gave rules for finding the volumes of solids, including spheres and frustums of cones. Bhaskara made important contributions to trigonometry. He introduced the trigonometric identities, including the basic formulas for sine and cosine, which are fundamental in trigonometry. He also explored the properties of right-angled triangles.

The contributions of Bhaskara II to mathematics established the groundwork for further breakthroughs in Indian and global mathematics. For centuries, his works, particularly "Lilavati" and "Siddhanta Shiromani," have been studied and revered, and they remain significant sources of mathematical knowledge and historical insight.

Jagadguru Swami Sri Bharati Krishna Tirthaji Maharaja

Vedic mathematics is an ancient Indian system of mathematical procedures and ideas. It is based on the ancient Hindu writings known as the Vedas. Vedic mathematics encompasses a wide range of techniques for performing mathematical operations, solving equations, and simplifying difficult computations. Vedic mathematics is distinguished by its emphasis on mental computation, speed, and efficiency.

Prominent Indian mathematicians like Jagadguru Swami Sri Bharati Krishna Tirthaji Maharaja are known for popularizing and systematizing Vedic mathematics in the modern era. While Vedic mathematics has gained attention and popularity, its historical accuracy and connection to the Vedas have been subjects of debate among scholars.

In conclusion, the contributions of Indian mathematicians to the field of mathematics are not just historical footnotes, but an integral part of the rich tapestry of mathematical knowledge. From the foundational concepts of zero and decimal numerals to the profound insights of Aryabhata, Brahmagupta, and Bhaskara, India's mathematical heritage has left an indelible mark on the world.

However, the legacy of Indian mathematicians extends beyond their mathematical discoveries. It embodies the spirit of inquiry, curiosity, and innovation that continues to inspire mathematicians and scientists worldwide. Their contributions remind us that mathematics is a universal language that transcends borders and cultures.

In today's interconnected world, it is essential to recognize and celebrate the remarkable achievements of Indian mathematicians. Their work serves as a testament to the power of human intellect and the enduring quest for knowledge. As we honor their legacy, let us also encourage and support the mathematicians of tomorrow, for they are the ones who will continue to shape the future of mathematics and science.

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Nithin Raj