Gonitsora says maths can be fun, Google agrees

Bilingual webpage awarded 6 out of 10 rank; book on mathematicians and scientists in the offing

By Smita Bhattacharyya in Jorhat
  • Published 5.05.15
Screenshot of the Gonitsora website

Jorhat, May 4: An attempt to popularise mathematics and numbers, that began with two students from Tezpur University and just 21 articles, has now achieved worldwide recognition online, with a large number of well-wishers and members.

Gonitsora.com, the only bilingual website on maths in the country, is looking to expand its activities, having achieved a Google webpage rank of 6, on a scale of 1 to 10.

The founders of the website, which is popular for being both in Assamese and English, have also opened a technology-related website, www.tech.gonitsora.com. They will soon publish a book on mathematicians and scientists for schoolchildren, apart from hosting the mathematics carnival of Aperiodical.com, a maths website, this summer.

Pankaj Jyoti Mahanta, one of the founders, along with Manjil P. Saikia, said the technology website, which is still in the planning stage, would have technology-related articles. "We are yet to start it on a full-fledged basis, but initially we will put up articles in English related to the latest technology and on those who have worked with this technology," he said.

"When we started out, we had a small dream - to create a magazine, which would show that mathematics is not about boring formulas and equations, it is about having fun and learning. We have accomplished that goal in a small measure, but a lot more is to be done," Manjil P. Saikia, co-founder, wrote in a message. He is at present doing his masters in maths in Italy.

At present, the website gets nearly 95,000 page views and more than 1.1 million hits per month.

"We have articles that have been linked from many important websites, including Wikipedia, MIT, Theorem of the Day and Forbes, to mention a few. We have achieved a Google page rank of 6, and have got visits from almost 150 different countries," Mahanta said.

Explaining the Google rank, Mahanta said the ranking was from 1 to 10, 10 being the highest. "There are only 30 pages which have 10 ranking, Facebook has eight and six is considered to be very good," he said.

Among those who helped them achieve this success are professor Sujatha Ramdora, professor Siddhartha Sen and Dhruba Jyoti Saikia who allowed them to hold the first outreach programme in his university and Manabendra Saharia for bailing them out financially by paying the steep website bills.

They are also indebted to Pravega, the annual science, technology and cultural festival of the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, World Scientific for unrestricted access to the Asia Pacific Mathematics Newsletter and Shutterstock.com for unrestricted access to its wonderful collection of images, all 50 million of them free of charge.

Gonitsora organised a colloquium at Cotton College State University in August last year and another at Dibrugarh University will be organised sometime in August this year.

Gonitsora has instituted two awards, one for a meritorious student who passes the Assam HSLC examination and the other to any student who qualifies for the Indian National Mathematical Olympiad from a centre in Assam. It now has 500 articles, including excerpts of the life of and interviews with mathematicians and scientists in India and abroad.