Remembering India's Pride Srinivas Ramanujan on his 133rd Birthday
Srinivasa Ramanujan Aiyangar was born on December 22, 1887, in Tamil Nadu’s Erode. He developed a passion for mathematics as a kid and at the age of 12, he mastered trigonometry at the age of 12 and became eligible for a scholarship at the Government Arts College in Kumbakonam. Past two years, at 14 he enrolled in Madras’ Pachaiyappa College.
Later in 1912, Ramanujan initiated his career at the Madras Port Trust. This is the place where his mathematics prowess has been recognized by some of his colleagues through whom Ramanujan got introduced to Professor GH Hardy of Trinity College, Cambridge University. A year later he went to Trinity College where he honed his craft under the Englishman’s tutelage.
Later, He received his degree from Cambridge in 1916 and went on to publish several brilliant papers on his subject with the assitance of Hardy, and the two even associated on numerous joint projects and publications. Ramanujan was elected to the London Mathematical Society in 1917 and was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society for his excellent work on Elliptic Functions and the theory of numbers. He was also the first Indian to be elected a Fellow of Trinity College.
Despite not possessing any formal education in pure mathematics, Ramanujan made invaluable contributions to several mathematical concepts such as number theory, infinite series, continued fractions, and mathematical analysis. He also made notable contributions that include the Riemann series, the hypergeometric series, the elliptic integrals, the theory of divergent series, and the functional equations of the zeta function. He made monumental contributions to the fields of elliptic functions, number theory, mathematical analysis, infinite series, continued fractions, and theta functions.
Ramanujan became the second Indian Fellow of the Royal Society in 1918, and the first Indian Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge in the same year. He was successively elected to the London Mathematical Society and became one of the youngest Fellows of the Royal Society. He was also the first Indian Fellow of Trinity College.
He combined power of generalization, a feeling for form, and a capacity for rapid modification of his hypotheses that were often really startling, and made him, in his own peculiar field, without a rival in his day. The limitations of his knowledge were as startling as its profundity. Here was a man who could work out modular equations and theorems
Hardy said they were "arrived at by a process of mingled argument, intuition, and induction, of which he was entirely unable to give any coherent account.
Ramanujan died at a very young age of 32 as a result of his deteriorating health on April 26, 1920. Post which Robert Kanigel wrote a book titled ‘The Man Who Knew Infinity’ in 2015. Also, Ramanujan's life was also portrayed in a movie with the same name where he was played by British-Indian actor Dev Patel. The film shed light on Ramanujan’s childhood in India, his time in Britain during World War I, and his journey to becoming one of India’s most renowned mathematicians.