Cerebral Shangrila

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Rainbow Quiz - Identify the personality - Week 52

Here is the next weekly "Rainbow" quiz , where I would be giving 7 clues (Hence the name Rainbow) about a personality. Try to discover the person in the least number of clues . You can either leave the answer as a comment / email me . Feedback/ suggestions welcome. Googling is not preferred but then its just for fun and so go ahead if you need to.

Rainbow quiz completes a year. This quiz is dedicated to one of the luminaries of Indian science.

clue# 1 : "X" was born in Patliputra (modern Patna) in Bihar. However, many are of the view (particularly in recent times) that he was born in Kerala and lived in Magadha at the time of the Gupta rulers.

clue # 2 : "X" is the author of several treatises on mathematics and astronomy, some of which are lost. His major work, a compendium of mathematics and astronomy that still survives is extensively referred to in the Indian mathematical literature.

clue # 3 : His most important contribution to mathematics is his solution of the indeterminate equation ax - by = c.

clue # 4 : Several disciples flocked to "X" and later became famous mathematicians themselves, like Bhaskara, Sankaranarayana, Suryadeva and Nilkantha.

clue # 5 : Among his many towering achievements, he correctly determined the axial rotation of the earth. He inferred that planetary orbits were elliptical, and provided a valid explanation of solar and lunar eclipses. His theory of the relativity of motion predated Einstein’s by 1400 years. And his studies in algebra and trigonometry, which laid the foundations for calculus, influenced European mathematicians 1,000 years later, when his texts were translated into European languages from the 8th century Arabic translations of the Sanskrit originals.

clue # 6 : His
Calendric calculations have been in continuous use in India for the practical purposes of fixing the Panchanga or Hindu calendar.

clue # 7 : He humbly states about his achievements, " I delved deep in the astronomical theories, true and false, and rescued the precious sunken jewel of knowledge, by means of the best of my intellect and by the grace of God."

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