100th death anniversary of mathematics genius
Srinivasa Ramanujan was a self-taught mathematician who contributed to the theory of numbers. Born in Erode, Tamil Nadu, in 1887, Ramanujan grew up in poverty, his father working as an accounting clerk, while his mother earned a small amount as a temple singer. The mathematician died on April 26, 1920, with this year marking his 100th death anniversary.
Facts about S Ramanujan
- At the age of 15, Srinivasa Ramanujan obtained a copy of Synopsis on Elementary Results in Pure and Applied Mathematics, which contained 5,000 theorems, but had either brief proofs or did not have any. C Ramanujan then took to solving each of the theorems, eventually succeeding.
- Ramanujan had obtained a scholarship for the University of Madras, but he ended up losing it because he neglected his studies in other subjects in favour of mathematics.
- Srinivasa was in such poverty that he often sustained on minimal foods and did not even have enough money to obtain paper for his studies. As a result, he used slates for his mathematics and cleaned them with his elbow, leading to bruises and marks.
- Even with little formal training in mathematics, Ramanujan published his first paper in the Journal of Indian Mathematical Society in 1911.
- In 1913, Ramanujan started communicating with Godfrey H Hardy, a British mathematician. This led him to obtaining a scholarship from University of Madras and a grant from Trinity College in Cambridge, after which he travelled to England and started to work on some research with Hardy.
- Even as Ramanujan did not have much knowledge about modern mathematics due to no formal guidance, no living mathematician equaled in his knowledge of continued fractions.
- After his advances, especially in the field of partition of numbers, and the publication of his papers in several English as well as European journals, he was elected to the Royal Society of London in 1918.
- After contracting tuberculosis, the mathematician recovered enough in 1919 to return to India, but died the following year, without much recognition. However, the mathematics community recognised him as a genius without peer.
- The genius mathematician left as his legacy three notebooks and a huge bundle of pages, which contained unpublished results which were being verified by mathematicians many years after his death.
- The International Center for Theoretical Physics (ICTP) has awarded the 2018 Ramanujan Prize for Young Mathematicians from Developing Countries to Professor Ritabrata Munshi of the Indian Statistical Institute, Kolkata, India and the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Mumbai, India.
- The Ramanujan Prize is awarded annually to a researcher from a developing country who is less than 45 years of age.
- Researchers working in any branch of the mathematical sciences are eligible. ICTP administers the award jointly with the Department of Science and Technology of India and the International Mathematical Union.