Srinivasa Ramanujan – the “Mathematical Genius” was born on 22nd December 1877 at Erode, India to K. Srinivasa Iyengar and Komalatammal. He received his early education from a school at Kumbakonam. He started solving mathematical problems at a very young age without anybody’s help. In the year 1904, he received a scholarship in a local college. Since then, he started spending serious attention to mathematics. He married Janaki Ammal in the year 1904.
He was the man who discovered the concept of infinity in mathematics. He was invited by the famous mathematicians Hardy to work with him at Cambridge. Ramanujan, along with Hardy, found the Taxi-cab numbers. Tax-cab number was “1729” because it was the smallest number which could be represented in two different ways as the sum of two cubes.
1729 = 13+ 123
= 93+ 103
1729 is also the product of three prime numbers
1729 = 7*13*19
The largest known similar number is
885623890831 = 75113 + 77303
= 87593 + 59783
= 3943 * 14737 * 15241
He pioneered in the discovery of the partition of the fractional numbers. Ramanujan worked on the elliptical functions, the series of hyper-geometry, relation between series and integrals, etc. Among his discoveries, the most notable and famous eponym was the Ramanujan’s Magic Square. The most interesting fact about the Magic square is that,
During his final years, after returning to India, Ramanujan had noted his results on certain mathematical concepts in a book which was considered to be lost. But, surprisingly, Prof.George E.Andrews noticed it in the trash in the year 1976. This book contained around 600 theorems which Ramanujan had termed as the Mock Theta Functions. Later, this book was given the name, “The Lost Notebook”.
There are a lot other honours and awards received by Ramanujan. He got elected as the Fellow at the Trinity College and the Royal Society in the year 1918. To honour his achievements, Indian Government released a stamp picturing Ramanujan in the year 1962. To commemorate the great astounding Indian mathematician, the Indian Government declared his birthday (December 22) as “National Mathematics Day”! In Tamilnadu, Decemebr 22nd is celebrated as the “State IT Day” to honour him.
Ramanujan couldn’t withstand the drastic conditions abroad driven out of the World War happening then. Due to food shortage, Ramanujan fell ill, and he returned to India. At the age of 32, he departed from this world on April 26, 1920.