The Republic of India is a South Asian country known for being the second most populous country in the world. India's cuisine, spices, arts and literature, textiles, theater (Bollywood) and much more have all contributed to the world. However, her contributions to mathematics, ranging from antiquity to the present day, are among her most significant. In the world of mathematics, Indian geniuses made revolutionary changes as well as advances and specializations. So it's important that we recognize the contributions of these 15 most famous Indian mathematicians and learn more about what they have done for us!
Also read:15 Most Famous Indian Historical Figures
This polymath is another well-known Indian mathematician, known worldwide for his contributions to the fields of geometry and number theory. His most significant contribution was his recognition of zero as a number, which was a novel concept in ancient mathematics. He laid down all the rules and conventions surrounding the use of zero as a number. His groundbreaking revolution led to the development of today's form of the mathematical number system. He proved Brahmagupta's theorem for cyclic quadrilaterals, a great discovery of his time.
2. Srinivasa Ramanujan
Ramanujan, the math genius, taught himself math after failing English in high school. His contributions to analytical number theory, elliptic functions, continued fractions and infinite series are well known. On his set of 120 theorems, which he sent to Cambridge, he was also invited to England. He taught a more important lesson that failure doesn't last because he didn't let his failure discourage him and instead continued to teach himself math, which he loved. Many mathematicians, not only in India but around the world, were inspired by him.
Aryabhatta is a name to remember from ancient India as an unsurpassed teacher of great knowledge. Math, astronomy, and science were just some of the subjects he was well versed in. He wrote the "Aryabhatiya", a comprehensive treatise covering a wide range of integral subjects in mathematics such as trigonometry and algebra. He was the first to give an approximation of the value of pi and to do various other mathematical derivations. His contribution to mathematics as the founder of the number system was unparalleled and he is therefore included in our list of the most famous Indian mathematicians.
Bhaskara is a well-known Indian mathematician from ancient times. Bhaskara was both a revered astronomer and a doyen of mathematics. He made important discoveries in both areas. To make life easier and more scientific, he delved into the number system and came up with simple formulas for squaring and multiplying numbers. His work had a significant impact on the development of the number system over time. A creator at heart, Bhaskara is credited with laying the foundations of mathematics in India through his significant work.
5. PC Mahalanobis
Prasanta Chandra Mahalanobis, known as the "Father of Indian Statistics", is a well-known Indian mathematician whose contributions to the field of statistics are legendary. His contribution to statistics, which includes developing the concept of pilot and large-scale surveys, has placed him among India's greatest mathematicians. The Mahalanobis model was also used in the second five-year plan, which focused on industrialization. P.C Mahalanobis, also known as the "Father of Indian Statistics", founded the Indian Institute of Statistical Science. June 29 is declared National Statistics Day in his honor, in recognition of his outstanding contributions to statistics as an important branch of mathematics.
6. C. R. Rao
One of the most famous Indian mathematicians of all time is Calyampudi Radhakrishna Rao. Estimation theory, biometrics, statistical inference and functional equations have all benefited from the contributions of a living genius and one of India's most celebrated mathematicians. He was passionate about data analysis and statistical education and his goal was to promote India in the field of statistics. He has helped gifted students pursue careers in statistics and continues to inspire them to explore new territory. From a young age, his life revolves around the world of statistics and its future.
7. Ashutosh Mukherjee
Ashutosh Mukherjee, India's greatest mathematician, expanded the scope of mathematics in the country. He discovered the talents of others like C.V. Raman and S. Radhakrishan. He was a nobleman and one of the most important names in the Indian educational system. He wrote a number of scientific papers in the fields of mathematics and physics. He was a member of several important mathematical societies in different countries and a promoter of mathematical research. He made significant contributions to the field of differential geometry. He was a mathematician on par with some of the most prominent figures of the era.
8. Raj Chandra Bose
Raj Chandra Bose, an Indian mathematician and statistician, persisted in pursuing his passion against all odds. Despite severe financial constraints, he completed his bachelor's and master's degrees, after which Mahalanobis invited him to work at ISI to do statistical research and take a part-time position. RC Bose's contributions to statistics have been admired around the world.
9. K. R. Parthasarthy
K. R. Parthasarthy, a statistician, probability theorist and mathematician who is well known in the fields of mathematics and physics, ranks second on the list of the most famous Indian mathematicians. He was the creator of quantum stochastic calculus, an advanced branch of mathematics that combines statistics and calculus principles. He worked in this field for many years and dedicated his life to conducting various types of mathematical research. This man was, as is rightly said, "a different kind of spirit."
10. Phoolan Prasad
This man has received numerous awards and is known across the country and around the world for his pioneering contributions to the concepts of differential equations and fluid mechanics. He has written several books on his research, which is a unique and futuristic blend of mathematics and physics. He was successful in evaluating the properties of equations describing various physical phenomena and applying them to the development of new physical principles.
11. Shakuntala Devi
One of the most famous Indian mathematicians of all time, Shakuntala Devi was also known as the human-computer. She was given this name because of her incredible ability to solve math problems without using a calculator. She even competed with a computer in Dallas to see who could find the cube root of 188138517 faster, and she won! She then competed against UNIVAC, the world's fastest computer, to solve the 23rd square root of a 201-digit number, which she also won! A woman with incredible talent and incredible world records!
12. D.R. Kaprekar
Dattatreya Ramchandra Kaprekar was a teacher after graduating from the prestigious University of Mumbai. He has contributed to a variety of topics including magic squares, repeating decimals, and whole numbers with special properties, among others. Even a constant is named after this mathematician.
13. Narendra Karmarkar
Karmarkar earned his bachelor's degree in Electrical Engineering from IIT Bombay and went on to pursue his Ph.D. in the United States. He is best known for inventing polynomial-time algorithms for solving linear programming problems. Algorithms were born as a result of the merging of international technology and mathematics by this brilliant mind.
14. Harish Chandra
The theory of infinite-dimensional group representation is credited to the Indian-born American physicist and mathematician. He made numerous contributions throughout his life and was awarded the Cole Prize by the American Mathematical Society.
15.Subbayya Sivasankaranarayana Pillai
Subbayya Sivasankaranarayana Pillai was a number theorist and Indian mathematician. K. S. Chandrasekaran described his contribution to Waring's problem in 1950 as "almost certainly his best work and one of the very finest achievements in Indian mathematics since Ramanujan".
We have come to the end of our list of the most famous Indian mathematicians. Let us know below if we missed anyone.