Born in 1887 in Erode, Tamil Nadu, the story of Ramanujan’s tryst with mathematics is one of the most engaging tales read, depicted and performed through various works of art.
Every year, the country celebrates National Mathematics Day on December 22 to commemorate the birth anniversary of Mathematician Srinivasa Ramanujan. Born in 1887 in Erode, Tamil Nadu, the story of Ramanujan’s tryst with mathematics is one of the most engaging tales read, depicted and performed through various works of art.
From his childhood, he has a huge passion for mathematics. So much so, that at the age of 12, he had mastered trigonometry and developed many theorems on his own with no assistance. He was awarded a scholarship to study at Government Arts College, Kumbakonam, but he eventually lost it due to his abysmal performance in other subjects. He ran away from home and enrolled himself at Pachaiyappa’s College in Madras.
With the support of Mathematician Ramaswamy Iyer, he got a job as a clerk at the Madras Port Trust.
His breakthrough finally came in 1913, when Ramanujan wrote to G H Hardy. The British mathematician, on realizing Ramanujan’s genius wrote back to him, invited him to London. Hardy then got Ramanujan into Trinity College, Cambridge and what began was a captivating saga of success.
In 1917, Ramanujan was elected to be a member of the London Mathematical Society. In 1918, he also became a Fellow of the Royal Society, becoming the youngest person to achieve the feat.
The London weather and the poor eating habits slowly affecting the health of Ramanujan, and he breathed his last in Kumbakonam at an age of 32. The mathematics wizard made a significant contribution to mock theta function that generalises the form of the Jacobi theta functions, while preserving their general properties.