Mathematics Day is an important day both nationally and internationally. It celebrates the cruciality and importance of mathematics in everyday human life as well as in tackling significant problems the world is facing or will face in the future.
It creates a global awareness about the uses of mathematical science to prevent climate change, achieves sustainable development, and improve the quality of life. Thus, in this article, we explain what is Mathematics Day, National Mathematics Day, and International Mathematics Day.
Mathematics Day might mean any one of the following
- National Mathematics Day
- International Mathematics Day
The difference between them is that National Mathematics Day, on one hand, is celebrated only in India, whereas International Mathematics Day is celebrated all around the world. Another difference is that International Mathematics Day is comparatively a new celebration, being celebrated since 2020, whereas National Mathematics Day is being celebrated since 2012.
Both days are explained in detail below
National Mathematics Day
National Mathematics Day is celebrated on December 22 each year in honor of Srinivasa Ramanujan, an Indian Mathematician, who is famous for producing ground-breaking and complex mathematical theorems. The Government of India, out of respect for Ramanujan’s brilliance and contribution to mathematics, designated December 22 as National Mathematics Day in 2012. In 2011, the Government of India also released a stamp featuring Ramanujan at Madras University marking the 125th Birth Anniversary of the great mathematician.
As a part of the celebrations, math olympiads are organized, tributes are paid to the brilliant mathematician, special lectures are delivered on Ramanujan’s contributions, conferences and symposiums are organized, and special activities are organized to enhance the practical uses and applications of the subject throughout India, and much more.
Many mysteries and interesting stories are associated with Srinivasa Ramanujan.
Srinivasa Ramanujan was born on 22 December 1887 in Erode, Tamil Nadu into a Brahmin Iyengar family. He learned about the Brahmin culture from his mother who taught him to sing bhajans, chant religious texts, etc. Growing up in such an ambiance, he became extremely religious.
By the age of 11, he had become a child prodigy (a child who gives meaningful contributions to a field that is unusual or extraordinary for children of his/her age). He could solve complex trigonometric theorems and develop a few of his own. He started receiving academic prizes and merit certificates at the age of 14, and he helped the school with the logistics of assigning its 1,200 students.
He demonstrated proficiency with geometry and infinite series while finishing math examinations in less than half the allocated time. In the year 1902, Ramanujan was taught how to resolve cubic equations. Later, he would create his own approach to cracking the quartic. He attempted to solve the quintic in 1903, not realizing that radicals could not be used to solve it.
Ramanujan had almost no formal training in pure mathematics. Much of his theorems were his independent discoveries. He independently created, studied, and computed the Euler-Mascheroni constant to a precision of 15 decimal places. At the time, his classmates claimed to have barely comprehended him.
Ramanujan was invited to England by G.H. Hardy, an English mathematician who had made major contributions to number theory. There, his work on highly composite numbers earned him a Bachelor of Arts Research degree in March 1916. Ramanujan became a member of the London Mathematical Society in December 1917. In May 1918, at the age of 31, he became one of the youngest Fellows in history to become a Fellow of the Royal Society.
Ramanujan had been ill almost all his adult life. He was admitted to a sanitarium after being given a TB diagnosis and a serious vitamin shortage. In 1919, he returned to Kumbakonam in the Madras Presidency, British India, and there, in 1920, he passed away at the age of 32.
A lot of mysteries are associated with him. Ramanujan, a devout Hindu, attributed his impressive mathematical abilities to the divine and claimed that Namagiri Thayar, the family goddess, had given him his mathematical knowledge.
Ramanujan contributed a lot to mathematics. His major contributions include the Theta Function, Circle Method, Ramanujan number (1729 is known as the Ramanujan number which is equal to the sum of the cubes of numbers 10 & 9), Infinite series for pi, The Ramanujan conjecture, etc.
International Mathematics Day
International Mathematics Day is a day that is celebrated worldwide on March 14. It is also known as pi day, which was already celebrated in many countries before designating it as International Mathematics Day. Every year on this day, activities are held in museums, libraries, schools, and other locations for both students and the general public.
March 14 was designated as International Mathematics Day at the 40th General Conference of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) held in 2019.
This brings us to the question, Why is pi day celebrated on 14th March every year?
The answer is really simple. The approximate value of pi (π) is equal to 3.14. Thus, as the decimal number indicates, the 14th day of the third month is celebrated as pi day.
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