# Introduction to Indian Mathematics

**Topics:**Indian mathematics, Centuries, 1st millennium

**Pages:**2 (606 words)

**Published:**January 16, 2011

In ancient Indian mathematics was known by the general name of Ganita, which included arithmetic, geometry, algebra, astronomy and astrology. It was Aryabhatta, who gave a new direction to trigonometry. The decimal system too was an innovation of India. By the third century B.C. mathematics, astronomy and medicine began to develop separately. In the field of mathematics ancient Indians made three distinct contributions, the notation system, the decimal system and the use of zero. The earliest epigraphic evidence of the use of decimal system belongs to the fifth century A.D. Before these numerals appeared in the West they had been used in India for centuries. They are found in the inscriptions of Ashoka in the third century B.C. Indians were the first to use the decimal system. The famous mathematician Aryabhata (A.D. 476-500) was acquainted with it. The Chinese learnt this system from the Buddhist missionaries, and the western world borrowed it from the Arab as when they came in contact with India. Zero was discovered by Indians in about the second century B.C. From the very beginning Indian mathematicians considered zero as a separate numeral, and it was used in this sense in arithmetic. In Arabia the earliest use of zero appears in A.D. 873. The Arabs learnt and adopted it from India and spread it in Europe. In the second century B.C. Apastemba contributed to practical geometry for the construction of altars on which the kings could offer sacrifices. It describes acute angle, obtuse angle, right angle, etc. Aryabhata formulated the rule for finding the area of a triangle, which led to the origin of trigonometry. The most famous work of his time is the Suryasiddanta the like of which was not found in Contemporary ancient east. During the Gupta period mathematics was developed to such an extent and more advanced than any other nation of antiquity. Quite early India devised a rudimentary algebra which led to more calculations than were...

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