Quality Maths Teachers
BANGALORE: Engineering colleges in Bangalore, metros, Tier II and III cities across the country are facing a serious shortage of high-quality mathematics teachers and PhDs to take teaching and research to global standards.
The assessment comes from IISc professor and researcher in mathematics for over three decades Govindan Rangarajan who took stock of the status of mathematics in universities and colleges in India post-the World Congress of Mathematics held in Hyderabad recently. This stock-taking after a major event like the congress is crucial to understand areas where improvements need to be undertaken.
Rangarajan, who has been actively calling for more interest in mathematics by students, was involved in the mathematics congress. He spoke to TOI about what India lacked in maths and what needed to be done urgently.
“The main challenge facing most research institutions and universities is the lack of maths faculty who can perform world-class research and teaching,” says Rangarajan.
“The same situation is faced by the multitude of engineering colleges stymied by the lack of good maths teachers. And these colleges are typically not worried about research.”
An even greater challenge, says Rangarajan, “is the serious lack of research mathematicians working on applied and industrial problems. There is a crying need for such persons”.
Rangarajan says: “There are enough research grants available for mathematics research. What is lacking is the student input. To motivate more students to get into mathematics, special fellowships that provide a higher amount of stipend should be given to outstanding mathematics PhD students.”
He says there are plenty of jobs available for mathematics PhDs. “But parents and students are not aware about this. Their awareness needs to be increased. If youngsters pursue a PhD in mathematics, they can look forward to working on interesting problems rather than routine work, and a satisfying career later.”
Maths is taking new turns leading to more openings. “Mathematics is playing an ever increasing role in inter-disciplinary terms. Mathematics always played a major role in physics. But now it is playing an important role even in biology which is ironical, since many students take up biology because they do not like maths! And maths plays a critical role in all engineering sciences,” says Rangarajan.
The maths-industry connection too is very strong especially in the developed world. This could perhaps be one of the biggest incentives for students to take to maths. Financial services companies, data mining companies and research labs like those belonging to Microsoft, Google, Yahoo, GE and GM all rely heavily on maths. In India, this connection needs to be strengthened. Many objects we use every day in our lives like mobile phones, DVD players, credit cards also make heavy use of advanced mathematics in their operation.
Read more: Wanted: quality maths teachers, PhDs – The Times of India https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/bangalore/Wanted-quality-maths-teachers-PhDs/articleshow/6765951.cms#ixzz156jCdvvM