KOCHI: The department of Mathematics, Cochin University of Science and Technology (CUSAT) is set to celebrate the birth centenary of legendary Indian Mathematician S.S.Shrikhande on Thursday with a variety of activities. Prof. Ambat Vijayakumar will deliver a talk on ‘Shrikhande- the man and his mathematics’ in the afternoon. “Leonhard Euler (1707-1783) a renowned Swiss mathematician who had worked in fourteen different areas of mathematics including music theory and ship design had proposed a conjecture in 1782 on mutually orthogonal latin squares, a popular version of which is called the 36 officer’s problem. This conjecture was totally disproved by R.C.Bose, S.S. Shrikhande and E.T. Parker in 1959 and was reported in the New York Times on April 26, 1959- the first ever report on a mathematical breakthrough in newspapers. Since then this group is popularly known as ‘EULER’S SPOILERS’,” says Dr Vijayakumar.
“The technique of proof which is quite tedious even now finds applications in statistics, coding theory used in space missions, cryptography used in defence studies and network analysis,” he says. Prof. Shrikhande who is a PhD from North Carolina University, USA in 1950 was born on October 19, 1917 in Sagar, MP and currently lives in Vijayawada and had served in various capacities at BHU, Bombay University, ISI, Mehta Research Institute, and University of North Carolina and University of Michigan. He has been honoured by many major scientific bodies in India and USA.