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The Mathematics Enthusiast

Authors

Phoebe Webb

Volume

11

Issue

3

Abstract

The Kerala School of mathematics, founded by Madhava in Southern India, produced many great works in the area of trigonometry during the fifteenth through eighteenth centuries. This paper focuses on Madhava's derivation of the power series for sine and cosine, as well as a series similar to the well-known Taylor Series. The derivations use many calculus related concepts such as summation, rate of change, and interpolation, which suggests that Indian mathematicians had a solid understanding of the basics of calculus long before it was developed in Europe. Other evidence from Indian mathematics up to this point such as interest in infinite series and the use of a base ten decimal system also suggest that it was possible for calculus to have developed in India almost 300 years before its recognized birth in Europe. The issue of whether or not Indian calculus was transported to Europe and influenced European mathematics is not addressed.

First Page

495

Last Page

512

Included in

Mathematics Commons

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