|Born: about 800 in India
Died: about 860 in India
Govindasvamin) was an Indian mathematical astronomer whose most
famous treatise was a commentary on the Mahabhaskariya of Bhaskara
Bhaskara I wrote the Mahabhaskariya in
about 600 A. D. It is an eight chapter work on Indian mathematical
astronomy and includes topics which were fairly standard for such
works at this time. It discussed topics such as the longitudes of the
planets, conjunctions of the planets with each other and with bright
stars, eclipses of the sun and the moon, risings and settings, and
the lunar crescent.
Govindasvami wrote the
Bhasya in about 830 which was a commentary on the Mahabhaskariya. In
Govindasvami's commentary there appear many examples of using a
place-value Sanskrit system of numerals. One of the most interesting
aspects of the commentary, however, is Govindasvami's construction of
a sine table.
Indian mathematicians and
astronomers constructed sine table with great precision. They were
used to calculate the positions of the planets as accurately as
possible so had to be computed with high degrees of accuracy.
Govindasvami considered the sexagesimal fractional parts of the
twenty-four tabular sine differences from the Aryabhatiya. These lead
to more correct sine values at intervals of 90 /24 = 3 45 '. In the
commentary Govindasvami found certain other empirical rules relating
to computations of sine differences in the argumental range of 60 to
90 degrees. Both of the references  and  are concerned with the
sine tables in Govindasvami's work.
Article by: J J O'Connor and E F Robertson