Date:21/06/2005 URL:


Mathematician passes away

Staff Reporter

CHENNAI: Mathematician P.K. Srinivasan died of cardiac arrest on Monday morning. He was 80 and is survived by his wife, five daughters and five sons.

A pioneer in establishing mathematics clubs in Tamil Nadu, Mr. Srinivasan travelled around the country to ensure that mathematics was not a "bugbear."

The son of a head clerk in the police department, he was born on November 4, 1924. Mr. Srinivasan is an alumnus of Loyola College. He withdrew from the three-year honours course in mathematics in favour of a B.A. degree, and did his M.A. in Education. He taught the subject at the Muthialpet High School from 1965 to 1981 and introduced Maths Olympiad.

Mr. Srinivasan was a Fulbright exchange teacher in the United States and a senior federal education officer and senior lecturer in Nigeria. He was also a lecturer in the NCERT study group during 1968-70.

Mr. Srinivasan received the National Science Award in 1991 for popularising mathematics among children. He helped establish the Ramanujan Museum at Royapuram in 1993 and has organised over 60 maths expositions for school students of all ages in India, the U.S.A. and Nigeria.

Post-retirement, he was consultant for several government and private educational institutions. He collected and preserved for posterity, folk mathematics handed down by oral tradition in rural India. He founded the Association of Mathematics Teachers of India in 1956.

M.S. Rangachari, head, Department of Mathematics, Ramanujan Institute of Higher learning in Mathematics, University of Madras, said the best homage to Mr. Srinivasan would be for mathematics teachers to make the subject interesting for children. He authored two memorial volumes on Ramanujan's works besides a number of popular books for children.

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