National Mathematics Day 2022: 9 Interesting Facts about Genius Mathematician Srinivasa Ramanujan
National Mathematics Day 2022: The day is celebrated in India annually to mark the birth anniversary of the genius mathematician Srinivasa Ramanujan. In 2012, former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh declared December 22 as National Mathematics Day to honor the genius mathematician. Here, we are providing some facts regarding Ramanujan's life, contribution, and work.
9 Interesting Facts about Mathematician Srinivasa Ramanujan
1. Srinivasa Ramanujan was born on 22 December 1997, in Erode, Tamil Nadu, India, into a Brahmin family. His father was Srinivasa Iyengar, an accounting clerk for a clothing merchant, and his mother was Komalatammal.
2. He had not done any formal training in pure mathematics then also made several contributions to mathematical analysis, number theory, infinite series, continued fractions, etc.
3. When Ramanujan was 15 years old, he obtained a copy of George Shoobridge Carr’s Synopsis of Elementary Results in Pure and Applied Mathematics. This book was his main source of inspiration and expertise.
It consists of a large number of mathematical theorems, many presented without proofs, and those with proofs only have the briefest. Ramanujan verified the results in Carr's book and went beyond it. He developed his own theorems and ideas. He also secured a scholarship to the University of Madras in 1903 but lost it in the following year, as he neglected all other studies due to mathematics.
4. He published the first of his papers in the Journal of the Indian Mathematical Society in 1911. His understanding of mathematics and his genius slowly gained recognition. He was appointed to the position of clerk in the Madras Post Trust Office in 1912 where his colleague encouraged him to reach out to G.H. Hardy, who was a famous mathematician at Cambridge University. He led to a special scholarship from the University of Madras and a grant from Trinity College, Cambridge.
5. In 1914, he traveled to England despite religious objections. Here, Hardy taught him and collaborated with him on some research. Ramanujan, in England also made advances mainly in the partition of numbers.
6. His contributions to Mathematics
He compiled around 3900 results that consist of equations and identities. One of his most famous findings was his infinite series for pi. This is the basis of the various algorithms that we use today.
He also discovered various new ideas for solving several challenging mathematical problems, which further gave a significant impetus to game theory development.
He also described the mock theta function.
His several other works include the Riemann series, the elliptic integrals, the hypergeometric series, the functional equations of the zeta function, and his own theory of divergent series.
7. Ramanujan in England had made advances mainly in the partition of numbers. His papers were published in English and European journals.
8. He was elected to the Royal Society of England in 1918 and became the second Indian.
'1729' is said to be a magic number. According to Ramanujan's biography 'The Man Who Knew Infinity' by Robert Knaigel, GH Hardy once went to meet Ramanujan at a hospital. He told him that the taxi number was '1729' from which he came but it seemed to be an ordinary number. Ramanujan said that it was not an ordinary number. The genius mathematician said that it is the smallest number that can be expressed as the sum of two different cubes in 2 different ways. Later, the number was termed as the 'Hardy-Ramanujan Number'.
9. Ramanujan at the age of 32 died after contracting tuberculosis. He left behind three notebooks and some pages known as 'lost notebooks' containing various unpublished results that were continued to verify by mathematicians after his death.
The genius Indian mathematician had few opportunities during his lifetime to showcase his talents. But his passion for giving his best to mathematics did not hold him back from leaving back his legacy for the world to marvel at.
Srinivasa Ramanujan: Fast Facts
Born: 22 December 1887