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Srinivasa Ramanujan Aiyangar. Wikimedia Commons
Srinivasa Ramanujan Aiyangar. Wikimedia Commons

National Mathematics Day 2020: 5 facts about the ‘man who knew infinity

  • The mathematical genius Srinivasa Ramanujan was born to a Tamil Brahmin Iyengar family at Erode, Tamil Nadu
  • Ramanujan made priceless contributions to several mathematical concepts like infinite series, continued fractions, number theory and mathematical analysis

National Mathematics Day or Math Day is observed every year on December 22, honouring the legendary mathematician Srinivasa Ramanujan Aiyangar on his birthday. Former prime minister Manmohan Singh had inaugurated on this date in 2012, after which it is observed as Math Day every year. The objective behind celebrating the day is to raise awareness among people about the importance of mathematics for the development of humanity.

  • The mathematical genius Srinivasa Ramanujan was born to a Tamil Brahmin Iyengar family at Erode, Tamil Nadu. He had developed a talent for mathematics from a very young age, mastering trigonometry at the age of 12 and was eligible for a scholarship at the Government Arts College in Kumbakonam. He had enrolled in Madras’ Pachaiyappa College at the age of 14.

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  • In 1912, Ramanujan started working as a clerk in the Madras Port Trust where his mathematical genius was recognized by a colleague who was also a mathematician. The said colleague referred Ramanujan to Professor GH Hardy of Trinity College, Cambridge University.
  • Ramanujan met Hardy in 1913, a year after which he went to Trinity College where he honed his craft. In 1916, he received a Bachelor of Science (BSc) degree. He was elected to the London Mathematical Society in 1917.
  • In 1918, Ramanujan was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society for his research on Elliptic Functions and theory of numbers. In October 1918, he became the first Indian to be elected a Fellow of Trinity College.
  • Ramanujan made priceless contributions to several mathematical concepts like infinite series, continued fractions, number theory and mathematical analysis. He also made notable contributions like the hypergeometric series, the Riemann series, the elliptic integrals, the theory of divergent series, and the functional equations of the zeta function.
  • Ramanujan died at the young age of 32 owing to deteriorating health on April 26, 1920.
  • In 2015, the movie 'The Man Who Knew Infinity' was released based on the biography and the role was played by British-Indian actor Dev Patel.

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