Beyond Infinity

1. Give our readers, a brief about your background

I am an Associate Professor of Mathematics, working at D.G. Vaishnav College, Chennai and I founded Pie Mathematics Association in 2007, and have been the Founder since then. I have involved in all activities envisaged to popularizing mathematics education in India. As a social service I involve myself in teaching freely for poor and underprivileged students of many areas in mathematics.

2. The story of Pie Mathematics Association – The inception, growth and achievements?

The association was started in June 2007 with the help of my former students and well wishers who wish to contribute towards spreading mathematics. For the last eight and half years since its inception, the Association has grown beyond our imagination and has helped reaching mathematics to all sectors of people like students, teachers and general public. Our association has published 9 books so far and all these books have won at least one best book award from various literary organizations the chief among them being winning Tamilnadu Government’s Best Science Book Awards successively in 2013 and 2014.

3. Your Mathematical inspiration?

All great mathematicians are my inspiration but I could count Ramanujan as my greatest inspiration among them. I literally pray him everyday to bless me and our Association in all our endeavors. It is my duty to mention Shri. P.K. Srinivasan who was the great math educator India has ever produced and he inspired me quite a lot, having motivated me especially during my early years. Finally, I was inspired by many great mathematics books that I possess in my library, which taught me how to look at mathematics beyond the scope of the syllabi.

4. How and when Prof. Sivaraman did identify the Author Sivaraman?

To be frank, I never thought to be an Author. At the time when I joined as Lecturer many years ago, I felt I would be a good teacher and motivate many young students. When I started feeling that I should share what I know to others, I felt that it is impossible to visit all places and contribute. Hence, after beginning Pie Mathematics Association, all the members of our association agreed to the fact that the best way to reach people and spread mathematics is through publishing books, since books will stay forever even after our time. Today, we understand and know great minds through their works which came in the form of books. This observation made me to transform as Author Sivaraman though it may not be clear if I am writing as well as professional Authors does.

5. An account of your works and accolades?

I am involved in writing about mathematics for various newspapers, magazines and publishing periodical puzzles in famous Newspapers like The Hindu School Edition (12 Puzzles per week), The New Indian Express (Every Monday). I had written 11 books so far (7 in Tamil, 4 in English). I had been taking free classes for many years for students of slum areas and who could not afford to avail exclusive classes. With my efforts many students had passed the National Level exams and had settled very well in their life. Some of them come back and help me in running the Association. I derive immense satisfaction in doing these works that Almighty has bestowed upon me.

6. About the recent National Award for Outstanding Efforts in Science & Technology Communication?

It is once in a life time event, and I felt very privileged and humbled to receive it on 1st March, 2016 in the presence of great Scientists of India. It was clearly a proud moment in my life and I felt extremely thrilled to receive it. I am also happy because I am the youngest among 11 recipients that day. Finally, the efforts and struggles have become known to the Nation and I hope that this award would only increase my curiosity to contribute more to the society. Another news is that I have decided to spend a good portion of the prize money that is offered to me to the benefit of Mathematics in making mathematics models and publishing books in future.

7. How good you feel of being a teacher?

It gives great sense of satisfaction and proud to be a teacher that too involved in shaping the future of many young students. Only few would have the chance of doing this, and I feel very blessed to motivate students through my expertise in teaching, who in turn had chosen teaching positions and started doing what I have been doing several years ago. Hopefully, this will lead to many more people like me in future to serve India. India is known for producing exceptional teachers and I wish to be ranked one among them, though only time has to decide upon this. Teaching gives immense satisfaction to my soul and if I were to be born next time, I wish only to be a teacher especially, as one who teaches mathematics.

8. Share with us your love for Mathematics and the importance of Math beyond schooling?

My love for Mathematics knows no bounds and I wish to make learning mathematics an enjoyable experience for everyone. Nothing gives me happiness rather than reading a nice proof or proving a small idea in Mathematics. I regard all mathematicians as my closest relatives and I admire them by hanging their pictures in my living room to get their blessings all through my life. More than the love, the urge towards learning mathematics is ever present in my every gene and I hope that with this, I should do as much as possible in spreading mathematics. Learning Math beyond school or college curriculum makes it an experience rather than a subject and I always insist that if anyone is good at Math, they can easily understand and explore any Science and make great strides in Science and Technology. For this, learning beyond the syllabi is compulsory.

9. What are your future plans?

I wish to create a Mathematics Museum and a building housed entirely with Mathematics equipments, models, auditoriums and exhibits where students and public can visit and enjoy seeing mathematics in action before their own eyes. Though this is very ambitious, I hope that with the awareness that media and social network were creating now, one day it would happen; thanks to all good-hearted people who could contribute to this. I only wish that the mathematical legacy of India should be retained by our future generations and we should produce more mathematicians and scientists winning international prizes like Fields Medal, Abel Prize, Nobel Prize on a regular basis and bring back the lost pride of our great nation.

10. What would you suggest for budding talents to stay ahead in any mission?

Thanks to the advancement of technology, there is no doubt that today’s students have great exposure towards acquiring knowledge and therefore they have more chance of becoming experts in their chosen domain compared to our times and some decades ago. But despite all these facilities, today’s students need more patience and wait till the right opportunity to get their work done. They have to work very hard and should not expect everything to happen in just a week or month's time. Sometimes, it would take upto few years before their discovery, make huge impact, they should have the courage and determination to wait till then. Whatever subject they chose, they have to immerse themselves deeply in learning it and forget primarily about securing percentage of marks and passing the exams. Only then India would produce great Scientists in future.

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