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Date Posted: 10:20
Author: anil nerode-26Aug02
Subject: Re: Vedic Mathematics & Prof. Nerode?
In reply to: Thomas-26Aug02 's message, "Vedic Mathematics & Prof. Nerode?" on 10:20

I am happy to venture my opinions. The so-called Vedic Mathematics Movement is an undesirable consequence of extreme Indian Nationalism. Using obsolete Vedic methods and vocabularies to teach elementary mathematics is a nationalistic perversion.
The scientific contribution of ancient and medieval India to the mathematical tradition is substantial, as was the contribution of Bablyonian Mathematics, Egyptian mathematics, Greek Mathematics, and Arabic Mathematics. To study mathematics from Vedic texts is simlar to studying mathematics from Babylonian clay tablets or Egyptian papyri, namely an extremely obscure way of learning the most elementary arithmetic and geometry and nascent calculus. Studying Greek mathematics through Euclid and Archimedes is equally obscure, but much more rewarding, since the concept of axiom and proof procdure was developed there, and as far as anyone knows, not developed to any degree anywhere else. But mathematics has been distilled very much over the thouands of years, and none of these are good ways to teach mathematics now. They contribute only to historical understanding of where things came from.

So the anwswer is unequivocally no, Vedic mathematics was not an influence on me. The actual influence on me was from Bertrand Russell's writings. He was the archetypal mathematical logician. His writing and the exciting ideas of Godel and Turing made me into a mathematical logician and computer scientist.

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