The Ramanujan Museum Is Reinventing How Children Learn Mathematics

The Ramanujan Museum Is Reinventing How Children Learn Mathematics

Tucked away on a street of Royapuram, this one-room museum isn’t on your average tourist list, in fact, many don’t know about it at all. The personalia museum is dedicated to one of India’s most famous scholars, mathematician Srinivasa Ramanujan. Having little to no structured education in mathematics, his inquisitive spirit and perseverance led him to make dents in the field just through independent research. He was so devoted to the subject that he lost his college scholarship, as his passion didn’t allow him to focus on the other required areas of study. It didn’t seem to dampen his drive and he went on to become the first Indian to be elected as a Fellow of Trinity College in Cambridge, and one of the most celebrated mathematicians of the world.

Mathematics educator PK Srinivasan established the museum after he came across a collection of Ramanujan’s belongings, and found the space to display the scholar’s photographs and letters, among other objects. But his intention wasn’t simply to create a collection space, but a living entity that promoted the ideals Ramanujan encapsulated. It has a mathematics lab, where it aspires to teach children the beauty of the subject with a fun, hands-on approach. They also conduct workshops around the country for teachers and educators.

Maths often elicits horror from many school-going children (and adults like me) and the museum knows it. They identify how Maths has a certain reputation because of the exhaustively boring and repetitive rote learning system that mainstream curriculum promotes, and want to inspire an engaging attitude towards the subject. As the website states:

“Let us join the global scenario that presents mathematics as a part of a value-based culture and alter the poor image got from exam reduced curricular covered in an authoritarian way.”

Ramanujan hailed from a small village with no sophisticated educational background, yet somehow, managed to make his mark on the world. Maths fan or not, this is definitely is something to applaud and warrants a visit to the museum to cherish his memory and spirit.

The museum is open through the week from 10:00 AM - 7:30 PM, except Sunday it shuts at 1 PM. Find more information about the museum on the website and plan your visit.

Feature image credit: (L) Kavi Bharathi Vidyalaya & (R) Wikimedia Commons.

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