Aryabhata was an early Hindu mathematician and astronomer. He was born in 476 AD. in Kusumapura, now called Patna, in India. He is famous because of a work he wrote in 399 AD. when he was only 23 years old called the Aryabhatiya. He was also one of the first people to use algebra.

The Aryabhatiya is a summary of all of maths known at the time in India. A lot of the Aryabhatiya was to do with the maths of astronomy, because astronomy was the subject that needed the most complicated maths. It also covered arithmetic, algebra and trigonometry. It gives formulas for the areas of a triangle and a circle which are correct, but the formulas for the volumes of a sphere and a pyramid are wrong. Aryabhata also gave an approximation for pi - the ratio of circumference of a circle to its diameter - which he calculated to be 3.1416.

The Aryabhatiya is unusual because it is written as a poem in 121 verses or 'slokas'. Aryabhata became famous because of his mathematical poem and many people travelled far to hear what he had to say. He died in about 450 AD.