Bhubaneswar: “Mathematics can be a powerful tool to analyze data and figures to understand facts and write news stories in a meaningful manner”, said Prof B.K. Nayak, renowned mathematician and writer. He said that many a times governments and business houses try to hide facts from the people. However, the truth can be exposed by looking at publicly available data and trying to understand the real implication. For this, a working knowledge of mathematics is a must, and the journalists should equip themselves with such knowledge.
He was speaking at a seminar-workshop for media persons organized here today by Vigyan Prasar and National Council for Science and Technology Communication (NCSTC) in collaboration with the Academy of Media Learning, Bhubaneswar.
Senior journalist & science communicator from Vigyan Prasar Mr. Y.S. Gill spoke on the objectives of the workshop. Mathematician & writer Prof. Dr. B.K Nayak and Prof. Dr. Chandra Kishore Mahapatra interacted with participants from different media houses, and media schools about the scope of the mathematics writings and education.
“The purpose of the workshop for media persons aims to create awareness about mathematics and its importance to our society’s progress and well being”, said Mr. Y.S. Gill. He said that the mass media can play a vital role in creating awareness; the workshop can play a defining role to trigger a mathematics popularization campaign in the mass media. He also made a presentation on history of mathematics in India from ancient times to the present day.
Dr. Chandra Kishore Mahapatra, renowned mathematician, writer and publisher of popular science books said that mathematics need to be learnt not just by memorizing but by understanding the basic concepts. Teaching mathematics should be made a joyful experience so that students don’t develop phobia for the subject.
Mr. Nilambar Rath, Director, Academy of Media Learning (AML), delivered the welcome address. He said, it was refreshing that a nationwide mathematics popularization campaign has been launched by Govt. of India. Ms. Soumya Parida, Associate Director, AML and science communicator Mr. Sampad Mohapatra jointly coordinated the workshop.
The workshop is a part of the campaign initiated by Vigyan Prasar and NCSTC, Govt. of India, to sensitize journalists and science-writers to promote mathematics among common people. The programme is also a part of the campaign to mark the 125th birth anniversary of great Indian mathematician Srinivasa Ramanujan. The government of India has already declared 2012 as the National Year of Mathematics. December 22, Ramanujan’s birthday, will henceforth be observed as national mathematics day.
Popular mathematics and science titles published by Dr. Mahapatra’s ‘Book Point’ were displayed that the workshop. Journalists from different media organizations, science-writers and media students of the city had participated in the workshop.