A short overview of Vedic Mathematics, its history and its mathematics, as well as an assessment of its role in India in the world today.
At the start of the 20th century, Bharati Krishna Tirtha announced that after extensive study of the ancient sacred Hindu texts, the Vedas, he had discovered hidden mathematical secrets that offered a completely different approach to mathematics than anywhere else in the world.
Alex Bellos came across a single instance of 'Vedic mathematics' on YouTube and, being a journalist, he boarded a plane to India to find out more.
For transcript and download versions of this lecture, please visit the event's page on the Gresham College website: Early Mathematics
Freelance writer and broadcaster, Alex Bellos was born in Oxford and grew up in Edinburgh and Southampton. After studying mathematics and philosophy at university he joined the Evening Argus in Brighton as a trainee reporter. In 1994 he joined the Guardian as a reporter and in 1998 he moved to Rio de Janeiro, where spent five years as the Guardian's South America correspondent.
Since 2003 he has lived in London, as a freelance writer and broadcaster.
The books by Alex Bellos include: 'Futebol, the Brazilian Way of Life', 'Pele, the Autobiography' (as ghostwriter) and 'Alex's Adventures in Numberland' (US title: 'Here's Looking At Euclid').
In 2003 Alex presented a five-part series on Brazil for the BBC, called Inside Out Brazil. His short films about the Amazon have been broadcast on the BBC, More 4 and Al Jazeera International.