Leelavati Prize
sponsored by Infosys
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Leelavati Prize
sponsored by Infosys

The Leelavati Prize, sponsored by Infosys, is intended to accord high recognition and great appreciation of the International Mathematical Union (on behalf of the international mathematical community) and Infosys of outstanding contributions for increasing public awareness of mathematics as an intellectual discipline and the crucial role it plays in diverse human endeavors.

The Executive Organising Committee (EOC) of the ICM 2010 in Hyderabad decided, with the endorsement of the IMU Executive Committee (EC), to give a one-time international award, named the Leelavati Prize, for outstanding public outreach work for mathematics at the ICM Closing Ceremony, see the 2010 Press Release for details.

The award of the Leelavati Prize was well-received, see the Press Release on the first winner, so that the Indian colleagues made plans to turn the prize into a recurring four-yearly award and the award ceremony a regular feature of every ICM closing ceremony. Their efforts were successful. The IMU EC accepted this proposal and Infosys agreed to sponsor the Leelavati Prize. The award carries a cash prize of 1,000,000 Indian Rupies and a citation.

Leelavati is a twelfth century mathematical treatise written by the Indian mathematician Bhaskara II (also known as Bhaskaracharya – Acharya is teacher in Sanskrit). In the book the author poses a series of problems in elementary arithmetic and algebra as challenges to a person named Leelavati, followed by indications of solutions. The problems are written in verse form. According to a legend, Leelavati was a daughter of Bhaskaracharya and the book arose out of the author's efforts to console her with mathematics when a planned wedding for her was cancelled. This treatise was the main source for learning the then state-of-the art arithmetic and algebra in medieval India. The work was also translated into Persian and was influential in the middle east.

Nominations for the Leelavati Prize

Note that the Leelavati Prize is not intended to reward mathematical research but rather outreach activities in the broadest possible sense. When making nominations for this Prize you may consider, for example, persons who have contributed to the visibility of mathematics through any of the following channels:

  • Books
  • Films
  • Plays
  • TV, radio, or other shows
  • Museum activities, exhibitions, or fairs
  • Public lectures
  • Internet activities for mathematics.

Please provide in your nomination sources or references where more background information on the candidate's work can be found, especially Web pages, book reviews, newspaper articles, etc.

Nominations for this award have to be submitted to the Prize Committee Chair. IMU requests that the Nomination Guidelines are observed.

last updated: 2013-01-16