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Home > Srinivas Ramanujan Biography

Srinivas Ramanujan Biography

  • Born - 22 December 1887
    Erode, Madras Presidency
  • Died - 26 April 1920 (aged 32)
    Chetput, Madras, Madras Presidency
  • Residence - Kumbakonam
  • Nationality - Indian
  • Fields - Mathematics
  • Alma Mater - Government Arts College, Pachaiyappa's College
  • Academic Advisors - G. H. Hardy, J. E. Littlewood
  • Known for -
    • Landau - Ramanujan constant
    • Mock theta functions
    • Ramanujan conjecture
    • Ramanujan prime
    • Ramanujan - Soldner constant
    • Ramanujan theta function
    • Ramanujan's sum
    • Rogers - Ramanujan identities
    • Ramanujan's master theorem
  • Influences - G. H. Hardy
  • Achievements -
    • Ramanujan independently discovered results of Gauss, Kummer and others on hypergeometric series
    • He discovered Mock Theta Functions in the last year of his life.

The mathematics legend of India, Srinivasa Ramanujam was rather a child prodigy, as one who could read and understand the advanced Trigonometry works of S L Loney at the age of 12, while in his general academic education, he could not cross through his college intermediate studies as his focus and identity was only with mathematics and he did not fare well in other subjects.

Srinivasa Ramanujam was born at Erode in Tamilnadu, in the year 1887, while he lived the later part of his life in Madras, now the City of Chennai, where he died at the age of 32 in the year 1920, due to common causes of malnutrition and possible illness due to liver infection.

In his short span of life, Ramanujam surprised the world with his didactical talents through his contributions to number theory, infinite series and continued fractions, living in India without any possibility of interacting with learned mathematical community which was available in the western part of the Globe those days in Europe, this constraint turning into opportunity in his case, Ramanujam made his own researches which revealed his genius, as he discovered himself already known theories apart from developing his own theories, which fact was well appreciated by English mathematician G H Hardy placing Ramanujam in the same level as famous mathematicins Euler and Gauss. His mathematical observations on Bermoulli numbers and Euler-Mascheroni constant were seen by the world of mathematics those days, as he did these researches in the age of 17.

Born in a traditional family, he had to lose his scholarship to study in the Government College at Kumbakonam due to his deficiency in non-mathematical subjects, still he pursued his studies in mathematics through another college, as he was working at the Madras Port Trust in a clerical position to make a living, however by 1912-1913, when his sample theorems were seen by G H Hardy, the later invited him to work at Cambridge, where he became a Fellow of the Royal Society, and also Fellow of Trinity College.

The Government of India has rightly honored Srinivasa Ramanujam by making December 22, his birthday, as National Mathematics day to be celebrated every year, while declaring 2012 as the National Mathematics Year, to commemorate a genius  who had independently worked out as much as 3900 results, most of them identities and equations,  many  of Ramanujam’s findings  having been proven accurate now,  although there were insignificant number results seen either false or not original, while large number of them coming under original and bafflingly  unconventional categories, which  would include theories called Ramanujan prime, the Ramanujan theta function, etc  inspiring a vast number of mathematicians to go for further research in the area of Mathematics.

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