Sreenivasa Ramanujan

Topics: Srinivasa Ramanujan, Number theory, Mathematics Pages: 8 (3082 words) Published: December 20, 2012
sreenivasa ramanujan

The life of Srinivasa Ramanujan is a story of pure inspiration. From a humble family background, his was a life of struggle, sacrifice, determination and raw talent. His rise from the status of a clerk to a mathematical genius is an example of the heights man is capable of reaching despite all odds.

At a very early age, Ramanujan demonstrated a natural ability for the subject, and by 13 the young genius had mastered advanced trigonometry, in the process discovering some theorems of his own. By 17, he conducted his own mathematical research on Bernoulli numbers and the Euler-Mascheroni constant.

In 1913, Ramanujan wrote to Prof. G. H. Hardy, seeking the eminent English mathematician’s opinion on several ideas he had about numbers. Realizing the letter was the work of a genius, from someone who had no formal education in pure mathematics, Hardy arranged for him to come to England to work with him at Cambridge.

Right from the start Ramanujan's collaboration with Hardy led to important results. He made substantial contributions to mathematical analysis, number theory, infinite series and continued fractions. He stated results that were both original and highly unconventional, such as the Ramanujan prime and the Ramanujan theta function. His formulae have found applications in crystallography and string theory to name a few. As a result of his contributions to mathematics, he was made a Fellow of the Royal Society and a Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge.

During his short lifetime, Ramanujan independently compiled nearly 3900 results (mostly identities and equations), and his work continues to inspire a vast amount of further research till date. India celebrates 22nd  December, his birthday, as the 'National Mathematics Day' honoring both the man and his achievements.  

Tata Realty and Infrastructure Limited (TRIL) pay a humble tribute to this mathematical legend by naming this state-of-the-art project after him.

Srinivasa Ramanujan was one of India's greatest mathematical geniuses. He made substantial contributions to the analytical theory of numbers and worked on elliptic functions, continued fractions, and infinite series. Ramanujan was born in his grandmother's house in Erode, a small village about 400 km southwest of Madras. When Ramanujan was a year old his mother took him to the town of Kumbakonam, about 160 km nearer Madras. His father worked in Kumbakonam as a clerk in a cloth merchant's shop. In December 1889 he contracted smallpox. When he was nearly five years old, Ramanujan entered the primary school in Kumbakonam although he would attend several different primary schools before entering the Town High School in Kumbakonam in January 1898. At the Town High School, Ramanujan was to do well in all his school subjects and showed himself an able all round scholar. In 1900 he began to work on his own on mathematics summing geometric and arithmetic series. Ramanujan was shown how to solve cubic equations in 1902 and he went on to find his own method to solve the quartic. The following year, not knowing that the quintic could not be solved by radicals, he tried (and of course failed) to solve the quintic. It was in the Town High School that Ramanujan came across a mathematics book by G S Carr called Synopsis of elementary results in pure mathematics. This book, with its very concise style, allowed Ramanujan to teach himself mathematics, but the style of the book was to have a rather unfortunate effect on the way Ramanujan was later to write down mathematics since it provided the only model that he had of written mathematical arguments. The book contained theorems, formulae and short proofs. It also contained an index to papers on pure mathematics which had been published in the European Journals of Learned Societies during the first half of the 19th century. The book, published in 1856, was of course well out of date by the time Ramanujan used it. By 1904 Ramanujan had begun to...
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