Sunday, March 30, 2008

'Euler's Equation of degree four

mathematician Daniel J. Madden and physicist, Lee W. Jacobi, found solutions to a puzzle that has been around for centuries.Jacobi and Madden have found a way to generate an infinite number of solutions for a puzzle known as 'Euler's Equation of degree four.The equation is part of a branch of mathematics called number theory. Number theory deals with the properties of numbers and the way they relate to each other. It is filled with problems that can be likened to numerical puzzles..In the mathematical puzzle that Jacobi and Madden worked on, the problem was finding variables that satisfy a Diophantine equation of order four. These equations are so named because they were first studied by the ancient Greek mathematician Diophantus, known as 'the father of algebra.In 1772, Euler, one of the greatest mathematicians of all time, hypothesized that to satisfy equations with higher powers, there would need to be as many variables as that power. For example, a fourth order equation would need four different variables, like the equation above.Euler's hypothesis was disproved in 1987 by a Harvard graduate student named Noam Elkies. He found a case where only three variables were needed.Madden and Jacobi used elliptic curves to generate new solutions. Each solution contains a seed for creating more solutions, which is much more efficient than previous methods used.

Abel prize

John Griggs Thompson, US, and Jacques Tits, France, have been awarded the 'Abel' prize and 1.2 million dollars for their work in algebra and group theory mathematics.The Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters said Tits, 77, and Griggs Thompson, 75, had been given the so-called "Mathematics Nobel" because of their "profound achievements in algebra and in particular for shaping modern group theory."Their theories can be used to explain problems such as the Rubik's Cube puzzle."The achievements of John Thompson and of Jacques Tits are of extraordinary depth and influence. They complement each other and together form the backbone of modern group theory.Tits is an expert at the College de France in Paris and Griggs Thompson works at the University of Florida. They will share a prize of six million Kroner (750,000 euro, 1.2 million dollars) which will be presented on May 20 in Oslo.
Tits, who was born in Belgium, emerged very young as a brilliant maths scholar and earned his doctorate at the age of 20. The College de France says he is now one of the world's most "influential and original" mathematicians.Griggs Thompson studied at Yale University and got his doctorate from the University of Chicago in 1959.
He taught at Cambridge University in England in the 1970s before going to the University of Florida.The Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters awarded the prize.The candidates were chosen "for their profound achievements in algebra and in particular for shaping modern group theory" stated the prize committee. Group Theory is a branch of math that is 200 years old.It deals with the concept of symmetry and helps to understand equation solution. The Award was named after a 19th century mathematician; Niels Henrik and was awarded by King Harald of Norway.The Niels Henrik Abel Memorial Fund was established in 2002, to award the Abel Prize for outstanding scientific work in the field of mathematics. The prize amount of 6 million NOK (about $1.2 million) was awarded for the first time in 2003.The prize is awarded by the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters, and their choice of Abel Laureate is based on a recommendation by the Abel Committee consisting of five internationally recognized mathematicians.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Ratan Tata conferred degree by IIT Kharagpur

Ratan N Tata, group chairman, Tata Group, has been conferred an honorary degree of doctor of science by the Indian Institute of Technology, (IIT) Kharagpur at its 50th annual convocation.The award is to recognise his outstanding leadership in globalising India and transforming Tata Group as a company to reckon with, setting global benchmarks. Some of the past recipients of this award include Mother Teresa, Satyajit Roy and Mani Lal Bhowmik.Mr Tata has also been conferred an honorary doctorate in business administration by the Ohio State University, an honorary doctorate in technology by the Asian Institute of Technology, Bangkok, and an honorary doctorate in science by the University of Warwick. Mr Tata received a bachelor of science degree in architecture from Cornell University in 1962 and completed the advanced management program at Harvard.Tata has been the Chairman of Tata Sons, the holding company of the Tata group since 1991. During his tenure, the group's revenues have grown over eight-fold to annualised group revenues of over USD 50 billion.

Resolutions to promote Punjabi language

The Punjab Vidhan Sabha has passed two resolutions in order to promote and preserve Punjabi language.As per the first resolution, the house sought making use of Punjabi mandatory for all government officials, including IAS and IPS officers working for the Punjab government.the Punjab assembly on unanimously passed second resolution making the use of Punjabi language compulsory in all government offices and a mandatory subject in all schools upto class tenth.The resolution was passed by the assembly unanimously even as some educational boards like CBSE, Punjabi as a subject is not compulsory in class tenth.only 90% of schools have Punjabi as compulsory subject up to class X while the remaining schools, affiliated to CBSE or ICSE, including Navodaya and Kendriya Vidyalyas, permit students to have alternate language in lieu of Punjabi from class IX onwards.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Arthur C Clarke

Visionary science fiction writer Arthur C Clarke, who introduced the concept of communications satellites to the world and authored more than 100 books on space, science and future, died here in the wee hours today.Ninety-year-old Sir Arthur Clarke, a British national, lived in Sri Lanka, his adopted country, from 1956 until his death .Sir Arthur, who battled debilitating post-polio syndrome since the 1960s, breathed his last at 1:30 am (local time).Sir Arthur has authored more than 100 books on space, science, communication and the future, was credited with the concept of communications satellites in 1945, decades before they became a reality.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

largest quiz

Triumphant Institute of Management Education Private Limited (TIME), a national level education and training organisation, has created a new guinness world record for organising and conducting the largest quiz in the world ever.The national circuit of Aqua Regia, the science quiz, was completed over three months and more than 2.40 lakh students of eighth, ninth and tenth standard student from 25 cities in India attended.TIME also hold sthe national record for the largest quiz in India as officially certified by Limca book of Records.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Young Global Leaders for 2008

The World Economic Forum has named 17 Indians, including budget carrier GoAir Managing Director Jeh Wadia and market regulator SEBI's Executive Director Sandeep Parekh, in its annual list of Young Global Leaders for 2008.The chosen ones are from all walks of life, including business and politics.Other Indians on the list include Lok Sabha MP Sachin Pilot, SKS Microfinance's CEO and founder Vikram K Akula, Chairman of Bhatia Enterprises Sabeer Bhatia, Managing Director of Wipro Infrastructure Engineering Anurag Behar, senior NDTV journalist Barkha Dutt, Global ITeS' CEO and President Suhas Gopinath, Director of PRS Legislative Research C V Madhukar and Thermax Ltd Chairperson Meher Pudumjee.Besides, music composer Allah Rakha Rahman and noted sitar player Anoushka Shankar also find a place in the list.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

World Maths Day 2008

World Maths Day 2008 is a free web-event where kids from six to 16 years old can compete in live competitive challenges with other kids from around the world in answering mental arithmetic questions.There are currently more than one million kids already registered from 150 countries to participate in the maths day.Questions set come under four categories: addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. In each game, the student has one minute to answer as many of these questions of a random category as they can (chosen per game, rather than per question). Each question is limited to two numbers of one or two digits; addition and subtraction have only single digit second numbers and all division results are integers.

BolognaRagazzi Awards

The Night Life of Trees, a book illustrated by tribal artists from India, has been awarded one of the prestigious BolognaRagazzi Awards given to children’s publishers, for 2008. This is the first time a book from India has won the award. The BolognaRagazzi Award is promoted by the Bologna Book Fair (Italy), which is the largest children’s book fair in the world. The award will be presented at a special ceremony on March 31. The artists — Ram Singh Urveti, Durga Bai and Bhajju Shyam — belong to the Gond tribe in Madhya Pradesh. Gond art is traditionally painted on mud floors and walls of their houses.The beautifully crafted book is a fascinating glimpse into the visual imagination of the artists and their beliefs about the Sembur, the Peepul, the Mahua trees and more. The haunting illustrations bring alive the trees on the black handmade paper that make up the pages of the book.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

girl child award

The Indian government has announced it will pay poor families nearly $3000 to bring up their girl children.British medical journal Lancet says 10 million female foetuses have been aborted in India in the past 20 years. Female foeticide is a particular problem in the Punjab - where just 793 girls are born for every 1000 boys

cbse exam 2006

Overseas students appearing for the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) Class 10 examinations, which are currently under way, were in a fix about a question on India’s northernmost and southernmost international airports in the social science paper. A map in the question paper showed Nedumbasherry airport close to Thiruvananthapuram whereas the airport is near Kochi, a city north of the Kerala capital.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Schwarz-Christoffel formula

An existing mathematical equation, now known as the Schwarz-Christoffel formula, was independently discovered by two mathematicians in the 1860s to enable them to translate the unusual and angular shapes of the real world, whether brains or aircraft wings, into a simpler circular shape so that they are much easier to model and analyse.The Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics in America describest the work as a "breakthrough" that will have an impact on in all kinds of applications ranging from traditional engineering disciplines such as aeronautics.Professor Crowdy, a specialist in applied mathematics at Imperial College, London, has now succeeded in completing the formula that eluded scientists for 140 years.He realised that by applying a different mathematical technique – the theory of Schottky Groups, which was developed 20 years after the orginal equation – the formula could be improved to cope with any shape.

cbse exam 2008

first question papers in the examinations for class X and class XII under Central Board of Secondary Education started on Saturday across the country and abroad passed smoothly.The class-XII students appeared in the Chemistry paper while Class-X students sat for Information Technology. However, the students did not find any problem to answer them. For the first time, 20 per cent of the questions required 'high-order thinking skills' as prescribed by the National Curriculum Framework (NCF), the guiding document for preparation of NCERT textbooks .

Monday, March 03, 2008

education in budget 2008

Overall, it has been a good budget for education.Total allocation for education sector including the NER region increased by 20 per cent to Rs 34,400 crore from Rs 28,674 crore.The FM has given a hike of 17% to higher studies and 20% to elementary and secondary schooling. But the biggest gainer is University Grants Commission, with a 36% hike for creating 16 new central universities. the emphasis on improving the quality and access to school education is welcome.The announcement of setting up 6,000 high quality model schools is an important initiative.Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalayas are quality schools, with comparatively good infrastructure set up by the Central government in rural areas.Thus, the decision to set up 20 such schools in districts with a large concentration of SC/ST populations is a small but welcome step.Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidhyalayas address the issue of equity in the education of girls belonging to disadvantaged and minority communities and the decision to add another 410 to the existing 1754 vidyalayas would also serve the same objective. FM enunciated the list of projects and schemes already on paper but yet to be implemented. This is particularly true for higher and technical education — three IITs (announced in 2006), new IIM in Shillong (2004), new School of Planning & Architecture (2006) and 16 new central universities in 2007.Set up three IITs, two IISERs and two schools of Planning and Architecture and Allocation of Rs 100 crore to the Ministry of Information and Technology to establish the National Knowledge Network are also part of budget. The budget has set aside Rs650 crore for a Model School Programme, with an ambitious target of establishing 6,000 schools. An additional 20 Navodaya Schools will be established, specially targeted at socially backward sections. However, for these schools to deliver the results, the government should formulate a programme to train sufficient number of teachers. Though they lack even basic facilities, we do have a large number of schools in rural areas. But, the number of well-trained teachers is well short of requirements and has prevented any improvement in our school system.The focus of Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan has been changed from access to and infrastructure at primary schools to improving quality of learning and retention. The allocation for the programme, which has been a rare success at such a large scale, has also been increased to over Rs13,000 crore for next year.The decision to extend the mid-day meal programme to upper primary classes should bring down malnutrition among rural children and curb the rate of school dropouts. The extension of the scholarship scheme for upper primary students is a welcome step and future governments should look at expanding the scope of this scheme. The hike in salaries of anganwadi workers was long overdue. The finance minister has also set aside Rs2 crore to upgrade the facilities of each of the 22 Sainik Schools. Sainik Schools are the best possible source of supply for future officers for the armed forces. When a career in services is becoming increasingly less attractive, and the forces suffer a high attrition rate combined with a shortage of suitable officer material recruits, the government should spare no effort to increase the number of Sainik Schools to expand the supply base. Just 22 schools to groom future leaders for the nearly 2-million strong armed forces is pathetic.The most significant initiative for higher education sector is the proposed establishment of 16 Central Universities across the country.

cbse exam 2008

It was an end to the anxiety of class 10 and 12 students who took the CBSE examinations on Saturday.For the first time, 20 per cent of the exam paper will test the students on their analytical skills as prescribed by the National Curriculum Framework. Students have to be able to apply concepts as opposed to just putting them down on paper.But the problem is, this was announced just two weeks ago. So, students are terrified about this unknown quantity.Also a new feature this year, no multiple-choice question. Instead, up to 10 marks are allocated to very short answers, students have one sentence or less to make their point.Contrary to the popular opinion that the new format based on high order thinking skills or HOTS might just make things difficult, students on the whole appeared to be happy and satisfied.