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An ancient math book studied by Amartya Sen leaves netizens intrigued online

From the contents of the pages, it seems to be from Līlāvatī, an ancient treatise on mathematics, written in 1150 by vedic mathematician and astronomer Bhaskaracarya.

By: Trends Desk | New Delhi |
Updated: October 19, 2020 1:12:53 pm
nobel prize, amartya sen, amartya sen nobel prize, nobel museum, nobel prize trivia, amartya sen nobel prize trivia, viral news, trending news, indian expressThe organisation shared the picture on Instagram -- two pages from the a vedic mathematics book studied by Sen.

The official handle for the Nobel Prize shared a rare picture of Indian Economist and Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen’s book from his school days, creating a buzz online.

The handle, which often shares lesser known facts about previous winners as well as trivia, in the recent post shared a few pages from a math book Sen studied during his childhood days. From the contents of the pages, it seems to be from Līlāvatī, an ancient treatise on mathematics, written in 1150 by vedic mathematician and astronomer Bhaskaracarya.

“Mathematics is important in many scientific fields, especially economics, a field where Amartya Sen conducted groundbreaking studies. Sen used these math textbooks when he was at school. They are written in Sanskrit, although this is not the most common language spoken in West Bengal, where he grew up,” the description read.

“Take a look at Amartya Sen’s math book – can you read what it says?” the organisation asked on Instagram while sharing the two pages from the book, which is an archive picture taken from Nobel Prize Museum.

Sen, who had won the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in 1998 for his research on fundamental problems in welfare economics, focusing on social choice, welfare measurement, and poverty, had received his primary education in both India and present day Bangladesh. Later, he studied at Presidency College in Calcutta and then at Trinity College in Cambridge, where he received his PhD in 1959.

Born in Shantiniketan, where his maternal grandfather Kshiti Mohan Sen used to teach Sanskrit as well as ancient and medieval Indian culture, Sen is well-versed in the traditional Indian language.

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Imagine being named by Literature Laureate Rabindranath Tagore – that is exactly what happened to Amartya Sen. Tagore suggested Sen’s unusual first name to his mother. 'Amartya' means immortal (Bengali অমর্ত্য ômorto, lit. "immortal"). Later Sen would attend Tagore’s experimental school at Santiniketan, India. Sen was awarded the Prize in Economic Sciences in 1998 "for his contributions to welfare economics". 85 years earlier Tagore was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature. Photo: Amartya Sen is pictured in his home in Cambridge in front of two photographs of Rabindranath Tagore and his grandfather Kshitimohan Sen with Mahatma Gandhi in 1941 and a map of the Trinity grounds in Cambridge. Photo credit: Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard University. . . . #NobelPrize #NobelLaureate #economics #science #tagore #literature #write #life #story #amartya #research

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For his biography written at the time of the 1998 Nobel Prize in Economics, and later published in the book series Les Prix Nobel, Sen was quoted saying: “I seriously flirted, in turn, with Sanskrit, mathematics, and physics, before settling for the eccentric charms of economics.”

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Bicycles are not a common tool in economic science, but Amartya Sen's bicycle played a role in his research. A large part of his work is concerned with the conditions of the most impoverished members of society and how these can be improved. In a study on differences between baby girls and boys, he employed an assistant to weigh the children. Problems arose when the children did not want to weighed and bit the assistant. The episode ended with Sen bicycling through the countryside of West Bengal, weighing the children himself. Amartya Sen was awarded the Prize in Economic Sciences in 1998 for his studies of social choice, welfare measurement and poverty research. . . . #WorldBicycleDay #bicycle #economics #economicsciences #research #NobelPrize #NobelLaureate

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“The curriculum of the school did not neglect India’s cultural, analytical and scientific heritage, but was very involved also with the rest of the world,” he said about his experiences while studying in Shantiniketan.

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