Profile of Prof. R.D. Sharma: A math genuis who helped many a students.

Nice to read profile of Prof R.D. Sharma. His umpteen math books showed how useless our math training all through school years..

He dreams of algorithms that would give most people nightmares. And, spends every waking hour thinking of ways to explain concepts like ‘series solution of linear differential equations’. Meet Dr Ravi Dutt Sharmamathematics teacher and author of 25 reference books — whose name evokes as much awe as the subject he teaches. And though students have used his thick tomes for the last 31 years to ace the dreaded maths exam, it’s only recently that a spoof video turned the tutor into a YouTube star.

The Viral Fever (TVF) video ‘A day with R D Sharma’ stars an eccentric genius and his obsession with numbers. Sharma, in the video, prays to deity ‘X’, eats chapatis with a 5cm diameter made painstakingly with a compass, gives directions that involve using a protractor to find the right road and his mobile ringtone is the hit song from Madhuri-starrer Tezaab, ‘Ek, do, teen’. India’s preoccupation with maths and R D Sharma can be judged by the fact that the video has notched up 3.5 million views.

Shown the video by his students, the real-life R D Sharma had a good laugh but said he shared little with his on-screen persona except for the love for maths. “I like to spend all my time thinking and writing about maths problems. I find it relaxing,” he says. When he is not writing books explaining mathematical concepts for classes 6 to 12 and engineering students, Sharma is busy dispensing his duty as vice-principal and head of department of science and humanities at Delhi government’s Guru Nanak Dev Institute of Technology.

The son of a poor Rajasthan farmer who walked 15km to school before his father finally saved up enough to buy him a cycle, Sharma says his love for the subject blossomed early. Lying on a charpoy under the stars, Sharma senior would make his son recite multiplication tables up to 40 before he could go to bed. By age 9, Sharma had not only mastered the tables but also knew the square roots and cube roots of numbers till 20. Not surprisingly, the boy would top his class in the tiny village of Bhoopkhera in Behror tehsil, over 150km from Delhi. Times were tough and Sharma recalls how his father borrowed money to pay for his graduation.

Fascinating…

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