Interesting Facts To Know About Ramanujan On His Birth Anniversary, The Man Who Redefined Mathematics

Srinivasa Ramanujan, one of the greatest mathematicians that India has ever produced! He was also referred to as the man who knew Infinity. Indeed our country’s contribution goes back into history for offering the world’s best mathematicians and developing the subject. When Aryabhatta gave the concept of Zero, Srinivasa Ramanujan introduced infinity to the world. December 22 is observed annually as National Mathematics Day in India to commemorate the birth anniversary of legendary Indian mathematician Srinivasa Ramanujan.

The Genius Who Enriched Mathematics

Ramanujan was a self-taught mathematician who did ‘develop’ the subject, and in the process established himself as one of India’s greatest mathematical geniuses. He is known for his contributions to mathematical concepts such as number theory, analysis of infinite series, and continued fractions, among others.  Ramanujan has enriched world mathematics with more than 3,500 equations and formulae. Some of his most important contributions include the Riemann series, Divergent Series Theory, elliptic integrals, and Hypergeometric series.



Ramanujan(center) at Trinity college, London

A Short But Inspiring Life

Born in 1887, in Erode, Tamil Nadu, Ramanujan was an autodidact in mathematics, and taught himself trigonometry at the age of 12. He excelled in this branch of mathematics, and devised many theorems. As a student Ramanujan didn’t do well in other subjects in school and college but he would perform independent research in mathematics.

He later began sending his work to British mathematicians. In 1913, he received a breakthrough when Professor Godfrey Harold Hardy, one of the most revered mathematicians of all time, called him to London. Impressed by Ramanujan’s theorems, he started mentoring him in 1914. Hardy got Ramanujan into Trinity College, Cambridge, in 1914, and three years later, the latter was elected to be a member of the London Mathematical Society. In 1918, his research in the Theory of Numbers and Elliptic Functions made him earn a fellowship of the Royal Society of London. In 1919, he returned to India. His health began to deteriorate, and a year later, at 32 years of age, he died of tuberculosis.

 A Math Prodigy But Failed In Other Subjects

Ramanujan was considered a prodigy in mathematics, but the same cannot be said about his proficiency in other subjects. Ramanujan left behind three notebooks and a bunch of papers with summaries and results, with little or no proofs. Even a hundred years after his death, mathematicians continue to work on the unpublished results of Ramanujan’s notebooks. Several papers written by mathematicians were inspired by the results from the notebooks.