Ramanujan and National Mathematics Day

“I think 1729 is a pretty boring number.”

 “It’s not,” Ramanujan said, “it is the smallest number expressible as the sum of two cubes in two different ways.”

J. H. Hardy was in awe of Ramanujan’s response.

Hardy knew it was true and understood that it takes an inexplicably ignited mind to come up with such an astonishing result. 1729 was later called Ramanujan number.

“Every integer is Ramanujan’s best friend,” Hardy says. It—definitely—was.

 Srinivasa Ramanujan only had the taste of anonymity until he wrote a letter to G. H. Hardy at the University of Cambridge, England in the year 1913. The letter had his work samples on infinite series, number theory, and several other areas of mathematics.

By the passage of time, his name was popularized in the university and were accepted in different ways. His critics opposed him because many of the equations and theorems he had proposed were not backed by a proof.

Ramanujan knew they were true. However,he had a painful errand of proving to his fellow mathematicians. During his lifetime, Ramanujan proposed approximately 3900 results in which some of them was a breakthrough. It includes his work in the field of partitions, functions and infinite series.

“An equation has no meaning unless it expresses a thought of God,” Ramanujan believed.

Ramanujan chose to work in solitude and faced enormous challenges. Despite being born in a financially deprivileged family,he lacked formal training in mathematics. Until his 30s, he worked as an accountant in a local firm and continued working on his formulas in the wee hours.  

During his teenage, he was fascinated by trigonometry,infinite series, and geometry. No wonder he studied books that barely made sense to the children of his age. Deservingly, he won K. Ranganatha Rao prize in mathematics and he became the first mathematician born in India to become a fellow of Trinity college, Cambridge.

 To our misfortune, Ramanujan closed his eyes forever at the tender age of 32. Sometimes,I think what would have happen if he would have lived for several more year,what contribution would he have done. I wouldn’t be surprised if we would have gotten an equation that describes everything that is in the universe—including the cosmos.

Ahmad Khan

I have no blood in my veins. I have ink.

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