Ramanujan was born on 22 December 1887 in the city Erode, Madras Presidency, at the residence of his maternal grandparents.[10] His father, K. Srinivasa Iyengar, worked as a clerk in a sari shop and hailed from the district of Thanjavur.[11] His mother, Komalatammal, was a housewife and also sang at a local temple.[12] They lived in Sarangapani Street in a traditional home in the town of Kumbakonam. The family home is now a museum. When Ramanujan was a year and a half old, his mother gave birth to a son named Sadagopan, who died less than three months later. In December 1889, Ramanujan had smallpox and recovered, unlike thousands in the Thanjavur District who died from the disease that year.[13]He moved with his mother to her parents' house in Kanchipuram, near Madras (nowChennai). In November 1891, and again in 1894, his mother gave birth, but both children died in infancy. On 1 October 1892, Ramanujan was enrolled at the local school.[14] In March 1894, he was moved to a Telugu medium school. After his maternal grandfather lost his job as a court official in Kanchipuram,[15] Ramanujan and his mother moved back to Kumbakonam and he was enrolled in the Kangayan Primary School.[16] After his paternal grandfather died, he was sent back to his maternal grandparents, who were now living in Madras. He did not like school in Madras, and he tried to avoid attending. His family enlisted a local constable to make sure he attended school. Within six months, Ramanujan was back in Kumbakonam.[16] Since Ramanujan's father was at work most of the day, his mother took care of him as a child. He had a close relationship with her. From her, he learned about tradition and puranas. He learned to sing religious songs, to attend pujas at the temple and particular eating habits – all of which are part of Brahmin culture.[17] At the Kangayan Primary School, Ramanujan performed well. Just before the age of 10, in November 1897, he passed his primary examinations in English, Tamil, geography and arithmetic. With his scores, he stood first in the district.[18] That year, Ramanujan entered Town Higher Secondary School where he encountered formal mathematics for the first time.[18] By age 11, he had exhausted the mathematical knowledge of two college students who were lodgers at his home. He was later lent a book on advanced trigonometry written by S. L. Loney.[19][20] He completely mastered this book by the age of 13 and discovered sophisticated theorems on his own. By 14, he was receiving merit certificates and academic awards which continued throughout his school career and also assisted the school in the logistics of assigning its 1200 students (each with their own needs) to its 35-odd teachers.[21] He completed mathematical exams in half the allotted time, and showed a familiarity with infinite series. In 1903 when he was 16, Ramanujan obtained from a friend a library-loaned copy of a book by G. S. Carr.[22][23] The book was titled A Synopsis of Elementary Results in Pure and Applied Mathematics and was a collection of 5000 theorems. Ramanujan reportedly studied the contents of the book in detail.[24] The book is generally acknowledged as a key element in awakening the genius of Ramanujan.[24] The next year, he had independently developed and investigated the Bernoulli numbers and had calculated Euler's constant up to 15 decimal places.[25] His peers at the time commented that they "rarely understood him" and "stood in respectful awe" of him.[21] When he graduated from Town Higher Secondary School in 1904, Ramanujan was awarded the K. Ranganatha Rao prize for mathematics by the school's headmaster, Krishnaswami Iyer. Iyer introduced Ramanujan as an outstanding student who deserved scores higher than the maximum possible marks.[21] He received a scholarship to study at Government Arts College, Kumbakonam,[26][27] However, Ramanujan was so intent on studying mathematics that he could not focus on any other subjects and failed most of them, losing...

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