Saturday, March 31, 2007

Distance Education

The decision taken up by the Distance Education Council (DCE) which lifts the geographical jurisdiction clause that restricted educational institutions to operate within their state boundaries, will now take the higher and professional education in India to a great height. Institutes like IIT and IIM are preparing to offer online education. IIT Madras is planning to put its course material online .IIM Lucknow has already made plans for using their under construction Noida campus for distance courses also.Another top B-school Management Development Institute (MDI), Gurgaon is also thinking of providing its programmes online to foreign executives. The International College of Financial Planning has also announced to start its online programme in collaboration with the New Zealand Institute of Online Learning.

Dante Rosales

A 12-year-old Peruvian named Dante Rosales has been admitted by a university in Lima to study mathematics, university authorities said. Dante Rosales, a great fan of history, gained the 18th highest test score among the 3,800 applicants for the 78 places on offer.Rosales told journalists that he studies 14 hours a day, taking a course in a college in Lima's Brena neighbourhood .He said he does play soccer and watch television, videos and wrestling matches. His hero is Napoleon Bonaparte, because he was pug-nosed but still conquered Europe.Peru is one of the few nations where children can skip grades and enter university much earlier than normal.

Friday, March 30, 2007

math education

High school students in Hong Kong, Finland and South Korea do best in mathematics among those in 40 surveyed countries, while students in the United States finished in the bottom half, according to a new, international comparison of mathematical skills shown by 15-year-olds. The United States was also cited as having the poorest outcomes per dollar spent on education. It ranked 28th among 40 countries on math and 18th on reading. The study, released recently by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, a group based in Paris representing 30 nations, used tests given to students in 2003 and was intended to assess relative performance and to try to determine reasons for it.The gap between the best and worst performing countries has widened,? said Andreas Schleicher, the official who directed the study and wrote the report. The study compared student performance in 29 of the 30 countries in the organisation, which includes all major industrialised nations, and in 11 other countries that chose to participate. Due to insufficient participation in the study, figures for Britain were not reported. The United States finished 18th, higher than Denmark, Germany and Hungary, all of which had students who performed better in math than American students did. The study looked not only at the average performance of students, but also at how many from each country were top performers. It separated students into seven groups, ranging from level 6, the best, to level 1, which the authors viewed as a minimal level of competence. The remaining students were below the first level, a category that included more than half the students in Brazil, Indonesia and Tunisia. In the US, 10 per cent of the students were in one of the top two groups, less than half as many as in Canada and a third the total of the leader, Hong Kong, which had 30.7 per cent of its students in the top two categories. Finland had the smallest percentage of students as under-performers, with 6.8 per cent. The evaluation asked questions that were intended to test the ability of students to recognise what mathematical calculations were needed, and then to perform them, and to deal with questions that they would confront as citizens. Schleicher said that students in countries that emphasised theorems and rote learning tended not to do as well as those that emphasised the more practical aspects of mathematics. The survey also questioned students about their own views of themselves and their work, and found that while good students were more likely to think they were good, countries that did well often had a large number of students who did not feel they were doing well. In the United States, 36 per cent of the students agreed with the statement, ?I am just not good at mathematics,? while in Hong Kong, 57 per cent agreed. In South Korea the figure was 62 per cent. Of the US students, 72 per cent said they got good grades in mathematics. In Hong Kong, only 25 per cent of the students said they got good marks, the lowest of any country. The study said that while girls typically did only a little worse than boys, ?they consistently report much lower interest in and enjoyment of mathematics?. Regarding spending, the study concluded, ?while spending on educational institutions is a necessary prerequisite for the provision of high-quality education, spending alone is not sufficient to achieve high levels of outcomes.It noted that while the Czech Republic spent only one-third as much per student as the United States did, it was one of the top-10 performing nations in the study, while the United States performed below the average of the nations surveyed.

International Mathematical Olympiad

The first International Mathematical Olympiad was held in Romania in 1959. India won five bronze medals and an honourable mention at the last Olympiad held at Ljubljana in Slovenia in July, 2006.The aims of the International Mathematical Olympiad are: “to discover, encourage and challenge mathematically gifted young people in all countries; to foster friendly relations between mathematicians of all countries; to create opportunities for the exchange of information on school syllabi and practice throughout the world”. The next Olympiad will be held at Hanoi in Vietnam in July this year. Roughly 400 participants from over 70 countries vie for the gold, silver and bronze medals at the Olympiad. The competition is spread over two days. Each test consists of three questions that have to be answered in four-and-a-half hours.The mechanics of this three-tier contest in India are as follows:The A-level tests are conducted at the regional level in major cities during September and October. Forty to fifty participants are selected here for the B-level national examination that is generally held on the third Sunday of January each year. The top five to six winners are then provided special coaching for a month at the Honoi.


A mathematical problem that remained unsolved for more than a century has finally been cracked by an international team of 18 scientists.The puzzle, which is so complex that its handwritten proof would cover an area the size of Manhattan, took researchers four years to unravel and takes up as much computer space as 45 days of continuous music in MP3 format.The solution maps the inner workings of E8, an esoteric 248-dimensional structure that is an example of a Lie (pronounced "Lee") group. Lie groups were invented by the 19th-century Norwegian mathematician Sophus Lie to help understand symmetry.The groups underlie the symmetry in objects such as balls, cylinders and cones that remain symmetrical under any degree of rotation.Although the solution itself does not have any direct applications, it will influence a range of other fields such as algebra, geometry, number theory, physics and chemistry."What's attractive about studying E8 is that it's as complicated as symmetry can get," said David Vogan, professor of mathematics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. "Mathematics can almost always offer another example that's harder than the one you're looking at now, but for Lie groups E8 is the hardest one."Prof Vogan said the full significance of the discovery may take time to become apparent. "There are lots of ways that E8 appears in abstract mathematics, and it's going to be fun to try to find interpretations of our work in some of those appearances," he said."The uniqueness of E8 makes me hope that it should have a role to play in theoretical physics as well. So far the work in that direction is pretty speculative, but I'll stay hopeful."More information on the calculation and its applications at


The IIT Joint Entrance Exam will be less tiring from this April. In a major restructuring of the IIT-JEE, the IIT-Council, which has members from each of the seven IITs, has decided to keep only two exams for JEE, instead of three separate exams in physics, maths and chemistry, as has been the case so far. The two exams, of three hours duration each, will have mixed questions in physics, maths and chemistry. This year’s IIT JEE will be held on April 8. The questions will be of objective type and there will be negative marking. Earlier, the three exams were of two hour’s duration each.The change has been made such that both papers will have physics, mathematics and chemistry questions. This means that if the student didn’t understand a concept in one subject, he will get a chance once again in the next paper. Also, practically speaking, the student will be less strained as he will have two papers to take, with a break in between


With western countries facing an acute shortage of mathematics (65 per cent of US 12 graders are not proficient in Maths) and science instructors, Indian teachers are tutoring foreign students online on everything from the Pythagoras theorems to Einstein’s Theory of Relativity.An article Wall Street Journal says the next wave of outsourced services would be from education. Currently private tutoring in the US is a $ 8 billion industry of which $ 3 billion comes from online tutoring. Moreover, the No Child Left Behind Act has spurred the demand for tutors. One estimate suggests that 40 per cent American students flunk maths and the country needs at least one million skilled teachers by 2015.Using a web camera, e-tutors are able to guide students via ‘White Board’, a software with a voice and text platform. EPO companies in India charge the students $20-35 per hour, which is much cheaper than their American counterparts.US-based Tutors World Wide Inc has identified highly qualified postgraduate lead tutors through firms like NIIT and Career Launcher. Educomp Solutions Ltd ( with its head office in Delhi and numerous centres across the country has 850 teachers on its rolls to provide EPO services.Companies like Highpoint Learning Inc., Hyderabad, which provides web-based education services are now exploring markets in Spain, South Korea and New Zealand.from...TRIBUNE

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Paul Joseph Cohen

Paul Joseph Cohen, an emeritus professor of mathematics famed for work on set theory and 1966 winner of the world's top math prize, died March 23 at Stanford Hospital of a rare lung disease. He was 72. Cohen won two of the most prestigious awards in mathematics—in completely different fields. He won the American Mathematical Society's Bôcher Prize in 1964 for analysis and the Fields Medal, considered the "Nobel Prize" of mathematics, in 1966 for logic.In the late 1870s, German mathematician Georg Cantor put forth a hypothesis that said any infinite subset of the set of all real numbers can be put into one-to-one correspondence either with the set of integers or with the set of all real numbers. All attempts to prove or disprove this conjecture failed until 1938, when Kurt Gödel showed it was impossible to disprove the continuum hypothesis.Despite having never worked in set theory, Cohen proved the extremely surprising result that both the Continuum Hypothesis and the Axiom of Choice—two of the most basic ideas in mathematics—were actually undecidable using the axioms of set theory. This result, which meant that conventional mathematics could neither prove nor disprove concrete and well known mathematical assertions, caused healthy turbulence among philosophers, logicians and mathematicians concerned with the concept of truth.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

March 14

The date, March 14 (3-14) represents one of the most famous and intriguing quantities in mathematics – pi. Second, by coincidence or by design, Albert Einstein, one of the greatest physicists of all time, was born on this date in 1879. Thus, March 14 symbolises the meeting of mathematics and physics, which finds application in the real world as well.

today in class

curve fitting, and assigenment submission.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

'number blindness'

Have you ever wondered why you are rubbish at maths? Well, it could all be down to the right parietal lobe in your brain. The lobe, which is situated near the back of the brain, is vital in recognising numbers, scientists believe. This discovery could be a critical step towards finding a treatment for 'number blindness'. Like dyslexia, the condition affects up to one in 20 people in Britain, but it is less well recognised. The discovery came in tests where electromagnetic pulses were fired at the right parietal lobe of people who were normally good at maths. They were shown pictures of numbers but, when they were zapped with the pulses, they had the same kind of number recognition problems as people with the disorder. Firing thpulses at the left parietal lobe had no impact on their ability to deal with the questions, the researchers found. Dr Roy Cohen Kadosh, who led the study at University College London, said: 'We found that stimulation to this brain region during a maths test radically impacted on the subjects' reaction time. 'This provides strong evidence that dyscalculia [number blindness] is caused by malformations in the right parietal lobe.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Abani Patra

The University of Buffalo reported March 22 that a team led by Indian American Abani Patra has invented a pump to be used in a device that may help revolutionize the decontamination and purification of water, juices, and other liquids.Patra is an associate professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering in the UB School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. He earned his B.E . (1987) in Mechanical Engineering from Birla Institute of Technology, Pilani, followed by an M.S.(1990) from the University orf Mssouri-Rolla and a Ph.D.(1995) in Computational & Applied Mathematics from the University of Texas at Austin.Working closely with Synergena, Inc., the team led by Abani Patra, has designed a screw pump that could dramatically improve a method of decontamination that uses photonics to eradicate -- within minutes -- dangerous bacteria, viruses and other contaminants, such as E. coli, salmonella and anthrax.

National Foundation for American Policy

An estimated 60 percent of the top science and 65 per cent of the top math students in America are kids of immigrants mainly from India and China, according to new study conducted by the National Foundation for American Policy (NFAP).The study by NFAP, an Arlington, Virginia-based public policy group, states that foreign-born professionals and students are contributing more to the US than previously thought -- their children are rising intellectual superstars and without them the nation's technological and scientific standing is at risk.It further says that foreign-born high school students make up 50 per cent of the 2004 US Math Olympiad's top scorers, 38 per cent of the US Physics Team and 25 percent of the Intel Science Talent Search finalists – the United States' most prestigious awards for young scientists and mathematicians.The study also pointed out that now more than 50 per cent of the engineers with PhDs working in the United States are foreign-born, according to the National Science Foundation. In addition, 45 per cent of math and computer scientists with PhDs as well as life scientists and physicists are foreign- born.

Prof. Thomas Kailath

The Silicon Valley Engineering Hall of Fame Award, recognizing area scientists who have demonstrated significant engineering achievements, and provided significant guidance in new and developing fields of engineering, comes at the fag-end of a long and distinguished career for a professor with one of the longest innings at Stanford – 44 years. He is the only Indian-American who is a member of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS), the National Academy of Engineers (NAE), the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the Indian National Academy of Engineering. At this point it may be appropriate to consider the overall legacy of Kailath. He has guided 74 doctoral students (eight of them Indians), mentored 40 post-doctoral fellows, co-founded at least six companies, consulted at various levels for US defense agencies, advised the Government of India, and has been honored with at least four doctorates. In addition he was one of the first Indian-Americans to fund a chair in India Studies (in honor of his wife Sara Kailath) at UC Berkeley.Kailath has authored, edited and co-authored several books, including "Linear Systems," "Indefinite Quadratic Estimation and Control" and "Linear Estimation". He has held Guggenheim, Churchill and Humboldt fellowships, among others. He served as president of the IEEE Information Theory Society in 1975 and received its Shannon Award in 2000. He has also received honorary degrees from Sweden's Linkoping University, Scotland's Strathclyde University, Spain's University of Carlos III and France's University of Bordeaux.

National Academy of Sciences

The U.S. National Academy of Sciences today announced the election of 72 new members and 18 foreign associates in recognition of their distinguished and continuing achievements in original research.Indian-American economist Avinash Dixit of Princeton University, and R.A.Mashelkar, Director-General of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, India, were among those elected by the academy this year.Dr. Avinash Dixit, John J. F. Sherrerd University Professor of Economics at Princeton University, is among the list of the world's front ranking economists such as Amartya Sen, Jagdish Bhagwati and T.N.Srinivasan. His teaching and research interests have included microeconomic theory, game theory, international trade, industrial organization, growth and development theories, public economics, political economy, and the new institutional economics. His book publications include Theory of International Trade, Thinking Strategically, Investment Under Uncertainty, The Making of Economic Policy: A Transaction Cost Politics Perspective, Games of Strategy, and most recently, Lawlessness and Economics.Dr. Raghunath A. Mashelkar is the Director-General of India's apex scientific body, the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research. Most recently, his sustained campaign on Intellectual Property Rights has promoted awareness among the scientific and business community. He was in the forefront of the campaign to retrieve India’s rights in the battle over turmeric and basmati rice patents. His work has saved many traditional Indian products from being patented by foreign companies Though Mashelkar began life in poverty, sometimes hungry and shoeless, he now directs a chain of 38 publicly funded industrial R&D institutions in India, and is president of the Indian National Science Academy. That personal experience of ascendance from dire circumstances, improvements in his country's infrastructure, and changing patterns of scientific emigration and immigration have convinced him that India is fated to become one of the world's greatest intellectual and economic engines

Microsoft Research New Faculty Fellowship

Two Indian Americans are among the first five recipients of the Microsoft Research New Faculty Fellowship Award, a new program that honors early-career university professors who demonstrate exceptional talent for novel research and leadership in their disciplines.The recipients are Subhash Khot, whose theoretical computer science work at Georgia Tech focuses on designing efficient algorithms, and Radhika Nagpal, whose research at Harvard concerns how biological approaches can be applied to distributed systems.Khot’s research at Tech’s College of Computing tackles fundamental questions regarding which problems can and cannot be solved quickly on a computer. The questions Khot addresses in his work often have deep connections to diverse areas in mathematics, logic, cryptography and computer science.Nagpal, who began teaching at Harvard University in September 2004, teaches an undergraduate programming course as well as a graduate course on biologically-inspired approaches to distributed systems and multi-agent systems. The latter corresponds to her research interest, which lies in engineering self-organizing and self-repairing systems, and in better understanding robust collective behavior in biological systems.

Rajit Manohar

The different functions of a computer chip are synchronized by an onboard clock, but that means the fastest operations can't pass on their data until the slowest have finished. Rajit Manohar, an associate professor of electrical and computer engineering, speeds up chips and lowers power consumption by removing the clock; his chips are 10 times more energy efficient than previous clockless chips. Instead of a separate clock network carrying a global timing signal, Manohar's chips use short wires to carry signals that alert successive operations when the previous operations have finished. Last year, Manohar also built the first low-power processor for sensor networks.

Narasimha Chari

In the late 1990s, when Wi-Fi-equipped laptops were still a novelty, Narasimha Chari saw the possibility of creating large communications infrastructures using wireless mesh networks--which at the time were the exclusive province of the military. In 18 months of moonlighting while a physics grad student at Harvard University, he created elegant algorithms that tailored mesh networking for routine civilian communications.Tropos Networks, the company Chari founded in 2000 with co-inventor Devabhaktuni Srikrishna, helped launch commercial wireless mesh networking. With their straightforward installation--routers attach to lampposts--and attendant low cost, mesh networks have eased into plentiful use both outdoors (on campuses, in public safety networks, and at gatherings such as festivals) and in (in hospitals and factories). But Tropos is focusing on the rapidly growing market for networks that serve entire municipalities. That's the application of choice for one-third of the company's 200 customers.Tropos's services, which are built around Chari's routing protocols, dominate the nascent mesh-networking industry. Telecommunications companies fear the proliferation of the technology, seeing it as a threat to their Internet access businesses. In fact, the telecommunications industry is lobbying for legislation granting them--not local governments--first dibs on municipal Wi-Fi installations. Meanwhile, Tropos is gaining customers at a rapid clip; 75 signed on in the first half of 2005.


As a master's student in India, Shiladitya Sengupta developed an anti-inflammatory gel that's now sold in India under the brand name Nimulid. During his doctoral studies at the University of Cambridge, he revealed how a protein that causes liver regeneration promotes blood vessel growth, and cofounded Dynamic Biosystems to turn the discovery into treatments for chronic wounds such as pressure sores. But a child's toy--several small balloons encapsulated in a bigger one--inspired what may be his greatest innovation: a nanoscale device to treat cancer.The device, developed by Sengupta in Prof. Ram Sasisekharan’s lab at MIT, is actually a nanocell that can burrow into a tumor, cut off its blood supply and detonate a lethal dose of anti-cancer toxins - all while leaving healthy cells unscathed. The double-action therapy, which has proved safe and effective against melanoma and a form of lung cancer in mice, comes packed in a tiny double chamber. Details of the technique have been published in the 2005 July 28th edition of Nature.The technique effectively combines two methods of combating cancer - poisoning tumor cells and cutting off the blood supply to the tumor.

Anita Goel

Physicist and physician Anita Goel is the founder and CEO of Nanobiosym, Inc. By harnessing both theoretical concepts and experimental technologies from modern physics, she probes, the physics of living systems at the single molecule level. Funded by the US DOD and DARPA, Dr. Goel founded Nanobiosym, Inc. to harness key nanoscale capabilities to develop next-generation biosensors for pathogen detection.Goel holds a PhD in Physics from Harvard University and an MD from the Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology (HST). She is also a Fellow of the World Technology Network and a Fellow-at-Large of the Santa Fe Institute and a Trustee and Scientific Advisor to India-Nano, an organization devoted to bridging breakthrough advances in nanotechnology with the burgeoning Indian nanotech sector.Based in Medford, MA, Nanobiosym focuses on exploiting emerging nanotechnologies to provide innovative solutions to problems in the biotech and biomedical industry. Their current efforts include the development of prototypes for advanced diagnostic devices. Nanobiosym is developing the breakthrough nanoscale technologies to detect, amplify, and identify trace amounts of biowarfare agents. Here, Goel pursues research and emerging technologies at the cutting interface of physics, biomedicine and nanotechnology.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Srinivasa S.R. Varadhan

Srinivasa S.R. Varadhan, a professor at New York University's Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences since 1966, was on Thursday awarded the Abel Prize in Mathematics by the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters for "his fundamental contributions to probability theory and in particular for creating a unified theory of large deviations," which the Academy characterised as "hugely influential" and lauded for its "great conceptual strength and ageless beauty." He is expected to receive the Abel Prize from His Majesty, King Harald V of Norway, in Oslo on May 22nd. The honour is accompanied by a prize of $850,000. This is the second time in three years that an NYU mathematician has been the recipient of the Abel Prize: in 2005, Professor Peter Lax of the Courant Institute was awarded the Abel. Professor Srinivasa Varadhan, who is known as Raghu, is the Frank J. Gould Professor of Science and Professor of Mathematics at NYU's Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences. He first came to Courant as a post-doctoral fellow in 1963 and has spent his entire professional life there, serving two terms as its director (1980-1984 and 1992-1994).Probability theory is the mathematical tool for analyzing situations governed by chance. The theory of large deviations studies the occurrence of rare events. This subject has concrete applications to fields as diverse as physics, biology, economics, statistics, computer science, and engineering.Varadhan’s theory of large deviations provides a unifying and efficient method for clarifying a rich variety of phenomena arising in complex stochastic systems, in fields as diverse as quantum field theory, statistical physics, population dynamics, econometrics and finance, and traffic engineering. It has also greatly expanded our ability to use computers to simulate and analyze the occurrence of rare events. Over the last four decades, the theory of large deviations has become a cornerstone of modern probability, both pure and applied.Varadhan arrived at Courant Institute in the Fall of 1963 as a postdoctoral fellow. Between 1966 and 1972, he developed the martingale formulation of the Markov processes with Stroock. During the next decade, M. Donsker and Varadhan formulated the modern theory of large deviations and applied it to solve many outstanding problems including the Wiener sausage and the polaron problem. Later on, partly in collaboration with G. Papanicolau, Varadhan introduced the entropy and the non-gradient system methods to the study of interacting particle systems. Varadhan is an elected member to the American Academy of Art and Science, National Academy of Science, Third World Academy of Sciences, the Institute of Mathematical Statistics and The Royal Society. He received the the Sokol Award from the New York University in 1995 and the Birkhoff Prize from the American Mathematical Society and SIAM in 1994.The elder of Varadhan's two sons, Gopal, was killed in the attacks on the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

IIMs and the IITs

The IIMs and the IITs have decided to have a slow increase in the percentage of seats for the OBC quota implementation laid by the Veerappa Moily Oversight Committee. The Moily panel has asked all the IITs and IIMs to increase the seats by 18 percent for over three years so as to achieve 54 percent expansion in the seats and at the same time to reserve 9 percent for the OBC students every year so that these institutes can meet the target of 27 percent. Only two IITs - Kanpur and Roorkee are increasing their seats by 18 percent and will reserve 9 percent for OBC in the coming academic session. IITs at Mumbai, Chennai, Kharagpur and Guwahati are going to increase their seats by 13 percent and will reserve the half for the OBCs. IIT Delhi is going to have a least increase of 10 percent and will reserve 5 percent for the OBC in the next coming academic session.

Joint Entrance Exam

The number of students aspiring for the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) has decreased this year. Last year around 3 lakh students took the Joint Entrance Exam (JEE) and this year there are around 2.5 lakh students who will be appearing for the JEE. With the decrease in applicants the student's seat ratio has also decreased. This year around 55 students will have a tough fight for a single seat in IIT as compared to 74 students last year. The Joint Admission Board has also revised the pattern of JEE. JEE 2007 will have only two papers each with a mixed bag of questions from the three subjects i.e. Physics, Chemistry and Maths. As previously there were three papers each on Physics, Chemistry, Maths.

TREAMIS World School

Catering to the growing expat population and Indian IT workers who have frequent overseas stints is TREAMIS World School. Being set up with an investment in excess of Rs 20 crore, the school is coming up in the Electronic City. Spread across 11 acres, the school will offer a curriculum that is integrated with the US in the lower level and provides a choice of CBSE, IB and US curriculum options in the high school. With this curriculum being made available, TREAMIS hopes to ensure a seamless transition for children who have studied under other boards and have now moved to Bangalore. TREAMIS World School is being set up in association with Morgan Park Academy, Chicago and will offer students the option to spend a month or semester studying in the US at no additional cost

SCC exam

For class 10 students appearing for their SCC exams, the Mathematics nightmare continued for the second day on Wednesday with the Geometry paper posing problems—like with the Algebra paper . one set of questions turned out to be more difficult than those in the other sets. The mathematics paper comprises two papers—Algebra (75 marks) and Geometry (75 marks). According to board guidelines, students are given four sets of papers—A, B, C, D so that no two students get the same set of question papers during exams.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007


A transatlantic team of number-crunchers announced they had built a theoretical structure in 248 dimensions, resolving a 120-year puzzle that could be used to test theories about the structure of the cosmos. Top computer scientists and mathematicians from the United States and Europe said they had mapped "E8", a problem that was discovered in 1887 but has had to wait until the era of supercomputers and Internet-linked minds to resolve. E8 is the mother of all so-called Lie groups - a category of problems invented by a 19th-century Norwegian mathematician, Sophus Lie (pronounced "Lee"), to explore symmetry. Spheres, cylinders or cones are familiar examples of simple, symmetrical objects in three dimensions. But E8 is a piece of geometric origami that comes in 248 dimensions. "(E8) is as complicated as symmetry can get," David Vogan, a mathematics professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), who took part in the calculation.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Mathematicians solve E8 structure

Top mathematicians and computer scientists from the U.S. and Europe have successfully mapped E8, one of the largest and most complicated structures in mathematics. Jeffrey Adams, project leader and mathematics professor at the University of Maryland said E8 was discovered over a century ago, in 1887, and until now, no one thought the structure could ever be understood. It has taken four years of intensive collaboration. E8 belongs to so-called Lie groups that were invented by a 19th century Norwegian mathematician, Sophus Lie, to study symmetry. Researchers say E8 itself is a248-dimensional object. The magnitude of the calculation has invited comparison with the Human Genome Project. While the human genome, which contains all the genetic information of a cell, is less than a gigabyte in size, the result of the E8 calculation, which contains all the information about E8, is 60 gigabytes in size, enough to store 45 days of continuous music in MP3-format.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

safety of women

A group of American students, who came to know about a campaign run by Delhi Police for the safety of women in the Indian capital, are camping here to study the implementation of India's Domestic Violence Act in more detail.The campaign, called Parivartan, was launched by police two years back for the betterment of women by educating them through street plays, counselling and puppetry shows.They are planning to meet victims, legal experts and representatives of NGOs working on the issue during the next two weeks.


Aptech Computer Education, the flagship brand of India's global learning solutions major Aptech Limited, has launched a state-of-the-art centre at San Salvador, El Salvador. Aptech launched the new learning centre at the Universidad Francisco Gavidia (UFG) campus, the firm said in a statement here Wednesday.UFG is San Salvador's premier university for technology and science studies, with over 10,000 students.The Aptech Certified Computer Professional (ACCP) programme is being offered as one of the higher education professional programmes, from the Centro de Educación Continua (Centre of Continuing Education), housed within the university campus.

Peter Denman

In 1941 Peter Denman, who has died aged 83, went up to Cambridge University from Eton to read economics, but, while still in his teens, he was recruited as a cryptanalyst at the Bletchley Park code-breaking centre.Peter was widely consulted, wrote learned articles on mathematics, and would answer all queries, no matter how trivial. Teaching was perhaps his true vocation. He leaves Cara and their children.

Sir Gareth Roberts

Professor Sir Gareth Roberts, president of Wolfson College, Oxford, who has died from cancer aged 66, made a stunning impact on the UK science scene, through his chairmanship of several academic bodies and his two reports on the future supply of scientists and how university research should be assessed.He took a first-class honours degree and a PhD at University College, Bangor and lectured there until 1966, when he joined Xerox in the US for two years to study the physics of colour photocopying. It was there he developed his interest in applied physics, trying to understand how things worked, and making them work better. He returned in 1968, joining the then New University of Ulster at Coleraine, and rose to become dean of physical sciences.His research also progressed well, and in 1976 he was invited to become head of applied physics and electronics at Durham University. He studied Langmuir-Blodgett films (a set of monolayers, or layers of organic material one molecule thick, deposited on a solid substrate), in which he became an authority, and this broadened into molecular electronics, an area now coming to fruition

Mathematics wizards

students of more than 250,000 students from 80 countries in a global effort to break a world mathematics record using the Internet.Children from various schools around the world tried to answer correctly 10 million arithmetic questions. An earlier record was smashed with more than 39m correct answers. Year 12 student La'ala Kashef Alghata answered the 25millionth question correctly and won a video MP3 player.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Wages in India

Wages in India are expected to rise by 14.5 percent in 2007 from 2006, the fastest rate in Asia, as companies pay top dollar to attract and retain talent.Hewitt Associates, a human resource consulting and outsourcing firm, said in their annual survey that this would be the fourth consecutive year that Indian salaries have notched double-digit growth.India's economy is expected to grow 9.2 percent in the 2006/07 fiscal year to March 31 -- its fastest pace in 18 years.

Satellite IITs

The Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) has turned down the idea of the establishment of Satellite Indian Institutes of Technology (SIITs)- the new IIT centres away from the main IITs. The idea was mooted by three IITs- Delhi Mumbai and Kharagpur

retirement age

The Central government has increased the retirement age for teachers in centrally-aided educational institutions from 62 to 65 years. In addition, they can be re-employed beyond 65 years and up to 70 years against sanctioned vacancies if they are not filled by regular candidates.


The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) class 12th accounts paper, had many calculation-based questions, the paper also seemed lengthy. Due to this, some of the students were not able to complete the paper. Students said that the questions based on company accounts were tricky.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

budgetary allocation

The budgetary allocation towards education sector would be massive for the fiscal year 2007-08.According to the top sources, the finance minister is contemplating of increasing the annual plan outlay for education sector from Rs 2527 crore at present to Rs 6483 crore fors 2007-08. This will result into unprecedented 156 percent hike.The half of the increased amount would be spent towards improving the infrastructure of various higher technical institutions in the country like-IITs, IIMs and NITs. Besides, the funds to the Central Universities like Jawaharlal Univesity (JNU), Delhi University (DU) and Jamia Milia Islamia and Vishwa Bharti would also be doubled


A means-cum-merit scholarship scheme would be introduced to check high school dropout rates.while the Sarva Siksha Abhiyan (universal education scheme) had improved enrolment to 96 percent, dropout rates were still worrying. the scheme would encourage students to study beyond Class VIII.The scheme would start this year with a corpus of Rs.7.5 billion and an equal amount would be added to the fund every year for the next three years.Under the scheme, each student would be given a scholarship of Rs.6, 000 a year to study in Classes IX, X, XI and XII. Each year 100,000 scholarships would be awarded.


Three hundred Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs) would be upgraded at a cost of Rs.7.5 billion during 2007-08. 300 ITIs would be given assistance of Rs.25 million each for the purpose. Upgradation work was initiated during 2005-06 and 200 such institutes have already been upgraded. 1,396 ITIs would be upgraded under the PPP model (Public-Private Partnership model) by 2009. The state governments would continue to regulate these educational institutes.

government-run schools

Soon the shabby buildings of government-run schools will improve and their place would be taken by child friendly structures. In order to improve the condition of thousands of government-aided schools in the city, the government of Delhi has made a makeover plan, which will be implemented in collaboration with UNICEF, which will train architects and engineers of various civic bodies in designing child friendly structures in the schools.According to the plan, more than existing 650 buildings that run from portables cabins will be renovated.


The Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO), an organization of Ministry of Defence, is planning networking with universities for undertaking various research programmes during the XI Plan. The information to this effect was provided by W. Selvamurthy, Chief Controller, Research and Development, DRDO, at a seminar on Protein Science and Engineering organized by VIT University

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Maths wizard

Maths wizards from various city colleges gathered recently at `Mathwoods', an intercollegiate programme hosted by the Mathematical Association of Madras Christian College. Students from 21 colleges, including Guru Nanak College, SS Jain College, Ethiraj College, Meenakshi College, D.G. Vaishnav College and Presidency College, participated in various events. Teamwork and cracking tough questions at the quiz contest brought success to Loyola College and D.G. Vaishnav College who came first and second respectively. Paper presentation on topics related to maths was the highlight of the programme. Students from Stella Maris College bagged the first place with a cash prize of Rs.1,000.Colleges also actively participated in mathematical sketching on the topic `convergence'. Loyola College students won the overall trophy for their outstanding performance in the events. Winners of all events were awarded a cash prize of Rs.700.

Terence Tao

Four hundred people packed into an auditorium at U.C.L.A. in January to listen to a public lecture on prime numbers, one of the rare occasions that the topic has drawn a standing-room-only audience.Another 35 people watched on a video screen in a classroom next door. Eighty people were turned away.The speaker, Terence Tao, a professor of mathematics at the university, promised "a whirlwind tour, the equivalent to going through Paris and just seeing the Eiffel Tower and the Arc de Triomphe."His words were polite, unassuming and tinged with the accent of Australia, his homeland. Even though prime numbers have been studied for 2,000 years, "There's still a lot that needs to be done," Tao said. "And it's still a very exciting field."
After Tao finished his one-hour talk, which was broadcast live on the Internet, several students came down to the front and asked for autographs.Tao has drawn attention and curiosity throughout his life for his prodigious abilities. By age 2, he had learned to read. At 9, he attended college math classes. At 20, he finished his Ph.D.Now 31, he has grown from prodigy to one of the world's top mathematicians, tackling an unusually broad range of problems, including ones involving prime numbers and the compression of images. Last summer, he won a Fields Medal, often considered the Nobel Prize of mathematics, and a MacArthur Fellowship, the "genius" award that comes with a half-million dollars and no strings."He's wonderful," said Charles Fefferman of Princeton University, himself a former child prodigy and a Fields Medalist. "He's as good as they come. There are a few in a generation, and he's one of the few."Colleagues have teasingly called Tao a rock star and the Mozart of Math. Two museums in Australia have requested his photograph for their permanent exhibits. And he was a finalist for the 2007 Australian of the Year award."You start getting famous for being famous," Tao said. "The Paris Hilton effect."Not that any of that has noticeably affected him. His campus office is adorned with a poster of "Ranma ½," a Japanese comic book. As he walks the halls of the math building, he might be wearing an Adidas sweatshirt, blue jeans and scruffy sneakers, looking much like one of his graduate students. He said he did not know how he would spend the MacArthur money, though he mentioned the mortgage on the house that he and his wife, Laura, an engineer at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, bought last year.After a childhood in Adelaide, Australia, and graduate school at Princeton, Tao has settled into sunny Southern California."I love it a lot," he said. But not necessarily for what the area offers."It's sort of the absence of things I like," he said. No snow to shovel, for instance.A deluge of media attention following his Fields Medal last summer has slowed to a trickle, and Tao said he was happy that his fame might be fleeting so that he could again concentrate on math.One area of his research — compressed sensing — could have real-world use. Digital cameras use millions of sensors to record an image, and then a computer chip in the camera compresses the data."Compressed sensing is a different strategy," Tao said. "You also compress the data, but you try to do it in a very dumb way, one that doesn't require much computer power at the sensor end."With Emmanuel Candès, a professor of applied and computational mathematics at the California Institute of Technology, Tao showed that even if most of the information were immediately discarded, the use of powerful algorithms could still reconstruct the original image.By useful coincidence, Tao's son, William, and Candès's son attended the same preschool, so dropping off their children turned into useful work time."We'd meet each other every morning at preschool," Tao said, "and we'd catch up on what we had done."The military is interested in using the work for reconnaissance: blanket a battlefield with simple, cheap cameras that might each record a single pixel of data. Each camera would transmit the data to a central computer that, using the mathematical technique developed by Tao and Candès, would construct a comprehensive view. Engineers at Rice University have made a prototype of just such a camera.Tao's best-known mathematical work involves prime numbers — positive whole numbers that can be divided evenly only by themselves and 1. The first few prime numbers are 2, 3, 5, 7, 11 and 13 (1 is excluded).from..IHT

Monday, March 12, 2007

UP Technical University

IN AN important decision, the UP Technical University (UPTU) has decided that students securing less than 20 per cent marks in State Entrance Examination (SEE) will not be eligible for selection in technical colleges of the State.The decision is significant, because now even SC/ST candidates will have to secure 20 per cent marks in SEE while OBC candidates will have to get 25 per cent marks. Till last year, quota students were given admission even if they secured five per cent marks. On earlier occasions, UPTU admitted even those students in the counselling process who had secured 0 marks.In another important decision, the provision of negative marking in SEE has been done away with. UPTU officials say that the eligibility percentage has been raised because this time the merit is likely to go higher as negative marking has been done away with.


Graduate Record Examination will become much more expensive, comprehensive and stressful in September. With the new changes to the test, many students will face complications in studying for the test, which will affect students who want to obtain a graduate degree.With the change, the old GRE will be admistered in July 2007 for the last time before the release of the new test in September. The current version of the test is only several hours long and only test basic knowledge at the college level. However, the new GRE will change the perspective of graduate level programs and increase the level of thinking for students.The new test is four hours long and includes longer analogies, more data analysis in the quantitive section and more essays in the analytical section.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

theta functions

A pair of mathematicians has solved a problem that had tantalized number-theory researchers for more than 8 decades. It is the so-called final problem of the legendary Indian mathematical genius Srinivasa Ramanujan. In the years before his death in 1920, Ramanujan studied theta functions, which are numerical relationships that show special symmetries. On his deathbed, Ramanujan wrote a letter to his British collaborator G. H. Hardy, in which he listed 17 complicated formulas for new functions. He called them mock theta functions because they had some properties similar to those of theta functions. The first few pages of Ramanujan's letter were lost, and the surviving portion gives little indication of why Ramanujan grouped these functions. Since that time, the mock theta functions have cropped up in a surprising array of fields, including number theory, probability theory, and statistical mechanics. Yet mathematicians have puzzled over just what the 17 mock theta functions have in common. from. science news

applied mathematics

Mathematicians from five European countries will present applied mathematics as a key technology for a competitive and innovative Europe on 20 March in Brussels, Belgium. The scientists will discuss their work with representatives from the European Commission, from the European Parliament, and from other interested parties. The scientists will show that mathematical modelling and numerical simulation can be of great help in different areas of research and technology, for example in diagnosing diseases of the Cardiovascular System, in constructing semiconductor laser devices, or in solving problems from metallurgy, the automotive industry, and others.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Education For All

India ranks 99th in the list of Education For All (EFA) Development Index among 125 countries, even though there have been reductions in the number of out-of-school children since 2004.China ranks 43rd in the list which is topped by the United Kingdom.According to the UNESCO’s Global Monitoring Report 2007 on EFA released on Thursday, India’s approach to EFA lacks vision and policy for non-formal education. According to it, Sub-Saharan Africa and South and West Asia are home to more than three-quarters of out-of-school children, although the latter region halved its number between 1999 and 2004, mainly due to reductions in India. Yet, India is among the countries with the largest numbers of out-of-school children in 2004. The others are Nigeria, Pakistan, Ethopia and Saudi Arabia.

education sector

The finance minister's proposal for substantial hike in outlays for education deserves a thumbs-up. The 35 per cent increase in school education, 106 per cent growth in secondary education and an outlay of Rs10,300 crore for primary education augurs well with the needs in the society.the creation of one lakh yearly scholarships at the national level - Rs6000 per child each year to go towards abating the dropout rate in the Standard 9 - is "encouraging.This year's Union budget makes special provision of upgrading 1,396 ITIs across the country. the scholarship programmes for the minority students will definitely benefit, as a majority of these students require financial aid at the graduate, post-graduate levels and also for conducting research.

Friday, March 09, 2007


India will spend Rs.5 billion to attract about one million students in the 10-17 age groups toward science education.Under a new project called Innovation for Science Pursuit for Inspired Research (INSPIRE), the ministry would award Rs.5, 000 each to the students over the next five years.


Manipur will soon get its first National Institute of Technology (NIT).Currently, there are 20 NITs, one each in Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Orissa, Punjab, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Tripura, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal.In 2003, the government had decided to take over 17 Regional Engineering Colleges (RECs) and upgrade them as NITs. Thereafter, on the request from the respective states, three more engineering colleges - the Bihar College of Engineering, Patna, the Government Engineering College, Raipur, and the Tripura Engineering College, Agartala, were upgraded in 2004, 2005 and 2006, respectively


The US based Education Testing Service (ETS) has announced the date of registration for the GRE that will commence from July this year. The registration for the test in India had been closed as more than 52,000 aspirants had applied for the test in 2006 alone which created a disproportion in the total number of applications in comparison to other countries. The decision was taken to ensure that there are an adequate number of Indian test takers in the September 2007 administrations of the revised GRE General Test. The results from September tests will be used to set the score scales for the GRE Verbal Reasoning and Quantitative Reasoning sections, and these score scales will be used for decades to come .

National Commission on libraries

The National Knowledge Commission (NKC) has recommended setting up of a National Commission on libraries with a 10-point agenda to develop library and information facilities "NKC has recommended the formation of a National Commission on Libraries as an independent and financially autonomous body, Minister of State for Urban Development Ajay Maken informed the Lok Sabha.he new commission will have a 10-point agenda. It would develop libraries and information services, advice government on libraries and information sector, encourage public-private partnership, conserve cultural heritage, support research and development on this field and ensure access to all publications including government and institutional public documents.

rural education cell

The National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) has decided to start a rural education cell to know the difficulties faced by the rural schools and to enhance the schools overall performance. NCERT has also decided to start a new reading cell which would be funded by Sarva Shiksha Abhiyaan to give more attention on the reading skills and capabilities of students of classes I and II. Decision to this effect was finally approved by the committee chaired by the Union Human Resource Development Minister, Sri Arjun Singh.


Class X students were all smiles on Thursday after writing what they termed an 'easy' Maths paper. The paper also eased the burden of parents, who had gathered in large numbers across various examination centres.Teachers were happy and impressed by the paper too. "Some average students may have faced problems in the geometry as the riders were not straight from NCERT textbook. And usually, the height and distance problem has a choice but this time, there was no choice," ."It was a balanced paper. Though some students complained that the sum on height and distance was a bit tough, anyone who had been thorough with the NCERT textbooks could have solved it no time."

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Blaise Pascal,

Blaise Pascal, that 17th-century French philosopher, mathematician , once said, “Words differently arranged have a different meaning, and meanings differently arranged have a different effect.

Peter Lax,

He is known as one of the most versatile mathematicians of his generation. Lax is credited with many important contributions in the fields of fluid dynamics, solitonic physics and mathematical and scientific computing.”In 2005 Lax received math's equivalent to the Nobel Prize, the Abel Prize, and in 2006 the American Mathematical Society selected him to present the Gibbs Lecture. Applications of his work include oil flows in petroleum reservoirs and the motions of gases.

Vaughan Jones

Jones was born in New Zealand, did his thesis in Geneva, and has been professor of mathematics at Berkeley since 1985. He has won wide recognition, most notably a Fields Medal in 1990, the equivalent in mathematics of a Nobel Prize. He has also been awarded a number of honorary degrees and been elected to the Royal Society of London, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Norwegian Royal Society, the London Mathematical Society, and the U.S. National Academy of Sciences. In 2002, Queen Elizabeth II awarded Jones the title of Distinguished Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit, noting that his mathematical work is being used to understand the complex knotted configuration of DNA.Jones discovered "some fascinating, and totally unexpected, relations concerning the dimensions of certain subalgebras of these von Neumann algebras. This work has unleashed new lines of investigation that remain vibrant today. But then he combined these results with observations from knot theory, a totally unrelated area of mathematics, that tries to understand the topological structure of knots — illustrated by the different ways a piece of string can be knotted. Jones discovered a new algebraic invariant of knots, now called the Jones polynomial, a vast improvement on the Alexander polynomial that had been discovered in 1920s. Jones' work was a huge advance that rejuvenated the field. The Jones polynomial is particularly well suited to study how DNA molecules knot and coil."

Nassim Nicolas Taleb

Taleb, a native of Amioun, Lebanon, holds multiple degrees, including a Ph.D from the University of Paris and an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. According to his home page, Taleb is finishing a break as a Dean's Professor in the Sciences of Uncertainty, University of Massachusetts at Amherst. He is also a fellow in mathematics in finance, an Adjunct Professor of Mathematics at the Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences of New York University, and a research fellow at Wharton School Financial Institutions Center.According to his book "Fooled By Randomness: The Hidden Role of Chance in Life and in the Markets," Taleb, formerly a quantitative trader, is interested in "multidisciplinary problems of uncertainy." Taleb developed the Black Swan Theory, which asserts that there is tendency to exclude unexpected or random events that cannot be explained in data models. It these unexpected events, Taleb argues, "end up controlling our lives, the world, the economy, history, everything."

Monday, March 05, 2007


There was a time when teachers stood in front of the class, with chalk poised on the blackboard while pupils scribbled away furiously. Now teachers' presentations have to compete with the expectations raised by the technology children have at home - iPods, Playstations and home computers. But they do now have their own multimedia technology in the classroom, in the form of interactive white boards (IWBs).

Sunday, March 04, 2007

amazing temple

The first two Indian children to make it to Antartica and survive hair-raising episodes have come out with a fascinating account of their trip to the planet's last frontier besides a remote Indian temple.Suravi Thomas and Rishi Thomas uncover in their 'Adventures in Antartica' (Puffin) an eye-catching shrine with Hindu idols in the southernmost tip of Chile from where expeditions to Antartica sail out.'This is the southernmost temple in the world,' say the young authors, children of a top Indian diplomat and business executive who were 15 and 12 when they made the trip. Both are studying in Chile. Proceeds from the book go to a charity in India.The interior of the temple was richly decorated with mirror-work mosaics, beads, crystals, electric lights and other ornaments. Inside, on display were idols and symbols of all the different religions of India including Hinduism, Islam, Sikhism, Christianity and Buddhism

Saturday, March 03, 2007


Premier skills-testing agency MeritTrac has just concluded, after testing 790 B-school graduates in six cities on seven key parameters, that 77 per cent of MBAs are “unemployable.”Every year India Inc needs some 1,28,000 MBAs — 2,000 as CEOs and the rest at other levels. There are 1,257 B-schools recognised by the All-India Council for Technical Education turning out only 70,000 MBAs. MeritTrac’s study sample covered this “recognised” talent pool and found that only 23 per cent of them were of employable quality.Out of the 1257 recognised schools, only 132 have been rated as “average or better” by the All India Management Association and these produce some 20,000 graduates, but yhey are not all up to the mark, according to MeritTrac.

additional cess

Taxpayers across the board will have to bear the burden of additional cess of one percent that will be used to expand the capacity of educational institutions for implementing the caste-based quota.The government's proposal last year to expand the scope of the quota policy to the other backward classes (OBCs) had led to student protests in cities even as it was welcomed by many.In a compromise formula, the government had proposed to expand the capacity of educational institutions to create extra seats for students from the marginalised communities

Foreign Educational Institutions

The union cabinet Thursday decided to enact an act aimed at regulating the entry and operation of foreign universities in the country.The cabinet approved the introduction of the Foreign Educational Institutions (Regulation of Entry and Operations, Maintenance of Quality and Prevention of Commercialisation) Bill, 2007, in the ongoing budget session of parliament.Besides regulating the entry and operation of foreign universities and educational institution in the country, the new law would also ensure maintenance of quality of education imparted by them.It would also prevent commercialisation of education by foreign institutions and would protect the interest of the student community from substandard institutions and 'fly by night' operators.


Easy questions and ample time helped students of Class 10 answer their first paper on Social Studies of the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) exams Friday as most of them came out triumphant.Comprising questions from five different topics - History, Geography, Economics, Civics and Disaster Management - this paper was termed as the 'most challenging' by most students.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

technical innovation

In a bid to encourage and promote technical innovation, IIT Kharagpur in mid 2006 announced the Nina Saxena Excellence in Technology Award. The award commemorates the spirit and memory of its illustrious alumna Dr. Nina Saxena, B.Tech (Hons.), ECE 1992, who passed away tragically in 2005. Open to all Technologists who are Indian citizens (resident or non-resident), the award was announced at the IIT Foundation Day on August 18th, 2006. Nominations for entries to the award are now open and will remain open till April 30th 2007. The nomination form is available and can be accessed through the official award website


The Union Budget has belied the hopes of Kerla for an Indian Institute of Technology (IIT). The State has been pressing the Centre for an IIT for quite some time. It has also been seeking a Central University. The UDF Government had taken some initiatives for getting an IIT established at Vithura in Thiruvananthapuram district. However, after the present Government came to power, Palakkad was proposed as an alternate location. The resignation of A.E. Muthunayagam as executive vice-president of the State Council for Science, Technology and Environment also affected the proposal, as he was one of the key movers.