(NEWS) Jhansi Teacher in Maths Big League via TOI

(NEWS) Jhansi Teacher in Maths Big League via TOI

Ashish Sinha | TNN 

New Delhi: Original research in mathematics is rare in India but a schoolteacher inspired by the legendary Srinivasa Ramanujam has won accolades for extending two complex theorems of geometry by his sheer grit and genius.

Shri Ram Gupta’s contribution is now being appreciated not only by NCERT Books, HRD ministry and Limca Book of Records but also by the American Mathematical Society.

Otherwise, Gupta, 59, had been happily teaching at a Kendriya Vidyalaya in Jhansi for over three decades.
The teacher’s works on Menelaus’ theorem and cyclic polygons theorem have led to their extension to bring about approximate generalizations. A theorem is good when its applicability is universal and he always felt there was something amiss in both postulates.

“For 10 years or so, I’d think about these theorems day and night. I felt there was something amiss. This doubt prompted me to keep exploring. I was successful in generalizing them for higher geometric shapes,” Gupta told TOI after he had made a presentation of his second theorem at NCERT on Tuesday. Submitted to the American Mathematical Society on July 24 last year, the work was acknowledged by it as “extension” of Menelaus’ and cyclic quadrilateral theorems. The citation by Limca Book says that Gupta “developed original theorems and registered them with the ministry of HRD on April 12, 2005”.

For his second theorem, the teacher even coined a new phrase — “interior alternate angles” — in place of “apposite angles” because by using interior alternate angles, the theorem has been proved and generalized for any even-sided cyclic polygon.

Gupta was interested in the study of Menelaus’ theorem (named after the Greek mathematician) from the beginning and he was intrigued by the fact that the nature of all rectilinear figures was approximately the same. This led him to develop his postulate. Rectilinear figures refer to triangles and other geometric shapes containing any number of sides. The second theorem, however, came to Gupta more as “random thought” about the symmetric nature of cyclic hexagons (a geometric figure with six sides).

In mathematical parlance, the work done by Gupta can be classified as a major achievement because of their “generalization strength”, a crucial aspect of establishing a postulate. His work, which can be used by architects in planning projects, is also the first ever copyright in geometry.

“Mathematical research is languishing in India. Most young people now go for joboriented courses and basic science suffers. I wish more attention was paid to basic research. This would also help establish the hidden Indian talent on the international stage,” Gupta said.


Courtesy: TNN, Times Of India.