Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Economic Survey 2006-07

There has been an impressive growth secondary and higher education with the total enrolment touching 30 percent with a significant rise in the enrolment of women students, says the Economic Survey 2006-07.The survey, tabled in the Lok Sabha Tuesday, said in the higher education sector, there has been an increase in annual student enrolment from 7.26 million in 1997-98 to 10.48 million in 2004-05.The number of women students rose from 2.45 million in 1997 to 4.04 million in 2004-05, constituting 40.4 percent of the total enrolment.The survey added that the number of secondary and higher secondary schools have increased from 7,416 in 1950-51 to 152,049 in 2004-05. The corresponding increase in total enrolment has been from 1.5 million in 1950-51 to 37 million in 2004-05.It further said that the national literacy mission, which looks after adult education (15-35 age group), is trying to achieve a sustainable threshold literacy rate of 75 percent by the end of 2007.At present 101 districts are implementing the total literacy campaign, 171 districts running post-literacy programmes and 325 districts continuing education programmes for the above age group.However, the survey expressed concern that the gross enrolment ratio for 14-16 age group was 51.55 percent as of Sep 30, 2004. Of the 16-18 age group (Class 11 and 12) it was 27.82 percent.

number theory puzzle

Mathematicians have finally laid to rest the legendary mystery surrounding an elusive group of numerical expressions known as the "mock theta functions." Number theorists have struggled to understand the functions ever since the great Indian mathematician Srinivasa Ramanujan first alluded to them in a letter written on his deathbed, in 1920. Their new theory is proving invaluable in the resolution of long-standing open questions in number theory. In addition, the UW-Madison advance will for the first time enable researchers to apply mock theta functions to problems in a variety of fields.Working from Ramanujan's letter, number theorists believed that mock theta functions are related to a well-understood class of mathematical expressions-the 'theta' functions-that have been in use for centuries. Theta functions constitute a certain sequence of numbers that has proved useful in various problems of mathematical analysis. Mock theta functions similarly constitute an infinite series of numbers. But what has been completely baffling is what it is about mock theta series that make them so rich and powerful

Tuesday, February 27, 2007


Some of the world's best mathematicians and computer modellers are to gather in Cairns in July 2009 for the 18th World Congress of the International Association for Mathematics and Computer Simulation (IMACS).The IMACS World Congress will focus on applying maths and computational sciences to modelling and simulation, particularly in the environmental, biological, socio-economic and engineering fields.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Mathematical model

There are no general laws of human relationships as there are for physics, but a leading marital researcher and group of applied mathematicians have teamed up to create a mathematical model that predicts which couples will divorce with astonishing accuracy. The model holds promise of giving therapists new tools for helping couples overcome patterns of interaction that can send them rushing down the road toward divorce. Psychologist John Gottman and applied mathematicians James D. Murray and Kristin Swanson will describe how the model was developed and how it enables Gottman to predict with 94 percent accuracy which couples will divorce after viewing just the first few moments of a conversation about an area of martial contention.

American Statistical Association

A report released recently by the American Statistical Association (ASA) offers an outline of guidelines for evaluating and reporting mathematics education research. The report, Using Statistics Effectively in Mathematics Education Research, is the result of three years of workshops funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and conducted by the ASA's Working Group on Statistics in Mathematics Education Research.The American Statistical Association (ASA), a scientific and educational society founded in Boston in 1839, is the second oldest professional society in the United States. For more than 160 years, ASA has been providing its 18,000 members serving in academia, government, and industry and the public with up-to-date, useful information about statistics. The ASA has a proud tradition of service to statisticians, quantitative scientists, and users of statistics across a wealth of academic areas and applications

Sunday, February 25, 2007


Students appearing for the CBSE class X examinations this year will face more of objective type questions in their mathematics and science and technology papers, a move aimed at helping them finish the tests in time. "The questions will be set in a manner so that the students will be able to answer all of them within the stipulated time," CBSE examination controller M C Sharma told. The mathematics paper, in which most of the students traditionally struggle, will have 80 marks devoted to theory and 20 to internal assessment. In the theory paper, there will be seven questions carrying two marks each, 12 questions carrying three marks each and six questions carrying five marks each. Similarly in science and technology, the theory paper will carry 60 marks comprising 24 questions. There will be three questions carrying five marks each, nine questions carrying three marks each, six questions carrying two marks each and six questions carrying one mark each. Last year the paper was of 75 marks with eight one mark questions, seven two marks questions, 11 three marks questions and four, five marks questions. The time given for the science and technology paper will be two and half hours, as against three hours last year. There will be no change in the question patterns of the other papers. Over seven lakh students will appear in the CBSE class X examinations which start from March 2.

Ramadorai Sujatha

Ramadorai Sujatha, an associate professor in mathematics at the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR), Mumbai has been awarded the Ramanujan Prize for 2006 by the world-renowned Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics (ICTP), located at Trieste, Italy.The ICTP, established 42 years ago at the initiative of Pakistani Nobel prize winner Abdus Salam, is supported by the Italian government and two United Nations bodies — UNESCO and International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). The prize was instituted last year and is named after the Indian mathematical genius Srinivasa Ramanujan who lived and died in obscurity in Tamil Nadu, writing brief notes and formulas in notebooks that scientists continue to ponder upon and explore. Sujatha, 44, has been working at the TIFR since 1985. Her work is related to certain kinds of equations that describe elliptic curves, on which the Japanese mathematician K Iwasawa did pioneering work. This complex branch of mathematics has relevance to an increasingly important field in modern information technology — encryption, that is, putting signals into codes. More and more effort is being concentrated on developing codes that can't be broken in order to safely communicate financial transactions, personal information and military data. Mathematical systems like the ones that Sujatha has developed could become the basis of future systems, as they are very difficult to break. Her work may also have relevance for quantum mechanics. Research in pure mathematics in India — which gave the world the concept of zero — is losing steam, with only a few institutions like TIFR, Indian Statistical Institute and Indian Institute of Science involved in a substantive manner. In the nineties, the number of published papers in mathematics has declined by nearly 30%, although leading mathematicians continue to find prominence in international forums, like the Annual Conference of the International Mathematics Union.

Saturday, February 24, 2007


The Government of India has created an online database for preserving millions of neglected manuscripts including texts that record attainments in disciplines such as the science, philosophy, scripture, history and arts. The database will preserve 1.8 million ancient texts to promote them as treasures of the country. Out of the five million manuscripts so far preserved, 1.8 million have been documented and will be launched by Union Tourism and Culture Minister Ambika Soni on Wednesday. Apart from the online database (, the proclamation of 45 selected manuscripts titled as the The Government of India has created an online database for preserving millions of neglected manuscripts including texts that record attainments in disciplines such as the science, philosophy, scripture, history and arts. The database will preserve 1.8 million ancient texts to promote them as treasures of the country.

Indo-Pak relationship extends to education field

the two countries are gearing up for major cooperation in the field of education. There is possibility of sharing their expertise and experience in the fields of elementary, secondary and adult education. The cooperation may also result in the exchange of books between National Council of Education Research and Training (NCERT), India and the National Book Foundation (NBF), Pakistan.A meeting was held two days ago in New Delhi, where the Joint Commission Working Group (JCWG) on education identified six areas in which collaboration would be possible after further consultation. In fact, Pakistan had expressed interest in Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan, the flagship programme for universalisation of elementary education, at various international fora

Friday, February 23, 2007

The Number 23

The Number 23 takes a unique approach to the classic thriller. It bases the film on the theory that numerous historical dates and seemingly coincidental occurrences are all linked by the number 23. Since the 23 enigma is not simply a fictional idea dreamed up by an overimaginative filmmaker, the movie carries a sense of unsettling realism.In a convoluted story line, Jim Carrey plays Walter Sparrow, a man who serendipitously encounters the "curse" of 23 through a novel that seems to be written about him. This sets Sparrow on a psychological downward spiral in which he realizes that the accursed number plagues every aspect of his life.

ancient patterns

The new study, published Friday in the journal Science, offers a window into a time when Islamic scholars were centuries ahead of their European counterparts and used their mathematical prowess to convey the holy in art.researchers at Harvard and Princeton Universities found in tile decorations on a shrine and mosque dating from the 15th Century. The designs are quasi-crystalline, meaning they are predictable but do not regularly repeat themselves. They match a convoluted tiling pattern discovered in recent times by the mathematical physicist Roger Penrose, best known for his work on relativity theory.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Parker Garrison

8-year-old Parker Garrison has discovered a major mathematical error in a exhibit that has been touring the United States for four years. Part of the exhibit contained mathematical equations to calculate how many lollies were in a container. in the age of three he has shown mathematical ability well beyond his years.

manuscript by the mathematician

A third century Greek manuscript by the mathematician Archimedes of Syracuse is being slowly examined as experts peel away centuries of damage. Some of the pages have been ripped or torn out completely. There are indications of a close-call with a fire, a 13th century scribe replaced it with prayers after scrubbing some of the original text away and unbinding then rebinding the text in a completely altered order. Hundreds of years later, a forger painted gilded pictures over the words.
It was originally found in 1910 in an Istanbul monastery where 80 percent was translated, however it was lost again. Much of it was lost to deterioration in the last century

Pierre de Fermat

French mathematician Pierre de Fermat had noted that although there are plenty of solutions to the equation X2 + Y2 = Z2 (for example, 32 + 42 = 52), there is no corresponding solution if the numbers are cubed instead of squared. In fact, Fermat scribbled in the margin of a book that he had "truly marvelous" proof that the equation Xn + Yn = Zn has no solution if n is any number greater than 2. Unfortunately, he never put his proof on paper.

Hardy-Ramanujan number

1729 is known as the Hardy-Ramanujan number, after a famous anecdote of the British mathematician G. H. Hardy regarding a hospital visit to the Indian mathematician Srinivasa Ramanujan. In Hardy's words:
"I remember once going to see him when he was ill at Putney. I had ridden in taxi cab number 1729 and remarked that the number seemed to me rather a dull one, and that I hoped it was not an unfavorable omen. "No," he replied, "it is a very interesting number; it is the smallest number expressible as the sum of two cubes in two different ways."

A.M. Turing Award

The Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) has awarded the A.M. Turing Award to Frances Allen, a computer scientist at IBM. She is the first woman to receive the prestigious prize.Allen, a fellow emerita at IBM's T.J. Watson Research Center, was given the award for her contributions in the area of program optimization, a way of modifying a program to run more efficiently and improve performance. The award is named after the British mathematician A.M. Turing and includes a $100,000 prize

John Forbes Nash

Nobel laureate mathematician John Forbes Nash, who inspired the Hollywood film, A Beautiful Mind, says inflation could be controlled more effectively if major global currencies collectively adopt the same target rate. Recognised for his principles of game theory, the branch of mathematics that examines rivalries among competitors with mixed interests, Nash likened the currencies as the rivals and the mixed interest as being their quest for a stable value.Delivering a lecture under the Nobel laureate series organised jointly by the ministry of external affairs and CII, in Mumbai, on "Ideal money and asymptotically ideal money", Nash said, "There is now the euro and the inflationary tradition of the Italian Lira seems to be past history now

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Math anxiety

Math anxiety -- feelings of dread and fear and avoiding math -- can sap the brain`s limited amount of working capacity, a resource needed to compute difficult math problems, said Mark Ashcroft, a psychologist at the University of Nevada Los Vegas who studies the problem.Worrying about math takes up a large chunk of a person`s working memory stores as well, spelling disaster for the anxious student who is taking a high-stakes test. Stress about how one does on tests like college entrance exams can make even good math students choke. "All of a sudden they start looking for the short cuts," said University of Chicago researcher Sian Beilock.

mobile science exhibition

Children of Bengal will now get a hang of the fun in mathematics, courtesy a mobile science exhibition organised by the Birla Industrial and Technological Museum (BITM). Though such mobile exhibitions are part of the year-long curriculum of BITM, this is the first time such an exhibition is going to be conducted on mathematics. Twenty-four exhibits will be assembled in a bus, specially made for this purpose.

Poor maths and English costs £800m

Poor maths skills cost British adults more than £800 million a year because shoppers fail to notice when they are short-changed.Research from the adult learning organisation learndirect finds that half those questioned thought their basic maths and English skills let them down.Learndirect says that £823 million is lost each year due to inadequate basic skills - enough to pay the starting salaries of more than 40,000 new teachers.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

UK visa rules

India is poised to become the second-largest exporter of non-European students to the UK this year, with a year-on-year increase of 14 per cent in the numbers of Indians coming to Britain. indians are badly hit by Britain's stringent new immigration rules that allegedly disenfranchise non-European nationals who hold Highly Skilled Migrant visas.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Education Development Index

Kerala tops the Education Development Index (EDI) in the field of elementary schooling followed by Delhi, the human resource development ministry said Thursday.While Tamil Nadu is placed third, Bihar ranks 35th in the composite EDI list.Delhi, which stands second in the composite list, tops the chart of primary education index. The composite list encompasses performance both in the primary and upper primary level.The ministry through the National University of Educational Planning and Administration has developed the EDI to track the progress of the states towards universal elementary education.It is expected that this exercise will help more effective targeting of SSA (universal education) to the neediest districts.

deregulation of Technical Education

The Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM) has called for de-regulation of the higher and technical education sector. The approximate outflow of foreign exchange from the sector is Rs.50000 crores annually.About 1,20,000 students leave India and go abroad to pursue their studies resulting in losses equivalent to the aggregate expenditure of building 40 IIMs and 20 IITs. The Government spends Rs.91000 crores annually on Education which is only about 13% of the total demand of higher education in the country. The expenditure on Education is about 8% of the GDP out of which 3.3% is borne by the Government and 4.7% by private entities.


SUSHMA VERMA is all set to become the youngest matriculate in the world. The child prodigy, who will be seven on February 7.She is preparing for the class X exam for which the Uttar Pradesh Secondary Education Board has registered her.Tathagat Avatar Tulsi from Patna, who is a senior research scientist at the Indian Institute of Science (IIS), Bangalore, holds the record for being the youngest matriculate. He passed his class X examination in the mid-1990s at the age of nine.Sushma, whose parents are illiterate, is busy doing a final revision of her course. The pre-board exam begins on February 5 and the board exam on March 12.

Nischal Narayanam

Child prodigy Nischal Narayanam beat his own teacher to set a new world record for memorising 225 random objects earning a place for himself in the Guinness Book of Records. Narayanam, 11, a Class VI student of the Gitanjali School, Hyderabad, beat his own master Squadron Leader Jayasimha, who had set the record in 2005 by memorising 200 objects. Narayanam was not only able to recall all 225 assorted objects but he also remembered the numbers assigned to them.The young genius loves to play chess, abacus and cricket and likes spending time with friends. Narayanam solves mathematical problems with the help of the Universal Concept of Mental Arithmetic System, a method that works faster than a computer.His father N Nageswara Rao is the managing director of NCS Group of Companies, while mother N Padmavathy is a housewife with a PhD in Sanskrit.


The Andhra Pradesh government is set to develop 31 special economic zones (SEZs) for information technology (IT).Taking IT beyond Hyderabad, developing Warangal, Visakhapatnam, Kakinada, Vijayawada and Tirupathi as tier-II IT hubs.


Leading tech colleges across the United States and United Kingdom offer a 1:6 faculty-student ratio, most IITs just about manage to scrape up a 1:12 ratio .With a monthly salary that fetches a professor Rs 18,400-22,400, an associate professor Rs 15,000-20,400 and an assistant professor Rs 12,000-18,000 with a measly Rs 500 increment for professors in alternate years, it is hardly a wonder that these portals of education should want for quality teachers.

math world

MathWorld is a free online encyclopedia of mathematical terms, concepts and definitions. To date, it has over 12,600 pages, and is updated continually to reflect new discoveries and information.MathWorld’s initial form was created in 1987 when Weisstein was an undergraduate physics major at Cornell. While thousands of users have contributed comments and corrections to MathWorld, 99 percent of it was authored exclusively by Weisstein..

John Forbes Nash

John Forbes Nash is a reluctant celebrity. The arclights are on him and he looks old and weary in the glare.Nash is in India for a week on the invitation of the ministry of external affairs to flag off its new Nobel Laureate Lecture series. Within three days of being in Delhi, he has delivered a public lecture and met the Prime Minister and the President.Nash established the mathematical principles of game theory, which offers to explain the complicated process through which governments, corporations and individuals reach strategic options. Game theory can be applied to almost anything, from a conflict situation to international negotiations to marriages.Nash is a deeply private person. He refused to dole out personal details .


Mathematics possesses not only truth but supreme beauty — a beauty cold and austere, like that of sculpture, without appeal to any part of our weaker nature, without the gorgeous trappings of music, yet sublimely pure and capable of perfection such as only the greatest art possesses — Bertrand Russell

Sunday, February 18, 2007


Administration of the new GRE will begin in September, with specific dates depending on the location. Due to the changes, students will not be able to take the GRE in August.Each GRE general test has a verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning and analytical writing section. All sections will have different types of questions and new formats.Currently, the GRE is scheduled several times a week, but after July, the exam will be administered 35 times annually.The revised four-hour test, compared to the current two-hour one, will not include antonyms or analogies and will shift from an adaptive format to a linear structure.

answer sheet pages

The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) has increased the number of pages in the main answer sheet for students appearing in class X and class XII examinations from this year onwards.Class XII answersheets will have 48 pages instead of 40 at present, the answer sheets for class X will consist of 40 pages. Currently, the Class X answer sheet has only 32 pages.


goiit is a portal for students who are preparing for IIT-JEE, AIEEE examinations. It is a portal which provides IIT and JEE preparation material for students which is absolutely free for students. It is a portal, which aims to build a community of aspiring and successful students who help out each other.

Saturday, February 17, 2007


Following implementation of a Supreme Court directive by the Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations (CISCE), they will have to appear for an additional 100 marks paper in environmental education. Their fear is that this paper will have a strong bearing on their overall scores.But class X students of the Maharashtra Board for Secondary and Higher Secondary Education and the Central Board of Secondary Education have no such fear.After the Supreme Court ordered that schools affiliated to the CISCE, CBSE, and state boards must offer the subject, the CBSE and the Maharashtra board introduced it for class X but did not make it part of their examination syllabus. The CISCE, on the other hand, included it as a theory paper of 100 marks for the upcoming examination.

special package for disabled students

This year a total of 2,132 physically challenged students are appearing for both the Class 10 and 12 board examinations. After discussing the problems they face, we have made a number of arrangements for them,' said CBSE chairperson Ashok Ganguly.
'For the first time, six examination centres have been set up purely for the blind candidates. Besides, we have asked all schools to allow physically challenged students to sit on the ground floor,' Ganguly said.Of the 2,132 physically challenged students, 1,307 are appearing for the Class 10 board examinations and 825 students will take the Class 12 examinations.

Friday, February 16, 2007

new version of the GRE

The Education Testing Service announced earlier this month it would stop administering the current version of the Graduate Record Examination.The new version of the GRE will be administered beginning in September, which does not leave much time for potential test takers to prepare for the latest version.Over 500,000 students take the exam each year, and now students are forced to make a decision on whether to take it under the old or new format. the new version of the GRE will have a greater emphasis on cognitive and reasoning skills, including questions with complex sentences that require filling in multiple words. The math section will focus more on data analysis for more “world-life” problems rather than geometry. students who plan on taking the test should give themselves three months of preparation time. Given the change in the test dates, Kaplan said students should enroll now in practice courses if they plan to take the GRE before July 31.

role of a mathematician

traditional role of a mathematician is as an educator and researcher in abstract realm of mathematics undergoing significant changes. mathematicians are turning professionals.mathematics of engineering allows to create the best technological designs, industrial mathematics improves products and optimises the production. He said, mathematics is used in diverse fields either it be medicine, in atmosphere and earth sciences, to preserve endangered species besides predictions in economy and world is the responsibility of our governments to support the growing role of mathematics by providing necessary resources to create new programs in mathematics and facilitating job creation for new mathematical professionals.Pure mathematics is a breeding ground for new ideas, abstract methods and is the core of the mathematical knowledge.Those with strong programs in pure mathematics we will be able to maintain high standards in applied areas.Pure mathematics is a bank of knowledge, where applied mathematics may get needed resources for their work in the real world.

Thursday, February 15, 2007


After successfully introducing internal evaluation of 20 marks in social science last year, the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) is introducing it for science and mathematics this year in class 10 board examinations.During the examinations beginning March 2, internal evaluation of 20 marks in mathematics and 40 marks in science has been incorporated. The class 12 examinations would begin from March 1.For the 20 marks in mathematics, evaluation would be made on three grounds - class 9 result, project and practical.In case of science, the 40 marks have been sub-divided into two groups. While students have to give 20 marks examination (all objective) on hi-tech optical character reading sheets, the rest 20 marks would be evaluated on the basis of class 9 result, project and practical

women in math

A U.S. study suggests implicit stereotypes and gender identification may affect female math performance.The research by psychologists Amy Kiefer of the University of California-San Francisco and Denise Sekaquaptewa of the University of Michigan might provide insight as to why, despite recent progress, women remain underrepresented in mathematics-related professions.


The National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT), the apex government body to advise on academic matters related to school education, has appealed to the Delhi High Court to withdraw its Nov 8 directive asking examiners not to set questions for the board examination from certain objectionable paragraphs in the Indian history school book.

women in math

A recent study has shown that women's beliefs about math-related sex differences i.e. men are better than women at math, are likely to affect their ability to do math.The study shows that women who were told that men and women are equally good at mathematics performed well compared to those who were told about the stereotype of the fairer sex being worse at math than men.The research was conducted by Steven J. Heine and Ilan Dar-Nimrod at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada.


A new research institution is to be set up in Birmingham to offer research and consultancy services with a focus on business studies and business applications with specific application to India.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Viraj Deshpande

Viraj Deshpande is modest about his achievements,he has become an idol for many youngsters, who are impressed with his intelligence and academic abilities.Viraj has brought acclaim to India by winning the 1st prize at the Xth International Astronomy Olympiad held at Bejing.Viraj first learnt about the Olympiad, when in the 9th standard, he read about it in the newspapers. He applied for it. There was no examination centre in Nashik at that time, but he went to Pune and was selected for the national camp. He didn't make it to the international round though. He tried again. This time, in the under-18 age group, and sailed through smoothly.The 20-day national training camp at the Nehru Science Centre opened for him the opportunities to learn from India's best scientists and academicians. He interacted with former students who had represented India at the Olympiad.The Indian team proved their mettle and brought back five golds, one silver and two bronze medals. Viraj won gold in astronomy.


Succumbing to the pressure from the teaching community, the University Grants Commission (UGC) is on its way to getting rid of the National Eligibility Test (NET) requirement for those who hold M Phil and PhD degrees. The NET is the minimum requirement to get a job as a lecturer in universities and colleges.The NET was originally implemented to ensure uniformity, objectivity and merit in the selection process of university and college lecturers. Seventeen years later it is on its way out. The UGC has decided to allow PhDs and M Phils to teach postgraduates and under-graduates, respectively.However, those with just a post graduation degree would still need to clear the NET exam to be able to teach in university. At present, the requirements for becoming a lecturer include passing the NET and a minimum of 55 per cent marks in postgraduation. Those who have acquired a PhD degree before December 2002 are exempt from having a NET clearance, but all those who have completed a PhD after 2002 do need to clear NET. With a large number of doctorates failing to make it to the teaching profession due to not passing the NET, teachers’ unions and educators have raised objections against the system. Some have also accused UGC of interfering in the universities’ autonomy. While pointing to the flaws of the NET, Historian Sumit Sarkar had said the examination pattern does not suit research-oriented minds.The removal of the NET barrier would mean becoming lecture would be a much easier job. The weeding out process associated with the NET clearance has also been blamed for one of the reasons behind vacant teaching posts in universities and colleges across the country. Sources in Human Resources and Development Ministry said the shortage of quality faculty has been a governmental concern and the relief would help colleges easily fill the vacancies.National Eligibility Test (NET), the qualifying exam taken by those applying for a lectureship in colleges, will be scrapped for M Phil and PhD holders.Those with a postgraduate degree must still take the NET.In 2005, only 7500 qualified out of 1.75 lakh postgraduate students who took the NET. The NET was meant to ensure uniformity, objectivity and merit in the selection process.


A year after some radical changes were brought in the entrance examination of the famed Indian Institutes of Technology (IIT), the IIT Board made a few more changes for the 2007 examination. This time, however, none raised hue and cry over the changes and a vast section of teachers and aspirants feel the changes are for the better. A few don't see any positive impact of the changes. Applicants will now need to crack two papers instead of three in the Joint Entrance Examination. Instead of three separate papers for Chemistry, Mathematics and Physics, candidates would have to take only two tests that will have mixed bag of questions on all the subjects.But a section of students feel that facing questions from different subjects in the same paper will also be challenging. Earlier, the concentration was only on one subject and that made it easy to solve questions.But experts feel that stress is an integral part of the IIT-JEE and students would have to live with it despite the changes. Last year nearly 3 lakh students competed for the 6,000-odd seats offered by the IITs and this number will only grow bigger. They feel until the numbers of students who compete for the limited seats of IITs come down, changing the test pattern will not reduce stress. The JAB, which reviewed JEE-2006 in detail and found that a total of 2,87,564 candidates appeared for the examination, including 25,465 students belonging to Scheduled Caste (SC) and 6209 Scheduled Tribe (ST) candidates. The total number of candidates who qualified in JEE-2006 was 6,343 that included 699 SC and 156 ST candidates. The officials felt that the single type examination introduced in 2006 was accepted by students. And the number of aspirants would be on the rise every year. The JEE 2007 is scheduled on April 8, 2007.

Science Education

About 140 participants from about 20 countries are attending this conference organised by the Homi Bhabha Centre For Science Education (HBCSE).Mathematics, which has been treated in isolation for long and used to divide the society, should be applied to overcome social prejudices, the National Council for Educational Research and Training (NCERT) director Krishna Kumar said .There is accepted prejudices for mathematics in the society, which even divided the society. Educationists did not take much efforts to bridge the gap produced due to this divide for a long time.If there is one subject that could link all subjects, including politics and economics, it is mathematics and the educationists should try and bridge the gap.Unfortunately, those bridges are yet to be visualised by the teaching community.It is time educationists and teachers come together to work on various innovative methods to express linkages to students at the primary and secondary schools.

math education

Teaching of mathematics to be activity-based and advocated for the formation of mathematics clubs in schools, organisation of mathematics road shows, breaking of mental barriers and international exposure for both students and teachers of mathematics to participate in international competitions as a way of offsetting the negative mindset besetting the subject.As a way of life, thinking, reasoning, order, problem solving and relationships, inter-alia, mathematics.Pythagoras theorem, periodic functions, exponential functions, limits, angles, scales, estimation, coordinates, graph theory and ordinal numbers, among others, impacted on real life situations and could be implored for national development.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007


Indian School of Mines (ISM) was understandably located at Dhanbad. The idea was to facilitate mining education in close proximity of the mineral rich Chhota Nagpur plateau. Modelled on the Royal School of Mines, London, ISM was formally opened by Viceroy Lord Irwin in the year 1926.ISM was granted autonomy by the Government of India and was declared a deemed university under the UGC Act in the year 1967.It took a major leap in the year 1996 when the entrance examination for BTech courses of ISM began to be conducted through IIT-JEE.ISM is spread over an area of 88 hectares covered with thick trees and beautiful, well-maintained gardens.The campus houses sixteen departments and centres with more than 100 faculty members.
ISM offers four-year integrated BTech programmes in mining engineering, mineral engineering, mining machinery engineering, mechanical engineering, petroleum engineering, computer science and engineering, electronics engineering. The school also offers three-year masters programmes leading to MSc degrees in applied geology and applied geophysics and a two-year programme leading to MSc degrees in applied geology, mathematics and computing.BTech degree in electrical engineering would be started from the academic session 2006-07


The Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur, will open a study-cum-placement extension centre at Noida at a cost of Rs 25 crore to interact more closely with industrial houses which have set up offices there.The IIT was facing problems in sending students to the Noida-based companies from Kanpur, once an industrialised city, from where units are shifting. Besides, entrepreneurs are reluctant to visit Kanpur as flight connections from Delhi are not available.The Uttar Pradesh government has allocated four acres for the project.


The Indian Institute of Information Technology, Allahabad (IIIT-A), was established in 1999. It was conferred the “deemed university” status by the Government of India in 2000. The institute had been conceived with the objective of developing professional expertise and skilled manpower in information technology and related areas. During the past decade, the growth in the use of the Internet and of cyber space has created a series of challenges and has necessitated the need for cyber law and information security. Hence, the MS programme in cyber laws and information security was started by IIIT-A to prepare students who could meet this growing requirement. Apart from theory classes, students are required to undertake an internship programme, which constitutes an integral part of the curriculum. It provides them with an exposure to real life organisational situations and enables them to relate theory to practice. The institute also has an active placement cell. The final placements are held in the first week of July. Companies come to the campus and select students for the final placement. So far placements have been 100 per cent. The institute offers courses at all levels — undergraduate, postgraduate and doctoral. At present, apart from the MS in cyber law and information security, the institute offers a BTech in information technology, an MBA in information technology and an MTech in information technology.

Irving Kaplansky

Irving Kaplansky, a retired Professor of Mathematics at the University of Chicago and a leading authority on algebra, died , June 25.Kaplansky loved working with young people, and he served as Ph.D. advisor to 55 graduate students, the most of any mathematics professor ever to have taught at the University of Chicago.He published close to 150 papers, the earliest appearing in 1939 and the last in 2003.Kaplansky received the prestigious Steele Prize in 1989 from the American Mathematical Society for his career-long influence on mathematics. The citation said he received the honor “for his lasting impact on mathematics, particularly mathematics in America.His research was devoted primarily to algebra and functional analysis. He contributed many basic results on the structure of Banach algebras, on locally compact groups and on group representations.He also did fundamental work on ring theory and wrote important books, among them, Commutative Rings (1970), Infinite Abelian Groups (1969) and Lie Algebras and Locally Compact Groups (1971).From 1957 to 1961, he was editor of the Proceedings of the American Mathematical Society.


8th African Union heads of state summit deigned to visit the exhibition by African scientists.The leaders passed a declaration re-asserting their aim to spend 1% of GDP on research and development by 2010. They also agreed to support a pan-African organisation for intellectual property, to bolster cooperation between developing countries and to assign 2007 as the year of launching science in Africa.

open acess

Up until now, university libraries have subscribed to journals, giving their academics access either online or in print. But libraries increasingly do not have the funds or choose not to subscribe to certain journals. Academics may therefore be unable to see research papers crucial to their work. The general public, and even some academics, who are not part of a university cannot see the fruits of publicly funded published research without subscribing to journals.Open access would change this. Its advocates propose two models. The first is a system in which the author of an academic paper pays a journal publisher for his or her peers to review the research, and for the publishing team to edit the work and market the research.
The second is a system in which an academic posts his or her research paper on the university's database - known as a repository - for all academics and the general public to see via the internet once the paper has been accepted by a journal.And last year the European commission published an independent report showing the price of scientific journals had risen 200%-300% beyond inflation between 1975 and 1995. The market, the study said, was worth up to $11bn (£5.6bn) a year.GUARDIAN

home school

Homeschooling – also called home education or home school – is the education of children at home rather than in a public or private school. Prior to the introduction of compulsory school attendance laws in the 19th century, most childhood education worldwide occurred within the family or community, with only a small portion of the population attending schools or employing tutors. Today most children are institutionally schooled.Especially in the English-speaking nations, homeschooling is an option for parents who wish to provide a quality of education or social environment that they believe is unattainable in schools

new course

To help provide a deeper and stronger foundation for advanced studies in Philosophy, Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) is now introducing an M.Phil programme in Philosophy from the coming academic session. To be conducted by the recently established Centre for Philosophy, the course will train the students to "engage critically with original philosophy texts, both classical and contemporary with a high degree of methodological rigour". Designed to incorporate new philosophical approaches, in addition to the study of themes such as ontology, epistemology and ethics, it will also include the study of new areas that connect philosophy with other disciplines such as social sciences, action, mind and languages, the curriculum will also

Monday, February 12, 2007

math education

There is now only one science or maths course for every 200,000 Britons aged 16 to 29, although the figure reaches 400,000 in some parts of the country, including the North East. The UCU research uncovered a 10 per cent fall in the number of science and maths courses at UK universities over the last decade, from 250 to 224, with physics and chemistry the worst affected. There was a 31 per cent decline in chemistry courses and 14 per cent fall in physics. Reading University is the latest to announce it is closing its physics department.Meanwhile the number of colleges and universities offering French dropped 15 per cent over the 10-year period, while German courses have been cut by a quarter.

math and economy in portugal

Sixty-four percent of ninth-graders failed a standardized math test last year. In 2003, Portugal's math scores ranked ahead of only Greece, Turkey and Mexico in the 30-member Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. That's bad news for Portugal as it attempts to transform its economy from one that relies on low wages to attract employers to one in which educated workers increase productivity. The Bank of Portugal estimates that the economy grew 1.2 percent last year, the slowest in the EU.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Fixed-point theorems

Fixed-point theorems are one of the major tools economists use for proving existence, etc. One of the oldest fixed-point theorems - Brouwer's - was developed in 1910 and already by 1928, John von Neumann was using it to prove the existence of a "minimax" solution to two-agent games (which translates itself mathematically into the existence of a saddlepoint). von Neumann (1937) used a generalization of Brouwer's theorem to prove existence again for a saddlepoint - this time for a balanced growth equilibrium for his expanding economy. This generalization was later simplified by Kakutani (1941). Working on the theory of games, John Nash (1950) was among the first to use Kakutani's Fixed Point Theorem. Gerard Debreu (1952), generalizing upon Nash, came across this.

math and psychology

When Arjuna vacillated about going to war against his cousins on the battlefield of Kurukshetra, he was not putting off doing something out of fear, lack of application or laziness. But a new study reported recently in Scientific American Mind would have us take a re-look at Arjuna's initial inability to act. The study suggests that the hesitation on the famous warrior's part can actually be reduced to a simplistic mathematical algorithm. The research, conducted by an industrial psychologist at the University of Calgary in Canada, would in fact have us believe that all human motivation behind any act of procrastination can be summed up in a short formula.Earlier last century psychologists belonging to various behavioural schools had tried to do the same thing to reduce the intricate reasons behind all action to rudimentary rules

exam phobia

The Human Resources Development Ministry of the central government has, for the first time, launched a portal where students can chat with the teachers on various subjects to clear their doubts before the exam.The move is part of the ministry’s endeavour to reduce the stress level among students and has been designed keeping the board exams module in mind, said an official from the ministry. The interactive portal, or, would be activated from January 26. The portal has a subject-wise chat room, where the student can ask any number of questions to the teachers to clarify doubts and can also have a private chat with the teacher in case he/she feels shy or apprehensive about the nature of their question. The teachers will also provide counseling to beat the exam phobia. To begin with, subject experts for Class 10th and 12th in Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics, Biology, English, Accountancy, Economics and Business Studies would be available from 5pm to 11 pm everyday to answer the queries of the students on-line. “Through the digital literacy method, the students would not only be able to take guidance from teachers from wherever they are, but also access question banks, advance searching capabilities, links to reference material and repository of lectures from top education institutions,” said the official.


Schools affiliated to the New Delhi -based Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) will soon introduce subjects focusing on adoloscence education and peace. The contents are being designed and will be integrated into the curriculum soon.These subjects will be introduced in a three-year period beginning the coming academic year.In addition, new vocational technology courses in three new subjects — Financial Market management, General Health Care, and fashion design and garment technology — will be offered to students at the plus two level to equip them with job skills.Another important thrust area of the CBSE is internal evaluation at secondary level in social science and mathematic for grades 9 and 10 and restructuring of Science and Mathematic question papers by reducing theory component and increasing the practical component.


Chennai-based alumni of two internationally renowned institutions will work together to improve the quality of technical and management education in the region. The president of the Alumni Association of Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad, Sathish Kumar, and the head of the Management Sciences department of IIT-Madras, L.S. Ganesh, signed a memorandum of understanding on Friday to formalise the partnership and use their combined pool of resources and experience for the benefit of B-schools in and around the city. Mr. Satish Kumar said the MoU would help to leverage the pool of abundant experiences and resources in technology and management among the alumni.

math education and US

THE SUCCESS OF GLOBAL ECONOMY is based on our access to talent. The need to access resources such as oil, natural gas and raw materials is still there, but hiring and retaining talented workers is the paramount concern of businesses in today's hypercompetitive global economy.Technology giants such as Google and Yahoo are engaging in creative hiring strategies aimed at bringing in the brightest talent. Recruiting tools include Google's billboards with complicated mathematical problems and Yahoo's hiring academic superstars.The competition for the best and brightest talent is also being played out on a global stage. It is no longer just a matter of cost or quantity -- it is increasingly a matter of quality.Many companies in the United States extend their searches globally to locate qualified candidates. The very success of places such as Silicon Valley is tied to the fact that they have been able to attract some of the best and the brightest from all over the world.
The facts speak for themselves: Nearly 50 percent of U.S. Nobel Prize winners in the past seven years were born abroad; more than half of the Ph.D.s working in America are immigrants; Indian and Chinese entrepreneurs started more than 25 percent of the successful Silicon Valley companies; immigrants co-founded technology giants Google and Sun Microsystems.Success in the Silicon Valley and the Bay Area is a result of a highly entrepreneurial global economy that has attracted exceptional talent from around the world to work, innovate and attend world-class research universities that include UC Berkeley, Stanford and UC San Francisco.So why is there a shortage of talent in the United States, despite our many attractions as a place to work and live? The answer is straightforward. The United States is not graduating enough engineers and technical professionals, and fewer talented and ambitious workers are coming to the United States.Although countries such as India and China are graduating more engineers, they are also feeling the shortage of technical talent as their economies grow at record paces.In 2004, the United States graduated nearly 137,00 engineers, India 112,000 and China nearly 351,000, according to a Duke University study. Since then, the rate of engineering graduates from India and China has accelerated relative to the United States.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Praven Pratibha

Praven Pratibha is her name. She is 11. Outwardly, there is nothing extraordinary about the girl, who hails from a lower middle class family in Jagda. But, when you learn more about her antecedents and her achievements the jaw remains slightly open with awe. Pratibha is a student of class VII of Saraswati Sishu Mandir. Her father is a medicine distributor. But in spite of her her humble background, she has an uncanny knack for developing models of her favourite subject, science.
At this tender age, when other girls of her age remain busy in different games she prefers to spend her time thinking about the intricacies of science. One day while, reading the bio-mechanical movements of our body, hand specifically, it struck her mind that a machine can be developed which has many functions.A winner of many awards at the local and district level, she made the best model in the Eastern Zone Saraswati Sishu Mandir competition held at Kolkata. When asked how she managed to complete such a complex design she replied, “I explained the whole idea to my science teacher Ms. Mamata Swain and she helped my father in building the whole model”.


The revised Graduate Record Examinations® (GRE®) General Test will be offered for the first time worldwide in September, officials of the GRE Board announced today. The first test dates will be September 10, 15 or 16, 2007 (depending upon location), and September 29, 2007.Scores from these first administrations will be available in early November after score scales have been established. Scores from subsequent administrations will be available within 15 to 18 business days of testing. Registration for the revised GRE General Test begins on July 1, 2007. The current GRE General Test will no longer be offered after July 31, 2007.The revised GRE General Test will emphasize the skills related to graduate study, which in many ways are the same skills students will use when they complete their graduate education and begin their professional careers," explains David Payne, GRE Executive Director. "With more than 3,100 institutions worldwide accepting the GRE, it is the test of choice for the graduate community."Instead of continuous testing, the exam will be given approximately 35 times a year worldwide. The number of administrations in any given region will depend on the test volumes in that region.

Carol Vorderman

Carol Vorderman, one of England's most beloved TV celebrities and noted mathematics guru, is ready to share her intellect and teach the world the wonders of Sudoku. Carol made her rise to acclaim by showing her intellectual prowess on the hit UK television show "Countdown" with her quick calculations of complicated mathematical problems. When it comes to teaching or advancing ones' skill set with numbers, there is no better mentor than Carol Vorderman. With credentials such as being a member of MENSA with an IQ of 154, a Masters degree in Engineering, experience hosting multiple educational television shows, and publishing a plethora of books dedicated to mathematics and education -- Carol is not just a positive role model, but the perfect candidate to make Sudoku accessible to people of all ages

Burt Kaufman

After more than five decades teaching and developing mathematics materials for precocious elementary and secondary school students, educator Burt Kaufman has announced his retirement.Kaufman, who began his career as a teacher in Baltimore, became one of the nation’s leading mathematics curriculum developers, directing national research projects targeting America’s most talented young mathematicians. He moved to South Florida, first in 1963 to design the mathematics courses at the experimental Nova schools in Broward County.One of the most significant results of Kaufman’s efforts is the Elements of Mathematics (EM) series of textbooks, the product of a collaboration of mathematicians from around the globe coordinated by Kaufman.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Big Bang

India-born physicists Abhay Ashtekar and Parampreet Singh of Pennsylvania State University (PSU) in the US, have attempted to answer just that in a landmark paper published in last week’s issue of the respected journal, Physical Review Letters.
The most commonly held belief, based on Albert Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity (GTR), is that the Big Bang resulted from a point of infinite density, called singularity. It is at singularity that space-time as we know it ends, and all known laws of physics break down. However, scientists point out that GTR need not hold true at or near the Big Bangand it is at this moment that quantum mechanics — the physics of the infinitesimally small — takes over.Ashtekar and Singh, along with their colleague Tomasz Pawlowski, have now proposed that there was indeed a classical universe even before the Big Bang. This pre-Big Bang universe was joined to our post-Big Bang universe by a ‘quantum’ bridge that lasted for a very short period of time.

technical education

Unable to cope with the growing demand for technical education, the government may give the private sector a bigger role to play. The Planning Commission has suggested that private companies be allowed to build and run Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs).Montek Singh Ahluwalia, deputy chairman of the commission, has proposed a policy enabling private companies to obtain land from state governments to set up IITs. These institutions, to be operated with a liberal fee structure, would be part of the Brand IIT. Currently, there are seven government-run IITs in the country.Since this would give more students access to the IIT standard of education, Ahluwalia hopes the number of high-quality engineers in India will increase substantially at no cost to the government. The HRD ministry has already expressed its inability to establish new IITs due to financial constraints

Top university ranking

American and British universities made up nearly half of the top 100 universities in the world in rankings compiled by the Times Higher Education Supplement, published on Thursday.The two countries shared the top 13 universities, with the United States leading the way with 33 universities in the top 100. Britain was second with 15, while Australia and the Netherlands were next with seven each. Switzerland and France followed with five, while Hong Kong, Japan, Canada and Germany each had three.China and India, the world's two most populous countries, had two apiece, along with Singapore, New Zealand and Belgium. Denmark, South Korea, Mexico, Ireland, Austria and Russia all had one university in the top 100.Harvard University in Massachusetts topped the poll, with Cambridge and Oxford in England coming second and third. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Yale University tied for fourth, with Stanford University and the California Institute of Technology ranking sixth and seventh.The University of California at Berkeley was eighth, Imperial College London was ninth, and Princeton University completed the top 10.The highest-ranking Asian university was Beijing University, coming in at 15th -- also the highest rank for a non-US or British institution.Australian National University was Australia's best at 16th, while France's Ecole Normale Superieure was continental Europe's best at 18th.The rankings were compiled by asking 3,703 academics worldwide to name the 30 best universities for research in their field of expertise, along with responses from 736 graduate employers globally, along with the ratio of faculty to students, and the university's ability to draw foreign students and world-renowned academics.The results were then weighted and transformed into a scale giving the top university a score of 100, with all subsequent institutions scoring a proportion of that score.

The top 25 universities:
1) Harvard University (US)
2) University of Cambridge (Britain)
3) University of Oxford (Britain)
4) Massachusetts Institute of Technology (US)
4) Yale University (US)
6) Stanford University (US)
7) California Institute of Technology (US)
8) University of California at Berkeley (US)
9) Imperial College London (Britain)
10) Princeton University (US)
11) University of Chicago (US)
12) Columbia University (US)
13) Duke University (US)
14) Beijing University (China)
15) Cornell University (US)
16) Australian National University (Australia)
17) London School of Economics (Britain)
18) Ecole Normale Superieure (France)
19) National University of Singapore (Singapore)
19) University of Tokyo (Japan)
21) McGill University (Canada)
22) University of Melbourne (Australia)
23) Johns Hopkins University (US)
24) Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (Switzerland)
25) University College London (UK)

Selected universities in the top 100:
33) University of Hong Kong (Hong Kong)
46) University of Auckland (New Zealand)
54) University of Copenhagen (Denmark)
57) Indian Institute of Technology (India)
58) Universitaet Heidelberg (Germany)
63) Seoul National University (South Korea)
67) Eindhoven University of Technology (Netherlands)
74) University Nacional Autonoma de Mexico (Mexico)
76) Catholic University of Louvain (Belgium)
78) Trinity College Dublin (Ireland)
87) University of Vienna (Austria)
93) Moscow State University (Russia)


A common belief is that there are few — or even no — women in mathematics and related fields. Some statistics reinforce this view, and some counter it. For example:

• Women take 10 percent of the Advanced Placement tests in Computer Science AB, but 50 percent of the tests in Statistics.

• Women earn 18 percent of PhDs in physics, but 46 percent of PhDs in biological sciences.

• Women comprise 18 percent of network and systems administrators, but 62 percent of accountants and auditors.

Mathematics itself is somewhere in between. Women now earn 48 percent of undergraduate degrees in mathematics, up from 40 percent in the 1970s. About 30 percent of the PhDs in mathematics go to women — three times the proportion of the 1970s.

These percentages are reflected in university mathematics departments. A recent survey found that, in PhD-granting mathematics departments, women were 22 percent of the tenure-eligible faculty; that is, they were 22 percent of those who could eventually become full professors.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Professor Michael Whiteman

Professor Michael Whiteman, mathematician, musician and mystic who turned 100 in November, died at his Bergvliet home .He had lived long enough to see copies of his sixth book, Universal Theology, or Life in Other Worlds, published earlier this year. It is Volume III of a series which includes details of his out-of-body experiences.Born in London in 1906, the youngest of four children, Whiteman attended Caius College, Cambridge, where he obtained an MA in mathematics, obtaining first class in the Maths Tripos.he was appointed junior lecturer in pure mathematics at UCT and on his retirement in 1972, was made Emeritus Professor.Whiteman was the author of more than 60 publications, six books and numerous papers on mysticism, philosophy of science, parapsychology, psychotherapy and the Indian scriptures of Sanskrit and Pali. Other ancient languages in which he was proficient were Vedic, Hebrew, Greek and Latin, which enabled him to study religious texts in the original languages.

Olympiad selection

The DPS and DAV schools ran away with the honours at the state-level Mathematics Olympiad held at St Xavier’s School, Ranchi.As many as 37 school students were selected for the regional Olympiad, which will then send select students for the national championship to choose the final six students who will represent the country in the International Mathematics Olympiad later this year.At the state-level meet, Bokaro boys and girls stole the show with 15 of the 37 selected students hailing from two Bokaro schools. Eleven students of Delhi Public School (Bokaro) went through and also topped both junior and the senior groups. Four students from Chinmaya School (Bokaro) also made the grade.In the junior group, as many as nine DPS students, from Bokaro, Jamshedpur and Ranchi, made the grade while four students from Chinmaya School and two students from Loyola got through.


: Less than four weeks to go before the Class X and XII board examinations. The students busy with the final rounds of preparation and revision. But along with the preparation, there builds up the pressure-cooker atmosphere at home and school - especially those of today's competitive teenagers. Teachers and counsellors agree that marks, grades and the glowing ambition to enter an institution of choice to pursue lifetime goals are the top most in the students' minds. And very little else.Counsellors recommend relaxing techniques such as yoga, meditation besides a healthy diet and an optimistic outlook. Students may use graphic organisers and concept maps to remember lengthy answers. Presentation has significant weightage.

math education and US

American computer science students used to be ahead of their counterparts from other countries. But in recent international competitions, East European and Asian programming students have outperformed them. The Association for Computing Machinery, an international organization for the advancement of computing as a science and profession, sponsors an annual contest for computer programming students all over the world. Teams of undergraduate students are given eight-to-ten programming problems. The winner is the team that correctly solves the most problems. From 1977 until 1989, the winner was always a U.S. college team. And American students were among the top finishers until the late 1990s. But since then, Asian and East European students have won most of the top prizes. This year, only one American college team was among the top twelve. Last year, there were none.
Some analysts say this poor showing by American computer science students should serve as a wake-up call for the U.S. government, industry and educators.

math teacher

THE critical shortage of qualified maths teachers, university lecturers and professionals is damaging Australia's global research reputation and competitiveness, a leading world maths organisation warns.Australia has punched above its weight in the mathematical sciences, the International Council for Industrial and Applied Mathematics says, but that reputation is now being "tarnished".Council president Ian Sloan said Australia had to decide if it wanted to be a technologically sophisticated nation. He said Asian countries such as China, Japan and Singapore were making major progress.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Terence Tao

Terence Tao, the first mathematics professor in UCLA history to win the prestigious Fields Medal, is the first scholar appointed to UCLA's James and Carol Collins Chair in the College of Letters and Science. Jim and Carol Collins gave the College a $1 million gift to endow this chair.Terence Tao won the Fields Medal, often described as the "Nobel Prize in mathematics," on Aug. 22, 2006, at the International Congress of Mathematicians in Madrid. In the 70 years the prize has been awarded by the International Mathematical Union, only 48 researchers have ever won it."Terry is like Mozart; mathematics just flows out of him," said John Garnett, professor and former chair of the mathematics department at UCLA. "Mathematicians with Terry's talent appear only once in a generation. He's an incredible talent and probably the best mathematician in the world right now

Shakuntala Devi

Shakuntala Devi is generally known as a 'Human Computer' because of her extraordinary talents in solving complex mathematical problems without any mechanical aid. She also found her place in the Guinness book of records as a result of her extraordinary talents. Nowadays, apart from solving mathematical problems, she is utilising her amazing talent in the field of astrology. She was born in 1939 in Bangalore, Karnataka. Manifested with an extraordinary love for numbers at the age of 3, she became an expert in complex mental arithmetic at the age of five. On 18 June 1980, Shakuntala Devi gave the product of two, thirteen digit figures after multiplying them within 28 seconds. Many countries have invited Shakuntala Devi to demonstrate her extraordinary talent. Today, she is acclaimed as an accomplished mathematician.

math education

Today’s era is dominated by computer, worldwide communication and the global economy. Jobs that contribute to this economy require workers who are prepared to absorb new ideas and solve unconventional problems. Mathematical preparation is a key to leadership in our technological society. In spite of having good academic atmosphere in our schools, very few students are able to deal competently with problems that require several successive steps. Thus, it is vitally important that all students receive a quality education in mathematics. The following broad goals are required to prepare students for the future:Students must recognise the varied roles played by mathematics in society, from accounting and finance to scientific research, from public policy debates to market research and political polls.Mathematics is, above all else, a habit of mind that helps clarify complex situations. Students must learn to gather evidence, to make conjectures, to formulate models, and to build sound argumentsThere is no better way to learn mathematics than by working in groups, by teaching mathematics to each other, by arguing about strategies and by expressing arguments in careful written form.Industry expects school graduates to be able to use a wide variety of mathematical methods to solve problems. Therefore, students need experience to solve different problems.

Industrial mathematics

A Scientific computing, semiconductor devices, image processing, electro-optics, very large integrated systems (VLIS), and sensor technology are some of the emerging areas of high technology. As classical geometry is ‘inadequate’ to understand the intricacies of nature, a new geometry called ‘fractal geometry’ has been invented by a mathematician. It has proved useful in studying and picturing mountains, skies, rainfall, coastal lines, artificial scenery, and designs and patterns through computers. This technique has revolutionised the film industry, image processing and data compression techniques, leading to the compact disc.Industrial mathematics has become a buzzword in the USA, Europe and Japan in the last decade. In fact, this branch of applied mathematics is not only the queen of all sciences but is also the mother of all technologies. Industrial mathematics is taught at Annamalai University and IITs. The eligibility is BSc in maths (55-60 per cent).

International Mathematics Olympiad (IMO)

The event, the International Mathematics Olympiad (IMO), offers the students an opportunity to assess their performance in a test environment that is stimulating but non-threatening and leads to international recognition. No formal education at the university level is required. Problems come from various areas of mathematics, which requires exceptional mathematical ability.What is the olympiad activity in India? Every year regional-level tests are held to select students for participating in the national contest, Indian National Mathematics Olympiad (INMO). The country is divided into 18 regions. Punjab, Haryana, Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal and Chandigarh comprise one region.At least 30 top scorers from each region have been invited by the National Board of Higher Mathematics for the national exam, INMO, on the first Sunday of February. After that 30 will be shortlisted for an intensive four-week training camp in problem solving. Finally, a team of six students will be selected for the IMO. The competition is open to students of Class XII. However, students of Class X can also apply. The aspirants are required to apply through their respective principals to the coordinator of their respective university or institute

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

iit entrance

As many as 28 of 30 students have cracked the IIT entrance test from Bihar,s Ramanujan School of Mathematics, 11 of them from the other backward classes (OBCs) who appeared in the general category and said reservation wasn,t necessary. The students are part of the Super 30 scheme offered by the coaching institute under which it trains meritorious boys and girls from the economically weaker sections cutting across gender, caste and religion. The 30 students accepted for the scheme are offered tuition, lodging and meals free of cost. The school, run by Anand Kumar, himself an OBC who has an MSc degree in mathematics, made its presence felt in its very first year (2003), with 18 students getting through to the IITs. It improved its tally to 22 in 2004 and 26 in 2005. The star of 2006 is Divyanshu Mishra of Darbhanga, who secured 10th rank and has been picked along with four others to represent India at the International Physics Olympiad to be held in Singapore shortly.Abhayanand, an IPS officer who teaches physics at Super-30, was elated at the success of the students.

Erik Demaine,

Demaine, an assistant professor of computer science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, is the leading theoretician in the emerging field of origami mathematics, the formal study of what can be done with a folded sheet of paper. He believes the form he is holding is a hyperbolic paraboloid, a shape well known to mathematicians ? Over the past few years he has published a series of landmark results about the theory of folded structures, including solutions to the longstanding ?single-cut? problem and the ?carpenter?s rule? problem.Robert Connelly, a mathematician at Cornell who worked with Demaine on the solution, noted by phone that the problem was a good deal subtler than it initially sounded. At first mathematicians thought all linkages could be unfolded, but during the 1990s they discovered a number of very clever arrangements that looked impossible to unfold.Aside from the mathematical value of the hyperbolic forms, Demaine has also taught courses in the school of architecture and imagines being able to computationally generate a scaffolding of these shapes over which a flexible skin could be draped.

math and media

It is a rare sight in India: A mathematics teacher in a television commercial for mouth freshener. This is unusual because popular media in this country has no place, or time, for ‘cerebral’ activities such as mathematics.Mathematics teaching is a serious business and portrayal of its practitioners on popular media should be given a careful consideration. A few in the mass media care about these things. No wonder, India’s most popular forms of entertainment ? Hindi films and cricket ? have never taken mathematics seriously. We would not expect a film on Srinivasa Ramanujan or a play on Bhaskara. Those who have seen A Beautiful Mind on mathematician John Nash, or the East End play Copenhagen on Niels Bohr-Werner Heisenberg meeting would agree that a sensitive portrayal only help this human activity. Mathematicians would gloss over the inaccuracies in such efforts and join hands in applauding them.Teenagers’ sporting of Albert Einstein’s famous equation on their T-shirts is no barometer for mathematics literacy. Years of training in recognising the patterns help people become mathematicians. Over the millennia, cultural conditioning has helped humans to get attuned to mathematics. THE TELEGRAPH

nobel prize in math

Nobel stipulated that much of his immense fortune be used to establish a fund to award five annual prizes "to those who, during the preceding year, shall have conferred the greatest benefit on mankind. the field of mathematics didn't make the cut as one of his five awarded fields. All kinds of theories have popped up to attempt to explain the omission, the most salacious of which claim that Nobel hated all mathematicians because his wife was schtupping one on the side. Not likely. The most probable reasons suggested are: (1) Sweden already had a big, fancy prize for mathematics, bestowed by the journal Acta Mathematica; and (2) The man just didn't like math all that much

Monday, February 05, 2007

indian education

National Knowledge Commission Chairman Sam Pitroda today said the concept of education was changing with the development of technology and India needs to make use of the advanced telecommunication infrastructure for revolutionising the country's higher education. India does not even use 10 per cent of the optical fibre infrastructure it has, he said. It can be used to connect 5,000 institutions in the country, he said here at a lecture organised by Indian Merchants' Chamber"Technology is a great instrument of change. And the existing telecommunication infrastructure gives us the confidence, too," Pitroda said. With the development of technology, the concept of classroom, duster, chalk and blackboard is changing, he said. "The traditional role of a teacher to create and deliver content needs should be questioned. About 90 per cent of a teacher's time goes in creating content. Teachers don't have to create them. They are available in the Net. What we need is mentors than teachers," he pointed out.


The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) has set up a free tele-counselling helpline that would function through an Interactive Voice Response System (IVRS). The helpline would start functioning from February 1 and will take up the queries till March 31. For availing the facility, the students have to dial 10 digit number 1250 111 102 from their MTNL number. Those who have a BSNL and Airtel landline connection, have to press a seven digit number 1250 1 02 from their phone.Besides, the board has also tied up with various leading national newspaper question-answer column to sort out the students' queries. The column would be weekly and would continue through out the month of February.

Motorola Signs MoU with IIIT-B

Motorola has signed a comprehensive Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the International Institute of Information Technology, Bangalore (IIIT-B) to effectively utilize the results of the research efforts aimed at developing innovative wireless broadband solutions for emerging markets like India. The company said that it would jointly work with IIIT-B on projects in designated fields of science and technology, collaborate in developing cutting-edge technology innovations and solutions, and conduct research programs.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Real Issue Is math

Japan, which is leading the world in the commercialization of technology, the core of its strategy to stay as the leader is to strengthen its math and science education. After winning the Fields Medal several times, which is called the Nobel Prize for mathematics, Japan is now competing head to head with western countries. India, with a relatively low per capita GDP level, has been showing surprising growth in the IT industry, especially in its software sector. And the secret behind the success of Indian scientists and technicians in Silicon Valley is its strong emphasis on math and science education. A best-selling book in Japan pointed out that the world’s leading countries or those about to become global leaders are nations that are leading in the fields of science, including math and physics.

David Fowler

David Fowler, was an eminent historian of mathematics at Warwick University. He was one of the top half dozen leading experts in the world on early Greek mathematics, notably of pre-Euclidean ratio theory. He was a well-known figure in the British Society of the History of Mathematics, and was regarded as a father figure by many of the younger members. He always attended meetings of the BSHM, gently and wisely contributing to the discussions of all the papers presented there. Among historians he was looked up to as an authoritative mathematician, and among mathematicians he was looked up to as an authoritative historian; he managed to straddle both worlds.

primary education

A new study produced by Pratham, a non-governmental organisation, claims its findings should prompt close questioning of whether India can expect a "demographic dividend" from a poorly educated workforce.The crisis in Indian education is prompting poor families to pull children out of free government schools and enrol them in the private sector, according to an independent study. The emergence in slums and villages of private schools that charge near- destitute families between $1-$3 a month for basic primary education is widely seen as an indictment of the state's ability to provide a traditionally core public service.

IBM to strengthen ties with varsities

IBM India is planning to strengthen the Indian IT ecosystem by partnering educational institutions and introducing business partner initiatives. The company imparted training to over 80,000 students in over 745 colleges in India in 2006 on open standards-based technologies. It launched the reinventing education programme in partnership with the governments of Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh. It will continue to enhance its partnership with state governments on various e-governance initiatives and strengthen the science curriculum with Indian universities.

International conference on quality education

As many as 116 people, including 10 international educationists,participated in a three-day international conference on “Quality Education for All”. The conference was inaugurated by Haryana Education Minister Phool Chand Mullana at Dr Ambedkar Institute of Hotel Management Catering and Nutrition, Chandigarh. The conference is being jointly organised by the Board of School Education, Haryana, and the Council of Boards of School Education (CBSE) in India with focus on quality education.Speaking on the occasion, Haryana education minister Phool Chand Mullana said earlier the motto was “to learn and serve”, but now the motto has been changed to “learn with quality and serve with quality”. He asserted that it was the responsibility of every state education board, national boards like CBSE, ICSE, and other organisations concerned to provide proper and quality education to all.

AIEEE paper

mathematics in the AIEEE pattern was tough for many CBSE students and not so for many State Board students. Chemistry was the easiest for all.A reason for the State Board students not feeling disadvantaged compared to their CBSE peers in facing the AIEEE was the revamping and upgradation of the State Board syllabi, organisers said noting that the latest AIEEE pattern covered the XI standard syllabus of the CBSE. This helped the State Board students as they learnt these portions only in Standard XII.

history book

Delhi High Court on Friday dismissed a renewed plea by the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) to be allowed to set questions on certain objectionable sections in school history text books that describe some late freedom fighters as "militants" and make derogatory references to some communities and historical incidents.The plea by NCERT, the apex government body to advise on academic matters related to school education and the official publisher of school textbooks, was made despite the court's earlier direction for deletion of at least 20 objectionable paragraphs and not to set any question based on them.

Make India "land of opportunities

The Chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission and Secretary, Department of Atomic Energy, Anil Kakodkar, on Friday called for efforts to make India a land of opportunities rather than a land of ideas alone, by bringing together knowledge and application.A large number of problems were waiting solutions, Dr. Kakodkar said. It was odd that at times, despite the availability of facilities, the country had to depend on outsiders to find solutions to such problems. "We must make our activities and programmes more comprehensive and robust so that we are not exposed to such dangers." He stressed the need for peripheral activities around research programmes on pure mathematics so that mathematics could be used for various applications, besides meeting the interests of society. This would also result in easier flow of funds from the industries that were not so focussed on long-term programmes.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Research outsourcing and US

The United States is the king of the hill in science and research but there are growing concerns that it might lose its competitive edge by outsourcing jobs which are on the bleeding edge of research to countries like India and China.A recent Pratt School of Engineering survey led by tech entrepreneur and Professor Vivek Wadhwa asked 78 senior executives of US firms questions about their experiences in offshoring engineering jobs. The report confirmed that outsourcing had indeed gained momentum. “Jobs are going to India, China and Mexico. A wide variety of jobs are being offshore including analysis, design, development, testing, maintenance and support,” Wadhwa told while sharing the key findings of the report. “At least 75 per cent of US firms say that India has an adequate to large supply of entry level engineers — even more than in the US and China,” said Wadhwa. He said private firms in India were willing to get around a talent crunch by hiring raw engineers with shaky education and polishing them up in their own facilities till they came up to snuff.American political and business leaders who were raising the alarm about a shortage of engineers, and saying the US needed to compete with India and China in graduation rates and teach more math and science to children to get them up to speed were missing the woods for the trees.

Sophie Germain

Sophie Germain was a mathematical genius who lived between 1776 and 1831. She was born in France before the social upheaval of the French Revolution. Her father, Ambroze Francois, was a silk merchant. He and her mother, Marie Germain, were intellectuals who were active in the French Revolution. At the time, in France, daughters of wealthy people were given private tuition, in reading and writing, but not maths, which they were never expected to use. Only boys went to school. Sophie spent a lot of time in her father's library, reading. There she came across a story about Archimedes, an ancient scientist, who was killed by the Romans because he was so engrossed in working out a math problem that he didn't notice their arrival. What was it about mathematics that could have so captivated a man's mind? Sophie wondered. To find out, she began to read books on mathematics. Her interest frightened her parents. They worried that it was harmful for a female to be engrossed in such a subject and tried to discourage her by putting out the fire when they went to bed, and taking away all the candles in her room to prevent her from reading after bedtime. Sophie didn't argue with parents, but she did hide candles away, and, after her parents were sound asleep, she would get up, wrap herself in a blanket, and, work on math problems in candlelight. One morning, her parents discovered their daughter's secret. She had fallen asleep at her desk. It had been so cold that the ink in her bottle had frozen! Realising that she wasn't going to give up, her parents reluctantly agreed to allow her to study on her own. However, they did not actively help by hiring tutors, and kept hoping that she would outgrow her interest. Finally, understanding that this would never happen, her mother secretly provided Sophie with financial support to study maths.


Sophie found algebra fascinating. In 1798, she read an essay on number theory, and started to concentrate on this field of mathematics. When she found out that the famous mathematician Joseph Louis Lagrange was giving a series of seminars on the subject at the Ecole Polytechnique (a French academy), she contacted male friends who attended the academy and borrowed their notes and learned on her own. As she was a woman she could not attend class. At the end of the class, students had to a report to the Professor. Sophie decided to write a paper and she submitted it using a male pseudonym: M. Le Blanc. The professor was impressed with the work of M. Le Blanc, and asked to meet him. Imagine his surprise when he discovered that LeBlanc was a fictitious character, and that an 18-year-old woman who was studying maths on her own had written the paper! .Professor Lagrange was so delighted by his discovery that he offered to mentor Sophie. When Sophie was 25, she wanted to contact Gauss, an eminent expert in the area of number theory, to communicate some of her recent findings. Realising that the Germans were highly prejudiced and uncomfortable with the idea of recognising female mathematicians, she again invoked the name LeBlanc. Gauss was so impressed with Sophie's work that the two of them began a regular correspondence. Years later, when France and Germany were at war and France invaded the German state where Gauss lived, Sophie fearing that Gauss might be taken unawares by the invasion and treated badly, she contacted a French General who was a family friend and asked him to ensure that Gauss was given protection. Gauss was surprised that he had a protector named Sophie Germain until he realised that this was none other than Monsieur LeBlanc.
source..the hindu

Friday, February 02, 2007

demand for IIT in Orissa

Naveen Patnaik has written to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh demanding setting up of an Indian Institute of Technology in Orissa. Taking exception to the Centre's move to set up greenfield IITs in Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan and Bihar, the Chief Minister said in his letter on Wednesday that establishment of an IIT in Orissa was necessary to support the rapid industrial growth taking place in the State. Stating that the State was attracting huge investments in various sectors including the mega steel plant projects of Arcelor Mittal and Posco, Patnaik said there was every reason to set up an IIT to cater to the requirement of the upcoming industries by producing highly qualified technical personnel.

decline of US performance in math and science

More than half of Americans (52%) don't believe the U.S. is performing well in science and math education compared to other nations, but they know science is very important (85%), according to a recent poll commissioned by Research!America. Most (87%) rate being a scientist as one of the most prestigious careers, yet 75% can’t name a living scientist. Sixty-four percent don’t think average Americans are knowledgeable about science, and 76% think it is very important that young people are encouraged to pursue scientific careers, and that more opportunities for these careers are created.The poll also found that Americans see the role of science as most important to our health and to eliminating disease, as compared to other societal issues. However, Americans understand the growing interdisciplinary nature of medical progress. While a majority (66%) say that the most important scientific research today takes place in medical and health-related fields, they also say medical progress is greatly influenced by research in chemistry (83%), computer science (62%), physics (58%), math (56%) and engineering (49%). Six in ten (59%) Americans also say that we would make more progress in research to improve health if scientists from different fields are encouraged to work together.”

Prof J C Misra

In the recently formulated Indian Science Congress at Annamalai University in Tamil Nadu, Prof JC Misra, an eminent scientist from IIT Kharagpur, was elected the president of the Mathematical Science (including statistics) section.
Prof Misra is the only mathematician from IIT to have been elected to adorn this prestigious designation in its history dating back to the nineteen fifties, Science Congress sources said. He is well-known in India and abroad for his landmark contribution to bio-medical mathematics, one of the most emerging areas of applied mathematics. In his opinion, with the application of mathematical methods most problems relatto biology or medicine can be solved. Prof Misra, however, alerted that mathematical treatment of life science problems should not be viewed as an alternative to experimentation.
Mathematics, if used in an appropriate manner, can enrich the fields of biology and medicine, he added. Prof Misra informed that attempts to apply the fundamental principles of mathematics and physics to the study of living being is not a new phenomena. It has existed over the centuries. Although Galileo is famous for his unique contributions to physics, he was originally a student of medicine and made some fundamental contributions to physiology and medicine. He used his discovery of the constancy of a pendulum to measure the pulse rate of the human heart and expressed the results quantitatively in terms of the length of a pendulum being synchronous with heart beat. “Galileo propounded that mathematics was the essential key to science without which nature could not be properly studied”.
Prof Misra further said that several mathematicians like Descartes, Borelli and Euler were inspired to treat different physiological problems mathematically while physicists ~ Robert Boyle, Robert Hooke, Thomas Young, Hermann von Helmholtz, Otto Frank, Sir JC Bose and B van der Pol ~ are some of those who have made remarkable contributions to physiology and medicine. “Indeed, what a scientist picks up and works on, may depend a great deal on chance and the biological world is so rich a field that one should not permit the opportunities to slip by unnoticed”, the scientist remarked.
The excellent mathematical models developed by Prof Misra for studies pertaining to DNA knots and links, bifurcation and chaos in population dynamics , physiological fluid dynamics, mechanics of fracture and re-modelling of bones, cerebral concussion, peristaltic flows of physiological fluids and computational analysis of genes have been acclaimed across the world.
According to IIT sources, Prof Misra has so far published a dozen of advanced level books on mathematical sciences besides the publication of 160 research papers in some of the leading international journals for the benefit of researchers. In recognition of significant impact of his mathematical models in the field of biomedical engineering, Prof Misra’s name was suggested for the prestigious fellowship of the Royal Society of Medicine, London, Indian National Academy of Engineering, New Delhi, Institute of Mathematics and Applications, UK and National Academy of Sciences, India.
His outstanding contribution to mathematics has fetched him several coveted awards like the Raja Ram Mohan Prlize 2004, Rashtriya Gourav Award 2004, IIT Silver Jubilee Research Award i1984, the Humboldt Fellowship Award D.Sc degree in applied mathematics from Calcutta University, membership of the Expert Committee of the National Science Foundation of USA, Imperial Press of UK and World Scientific, Singapore as well as Associate Editorship of International Journal of Innovative Computing, Information and Control, Japan.

source...The Statesman

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Olympiad for class X

Shyam Upadhaya of St Xavier’s Senior Secondary School,chandigarh Sector 44; topped the Science and Technology and Mathematics Olympiad for class X. The results for the national level Science Olympiad-2006 held on December 3 were declared today. This test was for students of classes X, XI and XII from different schools all around the country.