If we play with it a bit, we see the absurdity of this need to protect our psychological selves. This seeing does not expand our territory, in fact it shrinks it! It happens when we are alert and attentive, and it has the same quality and energy as when we hold a question without looking for answers. As mathematicians we are often told: if you really understand a problem, then the answer lies in it. It appears to me that the key to understanding ourselves lies in this ability to ask questions...read more
Geometry in the Sulvasutras: mathematics which has stood the test of time. This article by professors Dani and Limaye highlights the understanding and applications of mathematics in Vedic times in a most readable and inspiring manner. KG Misra takes a hard look at coaching programs in mathematics and the way the pressures of entrance examinations dumb down elegant reasoning in mathematics and convey a completely false impression about the definition of being successful in mathematics. There i...read more
AtRiA, November 2019 focuses on journeys -some are enjoyable, some tiresome, some endless. A mathematician’s journey is full of unexpected delight, simply because of unexpected detours, sudden discoveries and interesting alternatives. Have fun as you travel with us. Read all about the young Yatris and their journey of discovery in Features. This section also describes more abstract journeys from the Regular Pentagon to the Icosahedron and the Dodecahedron (Part 2) and from the familiar 2 and ...read more
The beautiful image that you see on the cover is a fractal, a recent entrant into the world of mathematics, dating from the 1980s in the work of the mathematician Benoit Mandelbrot, who himself coined the term ‘fractal’. Mandelbrot recognised that most objects found in nature cannot be modelled very well by the regular objects we encounter in Euclidean geometry (triangles, rectangles, circles, spheres…). Here are some famous quotes of his about fractals:
“A fractal is a mathematical se...read more
Lazy summer afternoons spent playing endless games of Sutli or hopscotch or any of those absorbing games have often become the topic of endless reminiscing about the good old days. Well, let’s bring them back! With a math slant at that. Can the shapes made with knotted string lead to a better understanding of Euclidean geometry and 3 D space? Can the mobiles which hang over a baby’s crib be used to understand how to solve equations? Can a teacher see how easy it is to reinvent a toy or a game...read more
Sense-making in mathematics is all too necessary if we need to keep our wits about us in today’s world, particularly with the onslaught of
information that we face every day. NCF 2005 speaks about the importance of developing reasoning skills in children and this is the
foundation of mathematical competency. A school course that does not develop this skill in children is surely shortchanging them.
The word ‘heuristics’ has always left me fumbling for the perfect definition. Rule of thumb seems adequate but too informal, as a teacher trainer, I’ve always preferred to illustrate rather than define this word. And the first article in the November issue does just that- Gaurav Bhatnagar, leads you gently into the Exponential Series- a heuristic definition! The relaxed tone continues with V. G. Tikekar setting the stage to arrive at formulae which are usually given and prove...read more
The (un)popular view of mathematics being a terrifying subject takes a completely new twist with the first article in which a mathematician takes on a terrorist threat! The hunt for answers to a mathematical problem is usually an absorbing one, at least to aficionados of the subject but Arun Vaidya's fascinating story I M Code makes it a matter of life and death.
Following this, we have an article on another application of mathematics: Interpolation by Sankaran Viswanath. You will see a...read more
Going to the heart of the art is key to mathematics.Yes, a picture can be a powerful pedagogical tool. This issue of At Right Angles celebrates the art of the matter. The cover image by Avita Chauhan of the Azim Premji Foundation sparked some thought on how mathematics is so much about going to the heart of the matter. Read how we generated her image using GeoGebra and then transformed it to a completely new work of art. Art and Math find a new meeting place at the Foundation!, Anot...read more
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