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7 ancient Indian mathematical discoveries that changed the world

Ancient India’s scientific acumen has been talked about the world over. It is the only civilization with so much regard for knowledge production and transmission.

Place value system

The Indian place value system is a unique number system that uses base 10 as well as a fractional part of the number, called “paridha”, to represent any number. It has been used for centuries and it is still in use today in India.


The number zero has defied the imagination of western mathematicians for a long. Even in the 21st-century number Zero (0) is not understood properly in western mathematics which leads to all kinds of problems. Rules of the sum of other numbers with Zero were given by Brahmgupta in his work “Brahmsputasiddhanta”, The root cause lies in the translation works of Al-Khwarizmi who didn’t accept 0 as a number. When the work went to Leonardo Pisano a.k.a. Fibonacci who translated many Arabian works to Latin, he didn’t get the definition of Bhaskaracharya. So on and so form. You can read more about it here.

Rules for Negative Numbers

Brahmgupta, an Indian mathematician, first introduced negative numbers. He was the one who came up with a way to represent negative numbers in his book “Brahmasphuta Siddhanta” in 628 AD.

Brahmgupta’s work on mathematics was not as well-known as his work on astronomy and his contributions to Sanskrit literature, but he is still considered one of the greatest mathematicians of all time.

Solution for Quadratic equations

Quadratic equations are one of the most common types of equations that students in middle school and high school are taught to solve. In this section, we will discuss how to solve quadratic equations using the completing the square method.

The completing the square method is a technique that is used to find all solutions for quadratic equations. It can be used for any quadratic equation, but it is usually only needed when there is a positive number in front of the square root symbol.

Binary Mathematics

Binary mathematics has been described in Vedas but it is made famous by a text of music by Pingala named “Chhandahshastra” meaning science of meters. The main commentaries on “Chhandahshastra” are “Vrittaratnakara” by Kedara, “Tatparyatika” by Trivikrama and “Mritasanjivani” by Halayudha.

Infinite Series

Madhava had worked on the infinite series of various functions much before Newton & Leibniz. According to CK Raju, Madhava may have worked on calculus much before Newtown & Leibniz got it from Jesuits.


Bijaganita is the name we call algebra with. Brahmagupta did exemplary work in the field of Algebra.

Wrapping Up

In India, around the 5th century A.D., a system of mathematics that made astronomical calculations easy was developed. In those times its application was limited to astronomy as its pioneers were Astronomers. Astronomical calculations are complex and involve many variables that go into the derivation of unknown quantities. Algebra is a short-hand method of calculation and by this feature, it scores over conventional arithmetic.