The quirky world of mathematics and some of its interesting personalities came to life at the event

Mathematics might be the least favourite subject for a majority of school students, but for a few of them, navigating the world of numbers is like playing a videogame. Dinner table conversations at home are riddled with mathematical puzzles.

One such number lover is Ramprakash Krishnan, a Class XI student. He was one of the 11 winners of the ‘Ramanujan Awards', instituted by the Srinivasa Ramanujan Academy of Maths Talent, which were presented at a function held here on Saturday.

“Mathematics is fun,” Ramprakash says. Another winner, V. Hari Krishna said “I have been inclined towards problem solving from a young age. I am excited by the world of numbers.”

The quirky world of mathematics and some of its interesting personalities, including Ramanujan himself, came to life at the event through a mix of interesting anecdotes and adulation from a young group of aspiring mathematicians.

K.N. Ranganathan, former head of the Mathematics department, Vivekananda College, said “Mathematics can be taught only to an extent. Problem solving is an art. To be artist, it is not enough to like or appreciate something. There has to be intrinsic talent. Talent search contests fill the important role of identifying innate talent and encouraging such students.”

K.K.Raman, executive director of DLF Southern Home (P) Ltd., reminisced his time in IIT-Madras and spoke about how mathematics classes were always a humbling experience since it showed bright, confident students, who had just cleared JEE, how much they did not know. Expressing his disappointment with the increasing commercialisation of education, he called for renewed commitment and determination to the cause of teaching.

Geetha Srinivasa Rao, who was recently awarded the lifetime achievement award for mathematical sciences by the government of Tamil Nadu, was presented the ‘Distinguished mathematician award 2010' at the event.

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