LILOVARTI or LEELAVATI
natural philosopher (12th century)
>From private communication we learned that the
Sanskrit Vedic literature refers to her as a respected natural
philosopher and the inventor of mathematics.
This literature is very ancient, some 2000 to 3000 years old
with an oral tradition that streches much further back in time.
However, according to a message to our web site from Soumyadeb Ghosh,
this woman instead might be the daughter of a noted Indian
mathematician Bhaskaracharya (1114-1185CE).
He did many important things in astronomy and mathematics including
resolving a problem with the zero. He was the first to note that
division by zero did not give zero; it resulted in infinity.
He wrote a book on algebra called Leelavati.
The book was named after his daughter, also called Leelavati.
The book was used to teach her algebra. She was an excellent mathematician.
In 1816 the book was translated into English. However,
Soumyadeb Ghosh tells us that Leelavati herself is the
author of the book and quite famous in her own right. Clearly we have more
research to do here!
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