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5th Edition Ramanujan Mathematics Contest Award Ceremony at University of Mauritius

5th Edition Ramanujan Mathematics Contest Award Ceremony

University of Mauritius

21 March 2019

Hon. Acting President H.E. Mr. Paramasivum Pillay Vyapoory,

Vice Chancellor Prof. Dhanjay Jhurry,

Professor for Mathematics Department,

Trustees of Ramanujan Trust,

Prof. Imre Bennett,

Dear Students and Teachers,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Thank you very much for inviting me to join this award ceremony.

I arrived in Mauritius recently and this is my first time at the University of Mauritius, which I was looking forward to visit.

Good education and academic excellence lays the foundation for the development of any society. And this has been true all across the world through the ages.

It is also said that talent is universal even if opportunity may not be. This aspect is very relevant when we look at the case of Srinivasa Ramanujan, a self-taught Mathematician who overcame his humble beginnings to become a Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge, almost a century ago, when India was still a colony.

Providing opportunity to young minds is our collective duty, both to promote pure sciences but also for development of technology and economy.

Mathematics is a wonderful thing. We still do not understand as to how we are able to describe so many aspects of nature around us through the language of mathematics. This in itself is a fascinating topic, which continues to lead to a series of commentaries and provocatively titled books such as the one named ‘Is God A Mathematician’ by Prof. Mario Livio, which I came across a few years ago.

The history of evolution of mathematical thought is another fascinating subject that tells us how a human mind continues to tackle natures puzzle’s through conceptual mathematics techniques. Some of the early simple mathematics seems to have arisen to respond to the very basic and mundane questions such as the management of seasonal harvest or payment of salaries or land record keeping.

We then see mathematics being developed to describe more complex phenomenon such as the trajectories of planetary motion or concepts like statistics or probability or econometrics or algorithms that drive dangerous innovations in financial markets.

India has had a strong tradition in mathematics. Ancient scholars worked on and solved complex equations framing problems often through poetry! The initial use of zero by Indian mathematician is well known. Today, Indians continue to do well in the field of computers or at Chess!

I must say that although I am myself an Engineer by qualification, I always have been a bit intimidated by of some of the complicated mathematics, even if I managed to score satisfactorily that in some ways tells me the importance of a good guru, who can explain concepts clearly.

I must congratulate Srinivasa Ramanujan Trust Mauritius and the University of Mauritius for their efforts to promote excellence in mathematics among young students in Mauritius.

I would also like to congratulate all Mauritian students, who participated in this challenge and I hope that it instilled in them some more excitement and curiosity about mathematics.

Special congratulations are, of course, due to the winners, who excelled in this contest.

To conclude, may I wish all students of University of Mauritius, so that they work hard and have a great future ahead of them, and bring laurels to their country.

Thank you.


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