Damodar Dharmananda Kosambi (July 31, 1907 - June 29, 1966) is known for his work in numismatics and for compiling critical versions of ancient Sanskrit texts. Kosambi was a Marxist historian who specialized in ancient India who employed the historical materialist approach in his work. He was a leading activist in the World Peace Movement.

In 1931, Kosambi married Nalini, daughter of a very wealthy member of the Madgaonkar family.

**Early life of Damodar Dharmananda Kosambi**
After a few years of schooling in India, he and his elder sister, Manik Kosambi, travelled to Cambridge, Massachusetts with his father. He spent a year in the Grammar school and was admitted to the Cambridge High and Latin School in 1920. He became a member of Cambridge branch of American Boy Scouts.

He enrolled in Harvard in 1924, but postponed his studies and returned to India. He returned to the US with his father in January 1926. He was awarded the Bachelor of Arts degree in 1929 by Harvard University. He was technical consultant to the Chinese government for some time.

**Career of Damodar Dharmananda Kosambi**
He became the professor of

Banaras Hindu University (BHU), teaching German and mathematics. He published his first research paper, "Precessions of an Elliptic Orbit" in the Indian Journal of Physics in 1930.

In 1931 that he was hired by mathematician Andr‚ Weil, then Professor of Mathematics at

Aligarh Muslim University, to the post of lecturer in mathematics at

Aligarh. He produced eight research papers in the general area of Differential Geometry and Path Spaces. As he was fluent in several European languages, some of his early papers in French, Italian and German journals in their respective languages were published.

In 1933, he joined

Fergusson College in

Pune, where he taught mathematics for 12 years. He started his interdisciplinary pursuit. In 1944 he published a small article of 4 pages titled 'The Estimation of Map Distance from Recombination Values' in Annals of Eugenics, in which he introduced map function.

His important contribution is the widely known technique called proper orthogonal decomposition. It is now referred to as the Karhunen-Loeve expansion. This is applied in image processing, signal processing, data compression, oceanography, chemical engineering and fluid mechanics.

He published his critical editions of

Bhartrihari's Shatakatrayee and Subhashitas. He started his political activism by supporting the Communist Party of India.

In 1945, he became the professor of Mathematics in Tata Institute of Fundamental Research. Post independence, in 1948-49 he was sent to England and the US as a UNESCO Fellow to study the theoretical and technical aspects of computer. After returning to India, he was drawn into the World Peace Movement and served as a Member of the World Peace Council. Due to some untoward circumstances he had to leave this institute.

Thereafter he concentrated on his research in ancient Indian history and wrote a book 'The Culture and Civilisation of Ancient India', which was published in 1965.
In June 1964, Kosambi was appointed as a Scientist Emeritus of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR). He died in Pune on June 29, 1966. He was posthumously given the Hari Om Ashram Award by the government of India's University Grant Commission in 1980.

As a historian, he revolutionised Indian historiography with his Marxist approach.

**Works on history and society by Damodar Dharmananda Kosambi**
1956 - An Introduction to the Study of Indian History (Popular Book Depot, Bombay)

1957 - Exasperating Essays: Exercise in the Dialectical Method

1962 - Myth and Reality: Studies in the Formation of Indian Culture

1965 - The Culture and Civilisation of Ancient India in Historical Outline

2002 - Combined Methods in Indology and Other Writings

2009 - The Oxford India Kosambi - Compiled, edited and introduced by Brajadulal Chattopadhyaya

**Edited works**
1945 - The Satakatrayam of Bhartrhari

1946 - The Southern Archetype of Epigrams Ascribed to Bhartrhari

1948 - The Epigrams Attributed to Bhartrhari

1952 - The Cintamani-saranika of Dasabala

1957 - The Subhasitaratnakosa of Vidyakara

**Some of the mathematical publications by D. D. Kosambi**
1930 - Precessions of an elliptical orbit

1931 - On a generalization of the second theorem of Bourbaki

1932 - Modern differential geometries

1932 - On the existence of a metric and the inverse variation problem

1932 - Geometric differentiale et calcul des variations

1932 - On differential equations with the group property

1932 - Affin-geometrische grundlagen der einheitlichen feld-theorie

1933 - The classification of integers

1933 - The problem of differential invariants

1933 - Parallelism and path-spaces,

1934 - Collineations in path-space

1934 - Continuous groups and two theorems of Euler

1934 - The maximum modulus theorem

1935 - Systems of differential equations of the second order

1935 - Homogeneous metrics

1935 - An affine calculus of variations

1936 - Differential geometry of the Laplace equation

1936 - Path-spaces of higher order

1936 - Path-geometry and cosmogony

1938 - Les metriques homogenes dans les espaces cosmogoniques

1938 - Les espaces des paths generalises qu'on peut associer avec un espace de Finsler

1939 - The tensor analysis of partial differential equations

1940 - Path-equations admitting the Lorenz group

1940 - The concept of isotropy in generalized path-spaces

1940 - A note on frequency distribution in series

1941 - A bivariate extension of Fisher's Z test

1941 - Correlation and time series,Current Science

1941 - Path-equations admitting the Lorenz group - II

1942 - On the zeros and closure of orthogonal functions

1943 - Statistics in function space

1944 - The estimation of map distance from recombination values

1944 - Direct derivation of series spectra

1944 - The geometric method in mathematical statistics

1945 - Parallelism in the tensor analysis of partial differential equations

1946 - The law of large numbers

1946 - Sur la differentiation covariante

1947 - An extension of the least-squares method for statistical estimation

1947 - Les invariants differentials d'un tenseur covariant a deux indices

1948 - Systems of partial differential equations of the second order

(Last Updated on : 02/11/2011)