## Interesting story about the origin of ‘+’ and ‘-’ signs in arithmetic

We can we never think of mathematics without the ‘+’ plus and ‘-’ minus signs. While we do have a plethora of mathematical symbols for division(÷), multiplication (×), integral (∫)etc, at its core its always the ‘+’ and ‘-’ symbols. From our elementary days, we’ve been taught about these two integral symbols. It could be considered as the ABC’s of mathematics and things wouldn't have been the same without them. The same symbols are used everywhere, around the world. A little curiosity to know how these originated and evolved to present form wouldn't hurt.

The signs as used in the earliest civilizations

The plus and minus signs (+ and −) are mathematical symbols used to represent operations of addition and subtraction as well as the notions of the positive and negative. Moreover, the Plus and Minus are Latin terms meaning "more" and "less", respectively. The origins of these two symbols dates back to the Egyptian hieroglyphics where they used symbols which resembled ‘a pair of walking legs’, either walking away or towards, representing addition or subtraction. Similarly, just like the Greeks, the Hindus too, did not have a particular sign for addition and subtraction. Many a times, they used ‘yu’ to mark addition. ‘Yu’ was used in the Bakhshali manuscript arithmetic, belonging to the period of 3rd or 4th century. It was in the early 15th century Europe, it was noted that ‘P’ and ‘M’ were used for the same.

Early recorded history of the signs

It has been recorded that the sign ‘+’ has its origin from the Latin word ‘et’ which meant ‘and’. Nicole d’Oresme, astronomer and author of the book, ‘The Book of the Sky and the World’ in 14th century, used the’+’ sign as a shorthand for the word ‘et’. The use of the ‘-’ sign was first recorded in the year 1481, from a manuscript of German algebra, located in Dresden Library. Johannes Widman, the famous German mathematician, published the first printed book named ‘Mercantile Arithmetic’ in Leipzig, 1489, where he used the ‘+’ and ‘-’ signs. The beginning of 17th Century also saw the usage of these two symbols by mathematicians Cavalieri and Gloriosi as well as astronomer Christopher Clavius.

But it was Robert Recorde, the acclaimed Welsh mathematician and designer of the equal (=) sign who introduced to Britain in 1557, the same Plus and Minus that we’ve been using till now. He described the two signs in the following words:

“There be other 2 signs in often use of which the first is made thus + and betokeneth more: the other is thus made - and betokeneth  lesse.”

It seems there were different versions of these signs used by various people, but it was Robert Recorde who gave us the signs that we use till now, passed generations after generations before being accepted universally.

The first equation ever written, by Robert Recorde in his treatise The Whetstone of Witte, in 1557. The equation is represented, in modern terms, "14x+15=71" by , and its solution is 4

Did you know?

The Jewish traditions which dates back to the 19th century writes the plus symbol using something which resembles an inverted T and is being used even now in elementary schools over there. The explanation for which is that it avoids the usual + symbol which looks awfully close to the Christian Cross.

## 7 ancient higher-learning wonders of the world

Present day institutions of higher learning trace their roots back to ancient times, when quite a number of educational institutions were formed in various parts of the world to boost intellectual activities. The main motive of these ancient educational institutions were to provide the right framework to intellectual activities and were mainly sponsored by religious institutions, courts, scientific institutions and individual scholars as well. Today, we talk about ancient learning institutions which gave birth to academic freedom and educational values that defines our education today. A complete examination of the ancient institutions will throw light on how the concept of modern day universities have emerged.

1. Taxila University, 5th Century B.C: Ancient India’s power-house of knowledge
Location: Modern day Pakistan

source: archaeology-pak.blogspot.com

Located some 20 miles to the northwestern part of modern day Rawalpindi lies the remains of the ancient seat for higher learning, Taxila or Takshashila University.  A very important Hindu and Buddhist centre in ancient India, Taxila University existed sometime in 5th century and attracted students from all corners of Greater India, to get trained under renowned scholars. Students were imparted specialized knowledge in various subjects like agriculture, vedas, grammar, commerce, archery, politics, ayurveda, music and dance among others. A very prominent flagbearer of this ancient learning centre includes Chanakya or Kautilya, the master creator of the finest work ever on spacecraft, political duties, state intelligence systems, economic policies, military strategies and administrative skills, named the Artha Shastra. A series of 15 books, Artha Shastra became the guiding star for Chandragupta Maurya, founder of the Great Mauryan Empire, of which Chanakya served as the Prime Minister. Another very famous face from the university was Panini, an expert in language and grammar, who have authored the famous work on grammar called Ashtadhyayi. source: pakistanpaedia.com

Among the famous faces the university had produced includes, Charaka, the ancient Indian ayurvedic physician and author of Charaka Samhita which along with Ashtanga Sangraha, Sushrutha Samhita and Ashtanga Hrudayam forms the main seed that gave rise to modern Ayurveda. Vishnu Sharma, author of Pancha Tantra and the expert in pulse reading, Jivak are also the products of Taxila University.

2. Cifte Minareli Medrese, 1265:The ‘Twin Minaret Madrasa’
Location: Seljuk, Turkey

The Cifte Minareli Medrese, a Muslim theological school, was built in the second half of 13th century in Seljuk, Turkey.

source: panoramio.com

One of the most famous architecture of Turkey, the madrassa served as the place of learning for Muslim scholars.

3. Nalanda University, 5th C, A.D: First residential university of the world
Location: Bihar, India

Lying in the northeastern part of India, in Bihar, Nalanda University served as one of the greatest house of learning that was established in 427. It is through the information laid down by the famous Chinese pilgrim, Hieun-Tsang who first stayed in the university for seven years as a student during the first half of 7th century and then as a professor, that the glory of Nalanda University is known to the world.

source: koffii.com

This great centre of learning of ancient India housed some 10, 000 students and 2000 teachers from all over the world. Even, it has been said that this institution for higher education had also been blessed by the presence of Buddha, thus making it one of the main centres for the development of Buddhism in India. Various excavations of Buddhist establishments like temples, stupas, chaityas and monasteries had been made that speaks of the grandeur and glory of Buddhism. Several Jain texts also hints out the presence of Vardhamana Mahavira, who spent some fourteen years in the historical Nalanda. To get admitted to Nalanda University was  always a matter of pride and students were never granted any particular degree after their completion of studies.

source: myshutterspace.com

The world famous libraries of Nalanda were huge; but unfortunately, a fire destroyed all the treasure stored in the library. It was during an invasion by Mohammed Bakhtiar Khilji in 1198 that the great university met with its extinction, thus bringing an end to an era of intellectual activities in India.

4. The Imperial College of Beijing or Guozijian, 1306: The highest educational centre of Yuan, Ming and Qing dynasties
Location: Guozijian Street, Dongcheng district, Beijing

One of the premier educational institutions of China during the Yuan, Ming and Qing dynasties, the Imperial College of Beijing or Guozijian came into existence as a replacement for Taixue, a popular higher learning centre that existed for many centuries.

source: english.sina.com

The imperial period of China witnessed many eminent scholars and emperors delivering lectures in this prestigious academy. Students had to cover a period of three to four years to complete their graduation.Presently, the Imperial College is a seat for higher education in Beijing.

5. Al-Azhar university, 10th century A.D: Prime centre for Islamic learning and Arabic literature
Location: Cairo, Egypt

source: who-why-what.blogspot.com

Founded by the Fatimid caliphate members, the Al-Azhar University is perhaps the oldest university in Egypt that grants degrees. Originally, an important centre for Arabic literature and Islamic learning, the university also included non-religious subjects from the year 1961.The university is often credited for playing an active role in the development of natural sciences, amidst immense political turmoil and intellectual stagnancy.

It is said that even Napoleon recognised the grandeur of the university when he attacked Egypt in 1789 and looked highly upon the scholars of the institution. Believed to be played a vital role in Muhammad Ali’s effort to create a modern state, Al-Azhar produced some of the pioneers from an era of modern renaissance in Egypt like the leader of Orabi revolution, the leader of 1919 revolution and other prominent figures including Mohamed Abdu and Saad Zaghloul.

6. Sankore University, 16th century: A symbol for academic par excellence
Location: Timbuktu, Mali, West Africa

Also known as Sankore Masjid, the Sankore University was one of the three very popular centre of learning in Timbuktu, a hot seat for most foreign students. Consisting of various independent colleges and schools, the university never had student registers, central administration and even no prescribed courses.
source: fhcswebs.onlinewebshop.net

The university mainly ran on the financial aid received from the Askia Dynasty, mainly a generous female figure from Mandika and Mansa Musa and became an elite institution in the field of religious and secular education.  Renowned scholars from the university includes the notable historian Ahmed Baba, Modibo Mohammed al-Kaburi, Mohammad Bagayogo as-Sudane and Ag Mohammed ibn Utman among others.
source: cartridgesave.co.uk

The magnificence of the university is best described in the words of Runoko Rashidi, a distinguished historian, “The collection of ancient manuscripts at the University of Sankore at Timbuktu leaves us in no doubt about the magnificence of the institution and permits us to reconstruct this side of her past in fairly intimate details.” It was the Moroccon invasion during 1950s that affected the glory of the university to a good extent.

7. University of Al-Karaouine, 9th century: The oldest continuously running higher learning centre in the world
Location: Fes, Morocco
source: yesiknowthat.com

University of Al-Karaouine was originally created by Fatime-Al-Fihri, a woman from Tunisia who used all her immense wealth to establish a mosque named Masjid Al-Karaouine which later became a respected centre for wide variety of studies like theology, mathematics, music and mathematics.

These 7 ancient higher-learning wonders have given birth to the idea of modern day universities; if you feel the list is incomplete and needs to be updated with many more that we are unaware of, please do mention and help us upgrade our knowledge!

## Courses and Batches concept of Fedena explained in simple english

We already know that Fedena can be used in any kind of education institution offering multiple courses including schools, colleges and universities. Fedena can adapt to the institution's system and process through correct configuration of courses and batches.

For this let us understand the concept of courses and batches in Fedena.

A course is what is taught in the institution. An institution can have multiple courses. For example MBA is a course, Electrical Engineering is a course, Standard nine is a course.

Each course will have different sections. The subjects taught in each section will be different from other sections. And usually there will be an examination or grading process specific to each section.

For example, a two year MBA has four sections namely 1st Semester, 2nd Semester, 3rd Semester and 4th Semester. The subjects and activities associated with 1st semester is different that of 2nd semester.

Likewise the electrical engineering course will have multiple sections. But a normal standard nine does not have any sections as it is usually one academic year long. Instead, at the end of standard nine, students take up the next course which is standard ten.

Batches are a group of students who learns a specific course over a period of time through different sections.

For example the MBA course can have: Batch 2010, 2011 and 2012 who studied 1st semester to 4th semester over a period of time.

A standard 9 is a course without any section. But it can have batches like 2012 A, 2012 B and 2012 C

This unique method of configuring courses and batches make Fedena adaptable to any kind of institutions ranging from small schools to universities which offers multiple courses in different locations.

You can configure courses and batches in Fedena by navigating to "manage course and batches" menu in "Settings"

Visit http://support.fedena.com/ for more help

## Fedena 2.3 is released to public on Teachers day of India

Official Blog post - http://projectfedena.org/blog/17-fedena-2-3-released
Github - https://github.com/projectfedena/fedena

Fedena now powers more than 40,000 institutions around the world. It includes the most notable implementation in 15,000 Schools of Kerala - India, which is now a case study for successful implementation of big data e-gov projects across the world.http://projectfedena.org/pages/sampoorna

The same project is acclaimed by ruby on rails community and David Heinemeier Hansson - creator of Ruby on Rails.

Highlighted Features of Fedena 2.3

• Support for CCE(CBSE), CWA & GPA grading standards
• Supports 4 new languages - Japanese, Portuguese, German & Marathi. (Already supports Spanish, Arabic, Hindi & English)
• Enhanced report centre for examinationSeperate dashboard for Parent (Previously parent & student view were same)
• Enhanced timetable & attendance

Introduction of plugin marketplace
Now any company can develop plugins for fedena using the documentation and support available in projectfedena website. The developers can list their plugins in the marketplace for free or for a price. This is the first step towards building an ecosystem around Fedena. http://www.projectfedena.org/plugins

Fedena Mobile
Fedena Pro is now available as a mobile web app using HTML5 technology. It supports the most used features of fedena through a mobile interface.

Fedena Pro is integrated with Google Apps and available in Google Apps marketplace. http://www.fedena.com/google_apps

Big Blue Button Integration is now free
The Big Blue Button plugin of Fedena is available for free download from plugin marketplace. BigBlueButton is an open source web conferencing system for distance education. The goal of the project is to enable universities, colleges, and K12 to delivery a high-quality learning experience to remote students. BigBlueButton supports real-time sharing of slides (including whiteboard), audio, video, chat, and desktops. It also record lectures for later playback. More info: http://www.bigbluebutton.org/

Uzity
Foradian Technologies is also all set to release their online university - Uzity in next two months. Uzity will complement Fedena and will offer a better e-learning experience. Prelaunch page http://www.uzity.com/

Recent achievements

1) MIT TR35 India 2012 award - http://www.technologyreview.com/tr35/profile.aspx?TRID=1248

2) Edustars powered by Accel Partners and yourstory.in -http://yourstory.in/2012/08/startups-thatll-shape-the-education-industry-in-i...

Interesting articles about Fedena

1) A Tunisian professor writes how fedena is helping them reorganize and innovate after the Arab Spring revolution - http://opensource.com/education/12/6/learning-fedena

2) Foradian CEO interviewed in opensource.com, sharing the importance of opensource in education - http://opensource.com/education/12/8/foradian-ceo-explains-benefits-open-sour...

3) What problem does Fedena solve? http://www.quora.com/What-Problem-Does-X-Solve/What-problem-does-Fedena-solve

Notable recent press releases

1) The Economic Times - Small town education start-up offers ERP solution to schools across the globe - http://articles.economictimes.indiatimes.com/2012-05-08/news/31626776_1_erp-s...

2) The Indian Express - Big Ideas, Small Towns - http://www.indianexpress.com/news/big-ideas-small-towns/937088/0

## Recruitment drive at Bhubaneswar, Orissa (26th, 27th & 28th November 2011)

After the huge success of previous recruitment drive at Kolkatta, this time we are coming to Bhubaneswar - The Temple City of India.

Date: 26th(Saturday), 27th(Sunday) & 28th(Monday) of November 2011

Venue: Rajdhani Engineering College, Near Mancheswar Rly. Station, Mancheswar Rly Colony, Bhuabaneswar - 751017 www.rec.ac.in

Activities26th November (Saturday)
Preliminary Process conducted by Nicco Ventures

27th & 28th November (Sunday & Monday)
Final Process conducted by Foradian Technologies Pvt Ltd which consists of Written Test on 27th and Interview  of the selected candidates on 28th.

Our VP Business Development - Deepesh Kumar Melath is flying to Bhubaneswar to hunt down the best hackers from the tech youth of Orissa. As usual, your experience don't matter to us. If you have the IQ and ability to learn new things yourself in a short span of time, you can be a well respected internet engineer at Foradian Technologies. If you already have experience in web application development in latest frameworks like Ruby on Rails, there is nothing better than that. Initially you will be trained at Mangalore, Karnataka. After that be ready for a thrilling career with lot of hacking and fun. So you can expect talented, motivated, intense and interesting co-workers.

The final results will be declared within: 10 December 2011
The offer letters will be issued within: 27 January 2012
The selected candidates have to join from: August 1st 2012

If you want to attend the recruitment drive, contact Nicco Ventures now.

A sample written test is given below:

UPDATE (10 December 2011) - Final Results

The following candidates are selected after the technical and HR interview. Selected candidates will get offer letter and further instructions via email.

Priyanka Kumari - Konark Institute of Science & Technology
Garry Thomaas - Nalanda Institute of Technology
Sandeep Panda - Jagannath Institute of Technology and Management

## 1000 Tintumon jokes by Bibin Mohan

Congratulations to Bibin Mohan on reaching successful 1000 jokes submissions at www.tintumon.com . He has been contributing quality tintumon jokes from the launch of the website on 14th November 2009. The welcome page of Tintumon.com now contains a graphics of Bibin Mohan with his favorite willys jeep. Check out www.tintumon.com now !!

The best thing about Bibin's jokes are the quality which he doesnt compromise for the number of jokes. Even for the last 50 jokes he waited for months to submit quality jokes to the website. And it took more than one week to submit the 1000th joke after the 999th one.

In real-life Bibin Mohan is working as a Sales Engineer in a private firm at Thrissur. He is from Cherpu village in Thrissur. He own a Willys Jeep, which he bought last year from his hard earned money. He is also a motivated and dedicated bodybuilder. Following is a small phone interview we had with Bibin Mohan.

How you came to know about Tintumon.com ?

I saw the launch news in Mathrubhumi and joined the website that day itself. I got many friends from the website. At that time Orkut was the popular social networking site of Malayalees. Tintumon was a good way to find new friends who share your interests. The acceptance of jokes only after approval of moderator was the good thing about Tintumon.com. It avoided many bad jokes and repetition of jokes.

Where you get this many number of jokes ?

I create Tintumon jokes based on the real life events happening in my friendcircle. Also when I read a new joke somewhere, I analyze and find a way to convert it to a Tintumon joke.

Please tell about the character "Jintappan" created by you

Jintappan is a character in Tintumon's world. I derived the name from another active user of Tintumon.com - my friend Jinto Antony. Jintappan is a friend of tintumon in my jokes. Later Jintappan started appearing in other jokes also. A online newspaper wrote about Jintappan in their article about Tintumon. All these things happened like a surprise.

What is your experience with Foradian ?

Foradian is an awesome team of proud and humble people. I know tintumon.com is not a viable model for profitable business. But still Foradian is keeping the site alive. And it is always a pleasure to see Foradian achieving new heights in the world of internet technologies through other projects like Fedena. Boom Boom Foradian.

Best of Bibi - Tintumon Copyright Joke. Click to read

You can contact Bibin Mohan on Facebook.

## Big Blue Button Integration and other cool features of Fedena Pro

Started as a simple student management system two years ago, Fedena has now grown to an enterprise collaborative tool for educational institutions with tools to deliver virtual classrooms online.

New Feature 1: Big Blue Button Integration

Big BlueButton is an open source web conferencing system developed primarily for distance education. Big Blue Button enables universities and colleges to deliver high-quality learning experience to remote students.

With the introduction of Big Blue Button to the Fedena Pro Services package, Fedena now features virtual classrooms and online video conferences. Multiple users can share their webcam at the same time and there is no limit on the number of simultaneously active webcams. The presenter can upload any PDF presentation, office document and keep everyone in sync with their current page, zoom, pan, and see the presenters mouse pointer. BigBlueButton voice conferencing supports voice over IP (VOIP) conferencing out-of-the-box. All your students need are speakers and a microphone to participate. The presenter can broadcast their desktop for all students to see. Works on mac, Unix, and PC. The Whiteboard controls feature let you to annotate and call out key parts of your presentation for viewers. Record and Playback feature is coming soon to help you record you lectures (slides + audio + chat) for later playback by students.

New Feature 2: Task Management

Now Fedena allows you to set taks for different users of the system. Principal can add tasks and assign them to teachers. Management can add tasks for principal. Teachers can add tasks for students. The options and the value are limitless. The user assigned to the task can leave comments to the task regarding its status. This is a nice add-on to improve productivity of employees and management.

New Feature 3: Discussions and Private Groups

It is the Google Circles, Facebook Groups within Fedena. Create private groups and start discussions. All the discussions and the updates will come as message and will be reflected in the newly designed dynamic dashboard.

New Feature 4: Dynamic Dashboard

The multi-school version of Fedena already features a dynamic dashboard to keep you updated on the pulse of the school/college on every login. You can expect the same dashboard to individual fedena installations very soon.

New Feature 5: Add-on modules as Plugins

Our engineering team is working really hard on an innovative way to integrate the add-on modules as plugins. Installing an add-on module will be very easy similar to installing apps in your iphone or android. This will open-up a future possibility of Fedena Marketplace for add-on modules.

New Feature 5: Syllabus and Course Management

Very soon you will be able to integrate e-learning contents with Fedena through its innovative course management system. This feature is presently under development and will be available for use in another 3 to 4 months. This will avoid the need for thirdy party course management systems to be installed along with fedena.

Stay tuned for more surprise updates from the Fedena Team.

## Fedena 2.1 is released

The long-awaited release of Fedena 2.1 is now available at Project Fedena. There are lot of new features added and all the identified issues of version 2.0 is resolved in this release.

Github - https://github.com/projectfedena/fedena_v2.1
Release notes - http://projectfedena.org/changelog
Installation Instructions - http://projectfedena.org/install

What is new in Fedena 2.1 ?

New look for dashboard with unique and beautiful icons made from scratch for Project Fedena

Fedena 2.1 features 14 beautiful icons designed by Kondratieva Anna from Ukraine. Have a look at her official website and Dribble profile.

Lot of care was taken while designing the icons to make it unique and convey the meanings easily to an international userbase. All the descriptions of the dashboard icons are converted to pure text to support translations of fedena in future.

Enhanced Finance Module

The finance module of Fedena is heavily optimized according to the feedback and review from our users. Important changes include

• Included partial payment option
• Multiple admission number entry for additional fees
• Import fee structure of previous batch
• Creation of Master fees for different batches made easy
• Batch wise display of Master fees
• Added transaction date to expence, income & donations
• Showing FEES PAID status in student profile
• Advance Fee Payment Option for students
• Financial start date and end date for institutions
• Optimised finance graph ploting system

And many more. Read http://projectfedena.org/changelog

Enhanced Human Resource Module

The human resource module of Fedena is now equipped with useful features for the efficient running of your educational institution. Important changes include

• Payslip reject option for individual employee
• Carry forward in employee leave types
• Auto/manual leave reset of employees for a specified interval of time
• Handling employee subject association when a employee is removed
• Handling of reporting manager when an employee is removed
• Employee Leave history(Option to view leave history for a given time period)
• Auto change in user profile details when changing corresponding student/employee profile .

And many more. Read http://projectfedena.org/changelog

Other Important Changes

There are lot of small but efficient changes throughout Fedena like

• Assigning Class teacher for a batch
• Mark and Attendance entering privilege for assigned subjects
• Option for deleting an event
• All events to be shown in admin's calendar
• Size limit for student and employee photo
• Changing Photo saving system using paperclip
• Attendance report for all the students should be taken at one go- PDF report
• OFFLINE/ONLINE settings for fedena

And many more. Read http://projectfedena.org/changelog

Fedena User Guide

This time we have a surprise gift for you. A detailed manual on the features of Fedena is available for free download. Click on the image to download the userguide or get it from http://projectfedena.org/download

Fedena Windows Installer

We are sure that you will love this gift. We are providing a free windows installer for fedena which helps you install fedena in a few mouseclicks. No technical knowledge required. This will install Ruby, Rails, MySQL and other dependencies for Fedena. Get it from http://projectfedena.org/download

Fedena with Bundler patch

Another gift with this release is the Bundler patched Fedena for easy installation on servers. Bundle patched Fedena can be downloaded for Windows and Linux. You may use this version at Cpanel hosting providers with bundler support. Get it from http://projectfedena.org/download

Hope you will love this release of Fedena. Please support us by spreading the news and recommending fedena to schools and colleges.

## Interactive 404 page of new foradian.com with a hypercube built in HTML5

Checkout our new 404 page at www.foradian.com/404

The concept creatively signifies the meaning Foradian name and logo. It features a 4 dimensional hypercube drawn using HTML 5. You can use the mouse and keyboard to rotate the hypercube along different planes. Spend some time playing with the Tesseract and learn about higher dimensions.

The credit of the html5 hypercube goes to Milosz Kosmider . Milosz is an electronic music producer. See the orginal version of hypercube at http://hypercube.milosz.ca/

To know more about dimensions above 3, watch the following video.

Tesseract - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tesseract