Give our readers, a brief about your background
I am an Associate Professor of Mathematics, working at D. G. Vaishnav College, Chennai. I Founded Pie Mathematics Association in 2007, and am indulged in activities to popularize mathematics Education in India. Like doing social service and involve myself in teaching freely for poor and underprivileged students of many areas in mathematics.
The story of Pie Mathematics Association – The inception, growth and achievements?
The association had been started in June 2007 with the help of my former students and well wishers who wished to contribute towards spreading mathematics. For the last eight and half years since its inception, the association has grown beyond our imagination and has helped reaching mathematics to all sectors of people like students, teachers and general public. Our association has published 9 books so far and all these books have won at least one best book award from various illustrious literary organizations, the great one among them being the Tamilnadu Government’s Best Science Book Awards successively in 2013 and 2014.
Your Mathematical inspiration?
All Great mathematicians are my inspiration but I could count Ramanujan as my greatest inspiration among them. I literally pray him every day to bless me and our association in all our endeavors. It is my duty to mention Shri. P.K. Srinivasan who was the great math educator that India has ever produced and he inspired me quite a lot, especially during my early years. Then, I was inspired by many great mathematics books that I possess in my library, which taught me how to look at mathematics beyond the scope of the syllabi.
How and when Prof. Sivaraman did identify the Author Sivaraman?
To be frank, I never thought to be an Author. At the time when I joined as a Lecturer many years ago, I felt I would be a good teacher and motivate many young students. When I started feeling that I should share what I know to others, I felt that it is impossible to visit all places and contribute. Hence, after beginning Pie Mathematics Association, all the members of our association agreed to the fact that the best way to reach people and spread mathematics is through publishing books, since books will stay forever even after our time. Today, we understand and know great minds through their works which came in the form of books. This observation made me to transform into Author Sivaraman though it may not be clear if I am writing as well as professional authors do.
An account of your works and accolades?
I am involved in writing about mathematics for various newspapers, magazines and publishing periodical puzzles in famous Newspapers like The Hindu School Edition (12 Puzzles per week), The New Indian Express (Every Monday). I have written 11 books so far (7 in Tamil, 4 in English). I had been taking free classes for many years for students of slum areas those who could not afford for exclusive classes. I have guided many students to face and succeed in National Level exams who are now settled very well in their life. Some of them come back and help me in running the association. I derive immense satisfaction in doing these works that almighty has bestowed on me.
About the recent National Award for Outstanding Efforts in Science & Technology Communication?
It is once in a life time event, and I felt very privileged, humbled to obtain it on 1st March, 2016 in the presence of great scientists of India. It is clearly a proud moment in my life that made me feel extremely thrilled to receive the award. I am also happy because I am the youngest among 11 recipients on that day. Finally the efforts and struggles have been rewarded, and I hope this award would only increase my curiosity to contribute more to the society. News is that I have decided to spend a good portion of the prize money for the benefit of Mathematics in making mathematics models and publishing books in future.
How good you feel of being a teacher?
It gives great sense of satisfaction and I’m proud to be a teacher who is involved in shaping the future of many young students. Only few would have the chance of doing this, and I feel very blessed to motivate students through my expertise in teaching. Many of my students have also chosen teaching as a career and have started doing what I am doing several years ago. Hopefully, this will lead many more people in future to serve for India like me. India is known for producing exceptional teachers and I wish to be ranked one among them, though only time has to decide upon this. Teaching gives immense satisfaction for my soul and if I were to be born next time, I wish only to be a teacher especially in mathematics.
Share with us your love for Mathematics and the importance of Math beyond schooling?
My love for Mathematics knows no bounds and I wish to make learning mathematics an enjoyable experience for everyone. Nothing gives me happiness rather than reading a nice proof or proving a small idea in Mathematics. All mathematicians are my closest relatives and I admire them by hanging their pictures in my living room to get their blessings all through my life. More than the love, the urge towards learning mathematics is ever present in my very gene, and I hope that with this, I should do as much as possible in spreading the significance of learning mathematics. Learning Math beyond School or College curriculum makes it an experience rather than a subject and I always insist that if anyone is good at Math, they can easily understand and explore any Science and make great strides in Science and Technology. For this, learning beyond the syllabi is compulsory.
What are your future plans?
I wish to create a Mathematics Museum and a building housed entirely with Mathematical equipments, models, auditoriums and exhibits where students and public can visit and enjoy seeing mathematics in action with their own eyes. Though this sounds too ambitious, I hope that with the awareness that media and social network are creating now, one day it would happen, thanks to all good hearts who could contribute for this. I only wish that the mathematical legacy of India should be cherished and nourished by our future generations, and we should produce more mathematicians and scientists who win international prizes like Fields Medal, Abel Prize, and Nobel Prize regularly and bring back the lost pride of our great nation.
What would you suggest for budding talents to stay ahead in any mission?
Thanks to the advancement of technology, there is no doubt that today’s students have great exposure towards acquiring knowledge and therefore they have more chance of becoming experts in their chosen domain compared to our times and some decades ago. But despite all these facilities, today’s students need more patience and wait till the right opportunity to get their work done. They have to work very hard and should not expect everything to happen in just a week or month time. Sometimes, it would take up to few years before their discovery make huge impact, they should have the courage and determination to wait till then. Whatever subject they chose, they have to immerse themselves deeply in learning it and forget primarily about securing percentage of marks and passing the exams. Only then India would produce great Scientists in future.