Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Eyes to the right

Letters

Donald A Wroe (NCE 28 November) quotes wise words from the late Fulton Lee that maths was a language and that you needed that language, rather than the maths itself, to solve problems.

To bring fun back into the language it is up to us to make the language more flowery so that we do not lose its power to solve engineering and scientific problems. Our forefathers were able to do it and I refer you to Bhaskara Acharya's book 'Lilavati' (AD 598) and his style of posing the problem.

His question was 'O beautiful girl with shining eyes! Tell me what is that number which when multiplied by three then increased by three-quarters of the product, then divided by seven, then decreased by onethird of the quotient, the result when multiplied by itself, then decreased by 52, gives after extraction of the square root, addition of eight and division by 10, the result - two' Compare this with one of the questions contained in 'Crisis in maths' (NCE 21 November) - Solve the simultaneous equations: 2x - y = -1; xy + y = 3 Which one would attract anybody's beloved with shining eyes to answer. I do not know about yours but I am certain mine would not be able to resist the caressing style of Bhaskara.

Iqbal Singh Manhas, Babtie Group, School Green, Shinfield, Reading.

Iqbal. manhas@Babtie. co

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Please note comments made online may also be published in the print edition of New Civil Engineer. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.