Story of Zero with Ravi Shankar R, Anupama Prakash, Sriraghavan S M and Pavan Kumar P at GI/MMB

Activities at GI/MMB starts on a roll again. Deepa engaging the kids to draw perspectives and views on our cora cloth.

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Its 4:15 and we have three active groups at GI/MMB. Darryl is back after his introduction to Pi at the British library now to hear and share his story of Zero. He begins by looking at the deeply etched NumberNagar mudras, which have a long-standing history from early civilizations. He is closely observing each of the mudras and attempting to see the need for simplifying and reading numbers as symbols. He tries his hand at memory game.

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Parents gather to hear the story of zero from Raghav. He took them through how the Babylonians counted tediously, Hindu priests using Bindu as a point of reference and symbol in their rituals. He also shared how the two words, Shunya and Bindu came to being. Challenges of Fibonacci attempting to introduce zero in Europe. Last but not least, zero gaining weight due to rising trade in China.

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Janhavi introduces them to a game of number tablets. Each picks a tablet and attempts to get the multiple of the first number tablet picked which is between 2-9. The subsequently picked tablets are between 11-99. We have eight players calculating and exercising their tables to win a NumberNagar kite.

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Manoj is attempting to introduce binary system using mudras as a medium to parents. He tries a memory game of the mudras as well. He also introduces them to “GOOGOL” from which the term ‘google’ has been derived. He talks about Googol being a mathematical number which is one with hundred zeros.

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Raghav tries to simplify a game of probability to the participants. A mixed age group is not easy to address as we see. Holding their attention and guiding them to mark their chances as likely, most likely, not likely was a task by itself to the instances he probed them from their daily lives. Deepa and Janhavi led parents to make their own equations using number and sign tablets. Note that the equations emerge even though they have randomly picked various tablets from a bag.  Surprise was writ on their face as they saw that whoever picked whichever tablet there was always an equation or inequation lurking around!

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Srivatsa takes Mrs Lata Ravindranathan, Director – Academics at WeCare Learning Pvt. Ltd. through each of the activity zones and introduces them to the mathematical concepts.  He mentioned the importance of zero; the frustrations and understanding of the mathematicians of various cultures across the globe; travails and successes that they had to go through before they came to grips with the concept of zero. He also  discussed about the concept of “division by zero” which was not resolved till the 17th and 18th century.

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Janhavi led a few scientists through the activities and they involved themselves keenly in the play of making equations and inequations. They were quite surprised that they knew quite a lot of mathematics when they toyed with the multiples of numbers; they discovered the laws of mathematics applying basic concepts of Algebra with Arithmetical operations.

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