Who took
America by storm by his prodigious skill in
mental calculation.
Shyam Marathe, with international acclaim, has been a prodigy in the field of mathematics and its superior methods for several years now. Having authored 15 books in Marathi on the Indian method of calculation as well as a book on the ancient Indian science of memorising, he is planning to translate them all into English. Having retired from the Life Insurance he now lives in Pune, western India but still retains an active interest in Indian mathematics, that helped him to score a win all those years ago. His latest interest is in computers, even as he admits that they may make mental mathematics irrelevant.
At a presentation in Santa Monica, California, USA, some time ago, he observed that it was Indian mathematics and its superior methods, which had made modern day computing possible.
The panelists included famous mathematicians and psychologists who believed that something didn't quite add up. So, a medical checkup was organised wherein 22 electrodes were fitted to his head and ECG tracings were recorded while he answered complex mathematical queries. However, the tests revealed nothing special. The last of the doubts was erased. All agreed that 'speedmath' was a science by itself, and India was, undoubtedly, its birthplace.
The next day, the newest sensation in the world of speed mathematics, found his face splashed on newspapers and on television. And, in a short while, Marathe came to be recognised as one of the quickest mental calculators in the world. The question on everyone's lips was: Who is this man? And how can he do what is humanly impossible?
And as is usually the case, whilst the world marvelled at the genius of Indian mathematics, it got little recognition in its country of origin. The late Shankaracharya of Govardhan Math at Puri, Bharatikrishna Tirthaji Maharaj, had pieced together the mathematical essence of some of the verses in the Atharva Veda which were later compiled by his disciples into a book called 'Vedic Mathematics'. A follower of the Shankaracharya, Marathe took upon himself this legacy and says: "The most important thing for speed maths is memory. Indian sages have given some superior methods of memorising things. I don't have a divine power. Rather, it has been the result of the hard work put in."
Northop University started a special section to encourage and promote the study of ancient Indian number theory.
California University started his research on positive forgetting /negative memory.
Nevada University introduced a subsection called MatheMagic.
Twenty American universities followed with advanced studies in Vedic mathematics.
And as is usually the case, whilst the world marvelled at the genius of Indian mathematics, it got little recognition in its country of origin. The late Shankaracharya of Govardhan Math at Puri, Bharatikrishna Tirthaji Maharaj, had pieced together the mathematical essence of some of the verses in the Atharva Veda which were later compiled by his disciples into a book called 'Vedic Mathematics'. A follower of the Shankaracharya, Marathe took upon himself this legacy and says: "The most important thing for speed maths is memory. Indian sages have given some superior methods of memorising things. I don't have a divine power. Rather, it has been the result of the hard work put in."
Marathe, living upto his own ideals, has never cashed in on his prodigious talent. "I always felt that these methods should be made known to people at large so that speed maths doesn't remain the domain of a select few."
