From Academic Kids

Bhāskara (1114-1185), also called Bhāskara II and Bhāskarācārya ("Bhaskara the teacher") was an Indian mathematician. He was born near Bijjada Bida in Bijapur district, Karnataka and became head of the astronomical observatory at Ujjain, continuing the mathematical tradition of Varahamihira and Brahmagupta.

In many ways, Bhaskaracharya represents the peak of mathematical knowledge in the 12th century. He reached an understanding of the number systems and solving equations, which was not to be achieved anywhere else in the world for several centuries. His main works are the Lilavati (dealing with arithmetic), Bijaganita (algebra) and Siddhantasiromani which consists of two parts: Goladhyaya (sphere) and Grahaganita (mathematics of the planets).



He conceived of differential calculus five centuries before Newton and Leibnitz, who are popularly considered to be it's founders. An example of what is now called "differential coefficient" and the basic idea of what is now known as "Rolle's theorem" can be seen in his writings (Madhava (1340 CE) and the Kerala school further advanced the development of calculus in India).

He worked with the equation popularly attributed to Pell, several centuries before Pell.

He developed a proof of the Pythagorean Theorem by calculating the same area in two different ways and then canceling out terms to get a^2 + b^2 = c^2.

He is also known to have proven that anything divided by zero is infinity in addition to establishing that infinity divided by anything remains infinity.


The Lilavati, his book on arithmetic, is the source of many interesting legends that assert that it was written for his daughter, Lilavati. Per one story, Bhaskara predicted (using astrology) that her husband would die soon after her marriage. To prevent that, he would perform the marriage at a precise time that he would measure using a special device. He put the device in a room with warnings to Lilavati to not go near it. In her curiosity though, she peers into the device and a pearl from her nose ring accidentally drops into it, thus upsetting it. The marriage takes place off-schedule and she is widowed early. Bhaskara is said to have taught her mathematics to console her in her grief and to have written the book for her.

See also

External links

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