25-10-2018  Thursday

02 August to 31 December, 2018

Philosophy of Education

Every Monday (11:30-13:30), Thursday (11:00-13:00)

Venue: Main Building Seminar Room - 217

Coordinator: Dr. G. Kaur

Philosophy of Education for 1st year (Foundational Elective)
10 August to 15 December, 2018

Advanced Topics in Cognition

Every Tuesday (15:00 - 17:00), Thursday (11:00-13:00)

Venue: Main Building LSR Lab - 102

Coordinator: Prof. S. Chandrasekharan, Ms. D. Dutta & Mr. Durgaprasad K.

Advanced Topics in Cognition for 2nd Year (Elective)


Astronomy Olympiad Exposure camp

Date: 22 to 25 October, 2018
Time: 09:00 - 18:00

Venue: NIUS Building Lecture Hall - G4

Coordinator: Dr. Aniket Sule

Astronomy Olympiad Exposure camp


Mentor Workshop on Design and Planning Activities for Stakeholders

Date: 24 to 26 October, 2018
Time: 09:30 - 18:00

Venue: Main Building Lecture Room - G2

Coordinator: Dr. N. D. Deshmukh

Jointly organized by Homi Bhabha Centre For Science Education, Mumbai & NSC, Mumbai; Exploratory, Pune; Vigyan Ashram, Pabal & funded by RGSTC, Mumbai

Venue: G2 & Integrated Lab


Thursday Seminar on "Epistemics of Arithmetic"

Date: 25 October, 2018
Time: 16:00 - 17:00

Venue: Main Building Lecture Room - G1

Coordinator: Prof. Jyotsna Vijapurkar


Dr. Sriram Nambiar Guest Professor, Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, IIT Madras


How do we, finite beings, know anything about every number? That we indeed do, no matter how inexplicable, is irrefutable.

The axioms of a field are known immediately, that is, without mediation by a proof. A theorem of arithmetic may be known by a proof from these axioms. However, propositions about the natural numbers were known millennia before the axioms for them were discovered. What, then, is the relation of knowledge of these ancient theorems to the knowledge of the axioms? We examine ancient proofs of arithmetic (Pythagorean pebble patterns) and discover that the central concepts involved in the axioms do participate, though tacitly, in these proofs.

We also present a definition of a universal property of the numbers, that is, a property which belongs to every number. An example of such a universal property is the property of being exceeded by a prime. Many, if not most, theorems of arithmetic may be stated in terms of the numbers having some such universal property.

Surprisingly, it turns out that this definition characterizes the numbers well enough to serve as a sufficient axiom for the natural numbers. It appears that the two interrelated concepts involved in this axiom–a successor function and the universal property–are tacit participants in many standard proofs about the natural numbers.

About the Speaker:

Dr. Sriram Nambiar is currently a Guest Professor in the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, IIT Madras. He has a Ph.D in philosophy from the State University of New York, Buffalo. He has held faculty positions in several institutes including Chennai Mathematical Institute, IIT Madras and St. John's College in Annapolis, Maryland. He has also worked in industry (for example, in TCS) on training programs for software developers.

His areas of interest include History and Philosophy of Mathematics, History and Philosophy of Logic, and Mathematical Logic. He is currently involved in the design of software for interactive teaching of logic, and in investigating the underlying logic of science as well as the origins of mathematical logic.