Vedic Mathematics

I taught five weeks class on Vedic Mathematics in the Hindu Heritage Class here at Albany, New York during 1996 and 1997. The children who attended my class were either middle school or high school students. I was following the book that is written buy Shri Sankaracharya of Puri. It was challenging to learn and to teach. But it was lots of fun for me. "Lilavati" by Bhaskara is another good book to learn.


At the outset, I want to emphasize that (from what I have learned) the sutras/mnemonics do not teach any high-level mathematics (It may be a case that people in ancient period were knowledgeable in mathematics and its application to astronomy and other computations). These sutras teach one to compute certain arithmetical operations quickly. The point that I like the best (when I was teaching in a Hindu Heritage class at Albany, NY as well as for my own enjoyment) is that it allows one to look at the same computations under different points of view and even get a better understanding of those elementary computations. Scholars acknowledge that Hindu Science was highly developed at AD 600 particularly in Astronomy [Knuth Vol. 2 Page 197]. Discovery of place value notation (decimal number system) has been attributed to India. However, some of the claims of Vedic Mathematics book (such as the discovery balanced ternary notation during vedic period) have been refuted by Scholars [K. S. Shukla Mathematics Education, Vol.5, No.3, 1989, pp. 129-133 quoted in Knuth Vol.2 Page 208]. It is imperative that participants be made aware of this. Otherwise, we will be doing a disservice to Mathematics as well as Science in Vedic period.
Interested reader may also want to read an article on Noretta Koertge Department of History and Philosophy of Science ... Prof. Koertge is a professor in the department of history and philosophy of science in Indiana University. (I have no connections with this professor - I found this article through a web search.)

My lectures can be found here.

Lectures in Power Point Slides

Lecture 1 in power point

Lecture 2 in power point

Lecture 3 in power point

Lecture 4 in power point

Lectures in PDF format

Lecture 1 in pdf

Lecture 2 in pdf

Lecture 3 in pdf

Lecture 4 in pdf

Lectures in Post Script

You may not be able to see them in ghost view. But they print ok.

Lecture 1 in post script

Lecture 2 in post script

Lecture 3 in post script

Lecture 4 in post script

I can be contacted at Moorthy