Quizzing Network

Quizzing Network

(Based on a similar article by V. M. Sreejith in Science Reporter, July 2004)

You are going to enter a into a network of questions based on the lives of famous mathematicians and their works. Start with question number 1, choose the option that you think to be correct and then go to the question number given against that option. Continue the game that way and REMEMBER to give yourself 1 point only for EACH QUESTION you visit. Evaluate your performance at the end at of the puzzle.

1. Both the mathematicians given below are suitable for the comment “greatest mathematical analyst of his time”. Out of them who lived in the 17th century?

A. Pierre Simon de Fermat.                           Go to 11

B. Jean Baptiste Joseph Fourier.                  Go to 5

2. That is right! Just try this now:

He twice failed his entrance examination to I, Ecole Polytechnique. He did not know some basic mathematics and he did mathematics entirely in his head, to the annoyance of the examiner. Legend has it that he became so enraged at the stupidity of the examiner that he threw an eraser at him. Whom are we talking about?

A. Joseph Lagrange.                          Goto 12

B. Evariste Galois.                              Goto 15


3. Perfectly correct! Given below are the names of two mathematical geniuses who were famous for their contribution to number theory. Who among them is also known as “the man who knew infinity”?

A. Paul Erdos.                                         Go to 10

B. Srinivasa Ramanujan.                       Go to 17

4. Excellent answer!! Go for the next one:

“I never got pass mark in math. The funny thing is I seem to latch on to mathematical theories without realizing what is happening. And just imagine – mathematicians now use my prints to illustrate their books. I guess they are quite unaware of the fact that I am ignorant about the whole thing.” Who said this?

A. Leonardo Da Vinci.                          Go to 16

B. M.C.Escher.                                       Go to 9


5.  Incorrect! The father of Applied Mathematics who is credited for Fourier integrals, Fourier series and Fourier transforms etc, J.B.J. Fourier lived in the period 1768-1830.

Match the following:

p) Harish Chandra                      1) $$e^{ipi}+1=0$$

q) Leonard Euler                       2) Greatest Indian mathematician after Ramanujan

r) Henri Poincare                      3) Probability theory

s) R.A.Fisher                              4) French mathematician

A. p2 q1 r3 s4                            Go to 10

B. p2 q1 r4 s3                             Go to 3

6. I am afraid, you are wrong. You may try a simpler one: The Italian lady mathematician Maria Gactaua Agnesi first studied the curve whose equation is: $$xy^2=4a^2(2a-x)$$. This curve is known as:

A. Witch of Agnesi                               Goto 2

B. Agnesian angel                                Goto 12

7. False! So sad! Actually Friedrich Gauss authored another mathematical classic “Disquitiones Arithmeticae”.

Try your luck at this: The world renowned mathematicians Nilkanta, Somayaji, Madhava, Paramananda & Jyesthadeva belonged to which South Indian state?

A. Tamil Nadu                               Goto 10

B. Kerela                                         Goto 3

8. This is your final destination in the entire puzzle. From the table given at the end of the puzzle you can access yourself by comparing the total number of points you had visited with the talent band.

9. That was the right answer. Escher is widely known and appreciated as a graphic artist. His graphics have appeared on postage stamps, bank notes, jigsaw puzzles and covers of dozens of scientific publications. He was very popular among mathematicians. This was your last question. You may now go to 8.


10. Once again you made a mistake. Return to 1 & repeat the questions !!

11. Correct! The founder of modern number theory, inventor of analytical geometry, & discoverer of principle of least time in optics, Fermat lived in the period 1601-1665.


Your next question: Who wrote the classic book on mathematical formulation of quantum mechanics titled “Dee Mathematische Grundalen der Quantum Mechanik”?

A. John Van Neumann                                Go to 14

B. Freidrich Gauss                                        Go to 7

12. Wrong!!

You can go back to 13 and try again.

13. You have entered the final session of the quiz network. Here is your first question: She was born in Paris on April 1,1776. Although unable to attend a university because of discrimination against her sex, she educated herself by reading the works of Newton and Euler & the lecture notes of Lagrange. In 1804, she wrote to Gauss about her work in number theory under the pseudonym Monsieur La Blanc, fearing that Gauss would not take seriously the efforts of a woman. About whom we are talking?

A. Sophie Germain                                    Go to 4

B. Emmy Noether                                      Go to 6

14. Excellent answer! That was your second consecutive correct answer. The Hungarian mathematical legend & original creator of Game Theory, Van Neumann wrote that masterpiece in German.

You may now go to 13.


15. Very Good!! That was your last question in this quiz. You may now go to 8.

16. Wrong!Do not be disheartened. Try this:

He was born on 5th August 1802 in Norway.He proved that unlike the situation for equations of degree 4 or less, there is no finite formula for the solution of general fifth degree equation. Commutativity reminds us of this mathematical genius. Who is “he” referred to here?

A. Niels Henrik Abel                                     Go to 2

B. J.J Sylvester                                                Go to 12

17. Exactly right! The renowned mathematician Robert Kanigel has published the biographical sketch of Ramanujan with this title.

You may now go to 13.


Points (Questions visited) Performance
4 Excellent
5-7 Very good
8-10 Good
11-13 Satisfactory
more than 13 Very poor! Must improve!
  • Debashish Sharma, JRF, Dept of Mathematics, NIT Silchar.