President calls for promoting mathematics among youngsters

Hyderabad, Aug 19 (IANS) President Pratibha Patil Thursday inaugurated the International Congress of Mathematicians (ICM 2010) here with a call to promote mathematics amongst the younger generation. She said study of mathematics inculcates the habit of rational thought and promotes scientific temper.

‘The need for understanding mathematics is necessary in all walks of life, be it engineering, science, finance or social sciences. We also recognise the profound cultural dimension the study of mathematics has,’ she said.

Organised under the aegis of the International Mathematical Union every four years, the event is being hosted in India for the first time.

Mathematicians from all over the world are gathered at Hyderabad International Convention Centre (HICC) to discuss developments in this discipline.

As many as 3,000 delegates from 86 countries are attending the nine-day conference, which is being held for the third time in Asia since its inception in 1897.

Patil said India has a rich mathematical heritage and it has been accorded a primary position among intellectual pursuits.

‘India’s engagement with mathematics goes back to some 3,000 years,’ she said, quoting an ancient Sanskrit verse.

She noted that India has been at the forefront in contributing to innovations in arithmetic, algebra and geometry at different periods.

The president pointed out that India has recognised the importance of science as a vehicle for human progress since its independence.

‘Mathematics, the language of science and its advancement, is an integral part of India’s science policy,’ she said.

‘Mathematics has had a big role in the development of computer science and information technology. There are myriad applications of mathematics in technology and the mathematics used there is reaching higher and higher levels of sophistication,’ she added.