Sunday, 23 October 2011

Kochi to host regional maths conference

KOCHI: The southern regional conference of National Initiative on Mathematics Education (NIME 2011) will be held from November 11-13 in Kochi. The conference is being organized by theKerala Mathematics Teachers Association(KMTA), Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan (Cochin Kendra) and Association of Mathematics Teachers of India ( AMTI).
The conference will discuss the current trends in mathematics education, research and how the subject is taught at various levels. A compiled version of the meet will be will be included when India makes a presentation at the International Congress of Mathematics Education (ICME) organized by the International Commission on Mathematical Instruction (ICMI) at Seoul, S Korea next year.
This is the first time in the country a digital recording or data collection of ancient and modern system of mathematics is taking place. This data will be compiled and a country report will be presented at the International Commission on Mathematical Instruction which will be held atSeoul in South Korea next year.
"We have no data as to how many students will graduate in mathematics in the country. Even there is no entry of such data.
Our mandate is to collate it at regional level. We will five regions where
interact with not just modern systems but also the gurukul system and art forms like kalari and Ayurveda where they use a different system of measurements across five regions,'' said Ambat Vijayakumar, Head, Department of Mathematics, Cochin University of Science and Technology.
The proceedings of the conference will act as an input for a report on the status of mathematics education in India, which is being compiled under the auspices of the Indian National Science Academy. Along with it, several traditional art forms and crafts which rely on a different mathematical system will also be recorded.
Vijayakumar who is the coordinator for the southern region said that they had been interacting with several artisans including carpenters who use a very unique form of calculation which is somewhat the equivalent of trigonometry.
The ICME is held once every four years. ''In the last meeting, China made a country presentation but we did not have national figures of any kind on mathematical education. Since we have very ancient history in mathematics, we will include the expertise of the ancient Kerala school of mathematics too,'' Vijayakumar said.

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