Narayana Pandita (Sanskrit: नारायण पण्डित) (1340–1400) was a major mathematician of India. Plofker writes that his texts were the most significant Sanskrit mathematics treatises after those of Bhaskara II, other than the Kerala school.:52 He wrote the Ganita Kaumudi (lit "Moonlight of mathematics") in 1356 about mathematical operations. The work anticipated many developments in combinatorics. About his life, the most that is known is that:
His father’s name was Nṛsiṃha or Narasiṃha, and the distribution of the manuscripts of his works suggests that he may have lived and worked in the northern half of India.
Narayana Pandit had written two works, an arithmetical treatise called Ganita Kaumudi and an algebraic treatise called Bijganita Vatamsa. Narayanan is also thought to be the author of an elaborate commentary of Bhaskara II's Lilavati, titled Karmapradipika (or Karma-Paddhati). Although the Karmapradipika contains little original work, it contains seven different methods for squaring numbers, a contribution that is wholly original to the author, as well as contributions to algebra and magic squares.
Narayanan's other major works contain a variety of mathematical developments, including a rule to calculate approximate values of square roots, investigations into the second order indeterminate equation nq2 + 1 = p2 (Pell's equation), solutions of indeterminate higher-order equations, mathematical operations with zero, several geometrical rules, and a discussion of magic squares and similar figures. Evidence also exists that Narayana made minor contributions to the ideas of differential calculus found in Bhaskara II's work. Narayana has also made contributions to the topic of cyclic quadrilaterals. Narayana is also credited with developing a method for systematic generation of all permutations of a given sequence.
- Kim Plofker (2009), Mathematics in India: 500 BCE–1800 CE, Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, ISBN 0-691-12067-6
- Kusuba, Takanori (2004), "Indian Rules for the Decomposition of Fractions", in Charles Burnett; Jan P. Hogendijk; Kim Plofker et al., Studies in the History of the Exact Sciences in Honour of David Pingree, Brill, p. 497, ISBN 9004132023, ISSN 0169-8729
- J. J. O'Connor and E. F. Robertson (2000). Narayana, MacTutor History of Mathematics archive.[unreliable source?]
- Ian G. Pearce (2002). Mathematicians of Kerala. MacTutor History of Mathematics archive. University of St Andrews.[unreliable source?]
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