A Birthday Tribute to R. C. Gupta

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  • HISTORIA MATHEMATICA 23 (1996), 117120ARTICLE NO. 0014


    A Birthday Tribute to R. C. Gupta


    Institut fur Geschichte der Naturwissenschaften, Mathematik, und Technik, Universitat Hamburg,Bundesstrae 55, 20146 Hamburg, Germany


    The internationally renowned historian of mathematics, Radha Charan Gupta,celebrated his 60th birthday on October 26, 1995. According to custom in his nativeIndia, this implies official retirement from his post as Professor of Mathematics atthe Birla Institute of Technology (BIT) in Mesra, Ranchi. His many friends, as wellas the many colleagues who have been in contact with him, realize, however, thatretirement and official retirement are two different things; they look forwardto benefitting from the continuing labors of this active and productive historian ofmathematics toward the promotion of the discipline both in his native country andon an international level.

    Born in Jhansi, Uttar Pradesh, Gupta graduated from Lucknow University in1955. Two years later, he passed the M.Sc. examination (with a major in mathe-matics) in the first rank, and in 1965, he earned a diploma in mechanical engineering,both from the School of Careers in London. Ranchi University awarded him aPh.D. for his research in the history of mathematics in 1971. His achievements werefurther acknowledged in 1986 with an honorary doctorate in the history of sciencefrom the World University (U.S.A.).

    After teaching at Lucknow Christian College for a year, he joined the staff ofthe Birla Institute of Technology in 1958. He served there in the ranks of firstassistant professor and then associate professor prior to his promotion to full profes-sor of mathematics in 1982. Beginning in 1979, he was Professor-in-charge of theResearch Center for the History of Science at BIT.

    R. C. Gupta has traveled widely in India and abroad and has given presentationsof his research before many audiences. In 1977, he addressed the British Societyfor the History of Mathematics when he attended the XVth International Congresson the History of Science in Edinburgh. Three years later, he lectured in Germany,the United States, and Canada. He also participated in the XVIIth InternationalCongress of Mathematicians in Berkeley, California in 1985.

    In his several hundred papersamong them a series of 16 popular articles,entitled Glimpses of Ancient Indian MathematicsGupta has always striven todeepen and broaden our knowledge and understanding of the development ofmathematics on the Indian subcontinent. He is thus a successor to his compatriots,


    0315-0860/96 $18.00Copyright 1996 by Academic Press, Inc.

    All rights of reproduction in any form reserved.

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    B. Datta (18881958) and A. N. Singh (19011954). Their important book, Historyof Hindu Mathematics (Lahore, 1935, 1938), although now some 60 years old,remains a standard reference work for those of us who are unable to read thenative Indian languages. It is to be hoped that Guptas forthcoming book on Indianmathematics (in Hindi) will soon be translated for a wider readership. In themeantime, we can gain from his insights by reading the pages of Gan. ita Bharat,the official journal of the Indian Society for the History of Mathematics, which hefounded in 1979 and which he continues to edit. As the cumulative index (in volume13 (1991)) for volumes 1 through 12 of that journal reveals, Gupta has publishedmany articles, notes, and reviews there under both his own name and the pseudonymGanitanand. One recent article, The Chronic Problem of Ancient Indian Chro-nology (Gan. ita Bharat 12 (1990), 1726), is characteristic of his scholarship. Forreasons of space, the selected bibliography below is limited to some of the moreextensive papers that Gupta has published in English.

    R. C. Guptas scientific achievements have received acknowledgment in manyways during his fruitful and ongoing career. Most recently, he was elected Fellowof the National Academy of Sciences in India in 1991, President of the Associationof Mathematics Teachers of India in 1994, and Corresponding Member of theInternational Academy of the History of Science in 1995. He has also representedIndia on the Executive Committee of the International Commission on the Historyof Mathematics for many years. An active sportsman, he has won numerous medalsand prizes for his athletic prowess. May his health continue and enable him topursue his researches in the history of mathematics for many years to come.


    Abbreviations used: GB, Gan. ita Bharat (Bulletin of the Indian Society for History of Mathematics);HM, Historia Mathematica; HS, Historia Scientiarum [Japan]; IJHS, The Indian Journal of History ofScience; IS, Indological Studies (Journal of the Department of Sanskrit, University of Delhi); JAS, Journalof the Asiatic Society.

    1. Bhaskara Is Approximation to Sine, IJHS 2 (1967), 121136.

    2. Second Order Interpolation in Indian Mathematics up to the Fifteenth Century, IJHS 4 (1969), 8698.

    3. Fractional Parts of Aryabhat.as Sines and Certain Rules Found in Govindasvams Bhas.ya on theMahabhaskarya, IJHS 6 (1971), 5159.

    4. Early Indians on Second Order Sine Differences, IJHS 7 (1972), 8186.

    5. An Indian Form of Third Order Taylor Series Approximation of the Sine, HM 1 (1974), 287289.

    6. Solution of the Astronomical Triangle As Found in the Tantrasam. graha (A.D. 1500), IJHS 9(1974), 8699.

    7. Sines and Cosines of Multiple Arcs As Given by Kamalakara, IJHS 9 (1974), 143150.

    8. Addition and Subtraction Theorems for the Sine and the Cosine in Medieval India, IJHS 9(1974), 164177.

    1 Science and Engineering Research Institute, Doshisha University, Tanabe, Kyoto 610-03, Japan.E-mail: thayashi@doshisha.ac.jp.

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    9. Some Important Indian Mathematical Methods As Conceived in Sanskrit Language, IS 3 (1974),4962.

    10. Circumference of the Jambudvpa in Jaina Cosmography, IJHS 10 (1975), 3846.

    11. Sine of Eighteen Degrees in India up to the Eighteenth Century, IJHS 11 (1976), 110.

    12. Paramesvaras Rule for the Circumference of a Cyclic Quadrilateral, HM 4 (1977), 6774.

    13. On Some Mathematical Rules from the Aryabhat.ya, IJHS 12 (1977), 200206.

    14. Indian Values of the Sinus Totus, IJHS 13 (1978), 125143.

    15. Munsvaras Modification of Brahmaguptas Rule for Second Order Interpolation, IJHS 14(1979), 6672.

    16. Square Root of 164 in the Berlin Papyrus 11529, GB 2 (1980), 2931.

    17. Indian Mathematics and Astronomy in the Eleventh Century Spain, GB 2 (1980), 5357.

    18. Bibhutibhusan Datta (18881958), Historian of Indian Mathematics, HM 7 (1980), 126133.

    19. The Marci Commentary on the Jyotpatti, IJHS 15 (1980), 4449.

    20. The Process of Averaging in Ancient and Medieval Mathematics, GB 3 (1981), 3242.

    21. A Bibliography of Selected Sanskrit and Allied Works on Indian Mathematics and MathematicalAstronomy, GB 3 (1981), 86102.

    22. Indian Mathematics Abroad up to the Tenth Century A.D., GB 4 (1982), 1016.

    23. Can. d. u, an Astronomer of Medieval Rajasthan, GB 4 (1982), 134135.

    24. Decimal Denominational Terms in Ancient and Medieval India, GB 5 (1983), 815.

    25. Spread and Triumph of Indian Numerals, IJHS 18 (1983), 2138.

    26. On Some Ancient and Medieval Methods of Approximating Quadratic Surds, GB 7 (1985), 1322.

    27. Jinabhadra Gan. i and Segment of a Circle between Two Parallel Chords, GB 7 (1985), 2526.

    28. On Derivation of Bhaskara Is Formula for the Sine, GB 8 (1986), 3941.

    29. Some Equalization Problems from the Bakhshal Manuscript, IJHS 21 (1986), 5161.

    30. Madhavacandras and Other Octagonal Derivations of the Jaina Value f 5 10, IJHS 21 (1986),131139.

    31. South Indian Achievements in Medieval Mathematics, GB 9 (1987), 1540.

    32. On the Date of Srdhara, GB 9 (1987), 5456 (under the pen name Ganitanand).

    33. Madhavas Rule for Finding the Angle between the Ecliptic and the Horizon and Aryabhat.asKnowledge of It, in History of Oriental Astronomy, Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press, 1987,pp. 197202.

    34. Chords and Areas of Jambudvpa Regions in Jaina Cosmography, GB 9 (1987), 5153, and 10(1988), 124.

    35. On the Values of f from the Bible, GB 10 (1988), 5158.

    36. Tombstone Mathematics, GB 10 (1988), 6974.

    37. Volume of a Sphere in Ancient Indian Mathematics, JAS 30 (1988), 128140.

    38. On Some Rules from Jaina Mathematics, GB 11 (1989), 1826.

    39. SinoIndian Interaction and the Great Chinese Buddhist AstronomerMathematician I-Hsing (A.D.683727), GB 11 (1989), 3849.

    40. The Laks.a Scale of the Valmki Ramayan. a and Ramas Army, GB 12 (1990), 1016 (under the penname of Ganitanand).

    41. The Chronic Problem of Ancient Indian Chronology, GB 12 (1990), 1726.

    42. A Few Remarks concerning Certain Values of f in Ancient India, GB 12 (1990), 3338 (under thepen name of Ganitanand).

    43. The Value of f in the Mahabharata, GB 12 (1990), 4547.

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    44. Sudhakara Dvived (18551910), Historian of Indian Astronomy and Mathematics, GB 12(1990), 8396.

    45. An Ancient Approximate Rule for the Area of a Polygon, GB 12 (1990), 108112.

    46. The Molten Sea and the Value of f, The Jewish Bible Quarterly 19, No. 2 (19901991), 127135.

    47. On the Volume of a Sphere in Ancient India, HS No. 42 (1991), 3344.

    48. The First Unenumerable Number in Jaina Mathematics, GB 14 (1992), 1124.

    49. Varahamihiras Calculation of nCr and the Discovery of Pascals Triangle, GB 14 (1992), 4549.

    50. Abul Wafa and His Indian Rule about Regular Polygons, GB 14 (1992), 5761.

    51. On the Remainder Term in the MadhavaLeibnizs Series, GB 14 (1992), 6871.

    52. Rectification of Ellipse from Mahavra to Ramanujan, GB 15 (1993), 1440.

    53. A Problem of Interest in the Narada-Puran. a, GB 15 (1993), 6769.

    54. Sundararajas Improvements of Vedic CircleSquare Conversions, IJHS 28 (1993), 81101.

    55. Six Types of Vedic Mathematics, GB 16 (1994), 515.

    56. A Circulature Rule from the Agnipuran. a, GB 16 (1994), 5356.

    57. Areas of Regular Polygons in Ancient and Medieval Times, GB 16 (1994), 6165.

    58. Marx and His Mathematical Work, GB 16 (1994), 6669 (under the pen name Ganitanand).