"REBUILDING MATHEMATICS FROM ZERO"
Fun Free Maths Seminars in West Bengal and Andhra Pradesh (November 2018)
Like many primary and upper primary school children, Jonathan J Crabtree once feared maths. Confused by many explanations, he believed maths should make more sense than the laws and rules alone conveyed. Many years later, Crabtree realised he had seen the “Lost Logic of Elementary Mathematics”.
The first concepts of India's elementary maths would have been the simplest. It certainly came to change the world! However, it is Crabtree’s belief that because of the oral tradition between teacher and student, and parent and child, the initial essence of maths was never documented in Sanskrit texts.
So, Crabtree made it his goal to recreate the simple lessons the great Indian Brahmagupta (c. 628), might have shared with children. Over the years, Crabtree found many mistakes in western explanations of basic maths that did not exist in the writings of Brahmagupta, Mahāvira (c. 850) or Bhāscara (c. 1150).
“… today’s definitions often fail to mention one or zero,
the most important numbers in all of mathematics!”
OK, what else went wrong? The full story has not been revealed until now. People say Indian maths made its way to the Arabic world, where al-Khwarizmi (c. 820) wrote a book on Hindu arithmetic, followed by a book on algebra. Then, in the 13th century after discovering Arabic maths from traders whilst travelling with his father throughout North Africa, Leonardo Pisano (Fibonacci) documented Arabic maths and Roman Numerals slowly began to be replaced with Hindu Arabic numerals and base ten notation.
Strangely, by the 16th century, as our current number system (1234 etc.) took hold, Europe had become well and truly fixated with ancient Greek geometry. Then, as England asserted itself on the world stage, it began to write maths books based on Greek ideas, meaning today’s mathematical definitions often fail to mention one or zero, the most important numbers in all of mathematics!
Sadly, todays maths lessons given to India’s primary and upper primary level students came from Greek ideas circa 300 BC, instead of the maths India developed a thousand years later. So, out of an ignorance of Indian maths, the West developed INFERIOR EXPLANATIONS of maths, which remain taught today.
India’s children deserve the truth, simplicity and power of Indian inspired maths. Yet, this is not about the Vedic Maths of His Holiness Shri Bharatikrishna Tirthaji Maharaja. This is about Brahmagupta’s concepts, as he is the unrecognised creator of modern mathematical thought. Alas, children have never been gifted the best explanations of his maths. By following Greek mathematical ideas, rather than its own, India’s results have been dismal.
In a recent global maths comparison, two Indian states ranked 72nd and 73rd out of 74 (see www.bit.ly/mathsdata and www.bit.ly/wrongmaths). So, are you surprised at how badly India’s children perform at maths compared to elsewhere? As the world's greatest democracy by population, India deserves more success – and that’s why YOU must be one of the first to rediscover Indian mathematics.
“How is it possible the maths being taught to India’s children
came to be built on the wrong mathematical foundations?”
How is it possible that the maths being taught to India’s children came to be built on the wrong mathematical foundations? Well, two things happened. First, the Arabic world did not truly grasp the power of India’s zero. India’s definition of zero never made it to Europe. The English then set Greek mathematical foundations in stone, approximately 200 years before the Sanskrit texts of Brahmagupta and Bhāscara emerged in English – when it was too late. So, just as the English language became the world’s language, Greek foundations came to prop up a ‘shaky’ system of elementary maths education.
Jonathan J. Crabtree, an Australian Mathematics Historian, has the keys to mathematics mastery. By teaching elementary mathematics correctly, via the initial ideas of India, our friends and families will get more career options and joy than ever before. As Crabtree says, ".... after several centuries of confusion, I have completely debugged and re-coded the structural foundations of maths to work as India originally intended - yet the world never came to know". Don’t miss out. You will be amazed at what you will learn.