Mathematicians and computer scientists have keenly studied the kōlam. The kōlam is “an unusual example of the expression of mathematical ideas in a cultural setting,” writes Marcia Ascher, a professor emerita of Mathematics at Ithaca College. Citing her ethnomathematical research (a field of study combining anthropology and mathematics), Nagarajan adds that “The kōlam is one of the few embedded indigenous traditions that have contributed to the western mathematical tradition.”
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