The International Mathematical Union awards the

*... for increasing public awareness of mathematics as an intellectual discipline and the crucial role it plays in diverse human endeavors.*

The Leelavati prize is named after the 12th Century mathematical treatise *Leelavati* -- devoted to arithmetic and algebra -- by the Indian mathematician Bhaskara II. 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 work appears to have been the main source of learning arithmetic and algebra in medieval India. The work was also translated into Persian and was influential in West Asia.

The prize is financed by Infosys and is worth about $20 000.

**2010** Simon Singh

**2014** Adrián Paenza

**2018** Ali Nesin

**MacTutor links:**

International Mathematical Union

**IMU Prizes:**

Fields Medal

DMV/IMU Gauss Prize

Nevanlinna Prize

Leelavati Prize

Chern Medal

Emmy Noether Lecture

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Main index | Biographies Index |

JOC/EFR February 2019

The URL of this page is:

https://www-history.mcs.st-andrews.ac.uk/history/Societies/IMULeelavatiPrize.html