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A Passage to Infinity
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A Passage to Infinity
Medieval Indian Mathematics from Kerala and Its Impact



© 2010 | 323 pages | SAGE India
This book traces the first faltering steps taken in the mathematical theorisation of infinity which marks the emergence of modern mathematics. It analyses the part played by Indian mathematicians through the Kerala conduit, which is an important but neglected part of the history of mathematics.

Passage to Infinity: Medieval Indian Mathematics from Kerala and its Impact begins with an examination of the social origins of the Kerala School and proceeds to discuss its mathematical genesis as well as its achievements. It presents the techniques employed by the School to derive the series expansions for sine, cosine, arctan, and so on. By using modern notation but remaining close to the methods in the original sources, it enables the reader with some knowledge of trigonometry and elementary algebra to follow the derivations. While delving into the nature of the socio-economic processes that led to the development of scientific knowledge in pre-modern India, the book also probes the validity or otherwise of the conjecture of the transmission of Kerala mathematics to Europe through the Jesuit channel.

The book straddles two domains: science and social sciences. It will appeal to those interested in mathematics, statistics, medieval history, history of science and technology, links between mathematics and culture and the nature of movements of ideas across cultures.
 
Introduction
 
The Social Origins of the Kerala School
 
The Mathematical Origins of the Kerala School
 
The Highlights of Kerala Mathematics and Astronomy
 
Indian Trigonometry: From Ancient Beginnings to Nilakantha
 
Squaring the Circle: The Kerala Answer
 
Reaching for the Stars: The Power Series for Sines and Cosines
 
Changing Perspectives on Indian Mathematics
 
Exploring Transmissions: A Case Study of Kerala Mathematics to Europe
 
A Final Assessment
 
Bibliography
 
Index

The book traces the path and mode of transmission of knowledge from Kerala to Europe. The book also examines the mathematical genesis of the Kerala School and the Aryabhata School...the book will be of interest to those researchers who are working in the area of history of mathematics. Elementary knowledge of mathematics is adequate to enjoy reading this book.

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George Gheverghese Joseph

George Gheverghese Joseph was born in Kerala, India. His family moved to Mombasa in Kenya where he did his schooling. He studied at the University of Leicester, the United Kingdom, and then worked for six years in Kenya before pursuing his postgraduate studies at Manchester, the United Kingdom. He has travelled widely, holding university appointments and giving lectures at various universities around the world. He has appeared on radio and television programmes in India, the United States, Australia, South Africa and New Zealand, as well as the United Kingdom. In January 2000, he helped to organise an International Seminar and Colloquium... More About Author

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ISBN: 9789352809301
₹625.00

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