Q: When the first calculus textbook was written – and in what language?A: In 1530, in Malayalam – a south Indian language!

This book is called the Ganita Yuktibhasa, or “compendium of astronomical rationales”. It was written by Jyesthadeva, an astronomer and mathematician from Kerala – a state on the southwest coast of India. It summarizes and explains the work of many researchers of the Kerala school, which flourished from the 1400’s to the 1600’s. But it’s unique for its time, since it contains proofs of many results.

From This week’s finds in mathematical physics (week 244). The piece also gives some internet resources for further information.

If you are so inclined, and want more in-depth technical information on such contributions, take a look also at this series called Mathematics in ancient India in the journal Resonance.