# On the road to make math fun

MITA MUKHERJEE
 Madanlal Baldevraj Ghai during the city leg of his tour. Picture by Sayantan Ghosh

An army major who quit to become a mathematics teacher has embarked on a self-funded tour of the country to promote the subject.

Madanlal Baldevraj Ghai, 70, stayed in a dormitory at Howrah station to keep costs down during the three days he spent in Calcutta recently, meeting officials of the primary and secondary board and the school education department to offer suggestions on how to make the study of mathematics more interesting.

“India has produced brilliant mathematicians not just in the Vedic and medieval ages but also in modern times. Unfortunately, for quite a few years, not many students have been pursuing the subject at the higher level, which has resulted in a decline in the number of top-quality mathematicians,” the former teacher at PMN College in Rajpura, Punjab, told Metro.

“We, the elderly mathematics teachers, need to reach out to students and guardians in every corner of the country to dispel the misconception that mathematics is dry and boring,” added Ghai, who has an MPhil in the subject and is pursuing his PhD at Punjabi University, Patiala.

His 50-day tour was also prompted by the Prime Minister declaring 2012 as the year of mathematics as a tribute to Srinivasa Ramanujan, the autodidact mathematician who died in 1920 at the age of 32.

## Maths Movie to look out for: Hollywood primed for film on Indian math genius Ramanujan

Look out for this movie on Indian math genius Ramanujan starring Dev Patel from “Slumdog Millionaire”!

Ramanujan was a self-taught maths genius from India who had little to no formal education. Yet he was able to come out with stunning formulas such as this approximation for Pi:

$\displaystyle\frac{1}{\pi} = \frac{2\sqrt{2}}{9801} \sum_{k=0}^\infty \frac{(4k)!(1103+26390k)}{(k!)^4 396^{4k}}$

(Reuters) – A new Hollywood film starring Dev Patel as Srinivasa Ramanujan will put the spotlight on the Indian math genius best known for his work on the theory of prime numbers.

Ramanujan, who died in 1920, was considered one of the brightest minds in mathematics, despite his lack of a formal education.

Patel, who caught Hollywood’s eye in 2008’s Oscar-winning film “Slumdog Millionaire”, has been cast as the lead. Filming begins in September with a British actor playing G.H. Hardy, the mathematician who recognized Ramanujan’s talent and brought him to England in 1914.

“The subject matter of Ramanujan is an Indian story but it is the story of the relationship of India and the West,” the film’s co-producer Edward Pressman told Reuters over the phone.