December 22 is celebrated as National Mathematics Day, on the occasion of the birth anniversary of legendary Indian Mathematician Srinivasan Ramanujan. The Mathematician, who went unnoticed during his short life, received praise and appreciation after his death.
Here are a few little-known facts about the Math Maverick from India
No formal training in the subject
Ramanujan was born in the small town of Erode, Tamil Nadu. Growing up he did not have formal specialty training in Mathematics, yet he went on to contribute greatly to the field of Number theory, infinite series, mathematical analysis, and continued fractions.
Lack of help begins with
Ramanujan started a laboratory to conduct his research. To develop the same, he sought the help of several mathematical professionals, however, he wasn’t very successful with the same. He began a postal correspondence with professor G.H. Hardy in 1913 for him to understand Ramanujan’s work better.
A Religious Man
Srinivas Ramanujan was a deeply Hindu man. He stated that his family
goddess Namagiri Thayar had revealed the mathematical knowledge to him.” An equation for me has no meaning unless it expresses a thought of god.” said Ramanujan.
A Pioneer in Math
In his short-lived career, S. Ramanujan compiled a total of 3,900 results, including equations and identities. He was famous for coming up with theories that were novel and unconventional, including Ramanujan Prime, Partition formulae, and mock theta functions. Several of his theories were proved correct after his death.
Married a 9-year-old girl
Srinivas Ramanujan got married on July 14, 1909. The age gap between the bride and groom was of a decade, a common phenomenon in the early 20th century. His wife Janaki continued to stay at her own house until she hit puberty.
British professor Hardy, who was also a close acquaintance of S. Ramanujan, considered him to be the greatest mathematician of all time. Hardy had invited Ramanuj to Cambridge University in 1913. However, Ramanujan had to return to India due to his sick health, 1919.
Failed to get a degree
Ramanujan’s obsession with Mathematics cost him several things, including a degree in Fellow of Arts. While appearing for exams, he would only focus on mathematics and leave the rest of the questions unanswered. After leaving college, Ramanujan continued his independent research in mathematics, due to the lack of resources and money Ramanujan had to live in extreme poverty.