Born: 1114 in Biddur, India
Died: 1185 in Ujjain, India

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Bhaskara represents the peak of mathematical knowledge in the 12th Century and reached an understanding of the number systems and solving equations which was not to be reached in Europe for several centuries. Baskara was head of the astronomical observatory at Ujjain, the leading mathematical centre in India at that time.

He understood about 0 and negative numbers. He knew that x^2 = 9 had two solutions. He gives the formula
sqrt(a + or - sqrtb) = sqrt((a+sqrt(a^2-b))/2)  + or - sqrt((a-sqrt(a^2-b))/2).
Baskara also studied Pell's equation x^2=1+py^2 for p=8, 11, 32, 61 and 67. When p = 61 he found the solutions x =1776319049, y = 22615390. He studied many Diophantine problems.

Bhaskara's mathematical works include Lilavati (The Beautiful) and Bijaganita (Seed Counting) while he also wrote on astronomy, for example Karanakutuhala (Calculation of Astronomical Wonders).

References (11 books/articles)

References elsewhere in this archive:

Tell me about Pell's equation

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JOC/EFR December 1996