Even though mathematics is an important subject and forms the backbone of almost all research from biological science to social sciences, the interest in the subject has been dwindling in the past few years, President of the Forum for Interdisciplinary Mathematics PV Subrahmanyan said. It is important that people recognise the importance of mathematics and have a multi-pronged approach to strengthening the teaching of the subject, he said, speaking to The Hindu on the sidelines of the 4{+t}{+h}National Mathematic Talent Search Examination held at the Lycee Francaise on Sunday.

Mathematics is not receiving the attention it should, especially from the younger generation, whereas computer science and engineering seemed more attractive. Unless mathematics grows, the growth all other sciences will be impaired.

The Forum for Interdisciplinary Mathematics is planning to start workshops to train math teachers, so that students from the school level improve their mathematic skills. The Mathematic Talent Search Examination is another way by which students are given impetus to learn the subject.

In case any school or college wants to conduct a mathematics workshop, the forum will help them with some seed money and also help them locate suitable experts in the field, he said.

On Sunday, both the NMTSE and the Apprentice Scientist competition, where students are asked to replicate experiments to show their understanding of science, were conducted at the Lycee. The Transition School, Auroville won the first prize in the apprentice scientist competition, Petit Seminaire came second and St. Joseph de Cluny received the third place.

A total of 13 students from Petit Seminaire, KV JIPMER, St. Patricks, St. Joseph of Cluny, Amalorpavam and The Study were selected in the top five per cent award list from the NMTSE of last year and were awarded certificates, Project Manager of the Section of Excellence in Science of the Lycee Brigitte Maury said.