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Numbers game to remember genius

- Super 30 founder finds unique way to promote maths

Mathematics needs to be enjoyed, because one just cannot imagine life without it.

Super 30 founder and ace mathematician Anand Kumar was speaking at a function organised to mark the 126th birth anniversary of mathematics legend Srinivasa Ramanujan at his institute.

The function was organised to generate interest among students for higher education in mathematics. Anand said Indians have traditionally been good in mathematics but in the last couple of decades, this advantage has been lost, as reflected in various surveys on school education.

On how to develop interest about the subject among students, Anand said: “India needs good teachers, who could take things forward. The challenge is to first develop good teachers by creating the right environment. Who knows one day, India would also produce a mathematician worthy of the Field Medal, considered the highest honour in the field of mathematics,” he added.

Even the students were delighted after taking part in the function.

Ravi Sah, a student of Ramanujan School of Mathematics, said: “The function was one of a kind. Before the function, Anand Kumar gave us 10 mathematics questions and asked us to solve them in half-an-hour. However, after the time got over, Anand answered all questions using a single formula. The message was clear — if a student knows about mathematical tricks, problem solving is easy.”

The formula by which Anand solved the questions was drawn from calculus, algebra, trigonometry and others.

Prabhat Kumar Jha, another student, said: “Anand laid emphasis on how to make mathematics easy so that it becomes interesting for students.”

Anand said in the era of reality shows, a reality show based on brain-teasing sums to generate interest about mathematics among children could also go a long way in generating interest among today’s students and turning mathematics into a mass movement.

“There seems to be a tendency to depend on rote learning, which kills students’ exploring ability. So, it is important to develop logical reasoning and ask whys and hows,” he added.

Anand said a series of events had been organised across the globe to mark Ramanujan’s 126th birth anniversary.

“India had declared 2012 as the Year of Mathematics as a mark of respect to the great mathematician. But the real objective should be to make such occasions count meaningfully,” he added.

The speaker said it was time to take a look at our education system because interest for mathematics needs to be identified in children.