IGNOU International Vedic Maths Conference October 2017

The Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU), with about 4 million students, may well be the largest university in the world. It specialises in distance learning and includes students not only in India but also many other countries. It was thus a privilege for the IAVM to be invited to organise a section of their conference. The IGNOU conference in October was held at one of their regional centres, Ahmedabad.

The whole conference came under the title, The Journey of Indian Languages: Perspectives on Culture and Society. The guest of honour was His Excellency Venkaiah Naidu, Vice-President of India, who gave the inaugural speech.

The involvement of IAVM only came to fruition two months before the event and so presentations were, for the most part, taken from previously published papers and conferences.

DAY 1

Introduction

In the presence of Prof. Ravindra Kumar, the Vice Chancellor of IGNOU, Swati Dave gave an introduction to the conference with a brief description of what is Vedic Maths. She also described the global nature of interest and work as well as pointing out various courses now available in India.

Vasanth Shastri - Vedic Mathematics Methods on Maths Anxiety - Randomized Control Trial

In his talk Vasanth alluded to, what turned out to be a recurring theme, pattern recognition in Vedic Maths that helps to reduce anxiety amongst students. His paper included very positive results found in randomized control trials.

James Glover - The Psychology of Vedic Mathematics - Examples of Universal Thought Patterns

An inspiring talk from James, via Skype, looked at the qualitative nature of Vedic Maths with its flexibility, universality, subtlety and dependence on human experience. He concluded that the sutras are like elemental seeds of knowledge from which manifold applications develop.

Marianne Fletcher - Recurring Decimals

Having just arrived from South Africa Marianne presented her researches into recurring decimal strings using the VM sutras and how they can be used for the search for prime numbers. Her talk illustrated the governing principles of recurring decimals and how easy it is to find their patterns using the Ekadhikena sutra.

Kenneth Williams - 16 Multiplication Devices

Following his talk at the IAVM Online Conference back in March of this year on 16 Division devices, Ken brilliantly described how each of the sixteen sutras can be applied for multiplication. He provided wonderfully clear examples of each case and showed just how flexible the sutras are in their application. His talk was also via Skype.

Vinay Nair - Developing Problem Solving Skills Using Vedic Maths

Starting from well-known VM methods in arithmetic Vinay showed how each can be developed into puzzles and problems for the students so as to strengthen their thinking skills. This is an invaluable progression because, at the end of the day, the most common use of any mathematical education is in the ability to solve problems.

Prof. Ravindra Kumar with Swati Dave

Vasanth Shashtri

Marianne Fletcher

Vinay Nair

High Tea Break

Marianne and Vasanth Preparing

Vasanth and Vinay Checking Emails - By Inspection!

All Thanks to Swati for Brilliant Project Management

DAY 2

Kuldeep Singh - VM in Binary Number System

Starting with a description of binary and how the old Indian system of money used binary, Kuldeep gave a clear exposition of applying the basic Vedic methods of multiplication by All from 1 and the last from 2, vertically and crosswise, straight squaring and special case squaring, resulting in amazingly easy arithmetic.

He also gave examples of where these algorithms are being used in system designs for computers resulting in much faster processing speeds.

Marianne Fletcher - Binomial Expansions

Mariane's second presentation showed how the Vedic sutras apply to binomial expansions including a unique relationship between such expansions and differential and integral calculus. She also showed some of her research work on 'Power Triangles' which are variations of Pascal's triangle.

James Glover - Areas in Coordinate Geometry

One of the Vedic Maths rules lends itself to an ultra-easy method for finding areas of shapes on graphs. This was then taken forward to a one-line proof of Pythagoras' theorem, proving trigonometric identities and the formula for distance of a point to a line.

Devaraj - Using Vinculums

Devaraj gave an exposition of vinculum (negative) numbers and how they can be utilised very effectively to make light of difficult calculations. It is a system whereby large digits can be replaced with small digits. He also indicated that the use of such numbers can enhance the speed of processing in computers.

Kuldeep Singh Explaining Binary in VM

Devaraj Expounding Vinculums

Enthusiastic Participants

The IAVM Team

Round-Table Discussion

The conclusion to the conference consisted of a round-table discusson focussing on a request from IGNOU to produce a three-module course of 12 credits for their distance learning programme. IAVM associates will be working on this over the next few weeks and will then submit a proposal to IGNOU for due consideration. We all hope this project will move forward and help with the growth and expansion of VM in mainstream education.

The conference was deemed to be a great success with smiles and happy faces all round and a determined enthusiasm to work towards further expansion of VM in education.