Numbers are one of the first things we learn in life. We learn to count as a game, the more I count, the more chocolates I’ll get. Here is a snippet from the life of a person who made numbers such a game and excelled in that game, in a level, that the world gave him a title “The Man who knew INFINITY” , Let’s dive into the life of GENIUS Ramanujan.
Science, Law, Commerce, Art, Politics, Computers, Economics, Geography or any other subject, there is none which can exist without Mathematics. Each subject or field in this Universe is linked with Mathematics, either directly or indirectly. However, the omnipresence of mathematical concepts always needs to be identified and interpreted. The land of India has been home to many such personalities who not only interpreted such complex ideas but developed new ones too, which are used till now and will be used for a long time. Aryabhata, Brahmagupta, Shakuntala Devi, and S Ramanujan, being a few of them, have left their impressions forever in the world of mathematics.
Born as Srinivasa Ramanujan Aiyangar, on the 22nd of December, in Erode, Madras, to a Tamil Brahmin family in the times of British Raj. Enduring and achieving a lot, in the small span of thirty-two years of his life, Ramanujan is today known, worldwide, for his mathematician mind, intellect and genius. The Hollywood movie, The Man Who Knew Infinity, is the posthumous biopic on GENIUS Ramanujan, remarking his struggles and his preeminent contributions to Mathematics.
The Extraordinary GENIUS Ramanujan
Ramanujan has never received a formal education in pure mathematics, as Albert Einstein, S. Ramanujan also became introduced to the world by an elementary text book titled with “A Synopsis of Elementary Results in Pure and Applied Mathematics.” Yet, he is today remembered for the groundbreaking theorems he has developed ( around 3900 identities and equations, independently ) and his unique approach towards his subject.
At a very young age of 16 years, he used to solve and practice complex math problems. He was believed to be so determined and dedicated, that he would forget other virtues of life and give himself off to the numbers. Ramanujan is said to gain his knowledge of mathematics from his deity Namagiri Thayar, a Hindu Goddess. Being aptly religious, he held the belief that mathematical equations are thoughts of God.
The intelligence quotient or IQ of an average person in the world is around 100. Anyone having an IQ of more than 135, comes in the top 1 percentile of the world population. The great scientist of all time, Albert Einstein, had an IQ of 160. The Indian prodigy, GENIUS Ramanujan, who dropped out of his college twice, possessed an IQ level of 185, making him a proficient mathematician and the great genius, he was. Ramanujan actually did mathematics instinctively without actually penning down his proofs. And no only that, he can able to observe the complex numerical pattern in the nature.
Door to Opportunities
The life of this genius was rough and challenging. Once he discovered his interest in the field, he started writing papers, making theorems, and solving difficult questions of Mathematics. Seeking validation, Ramanujan sent his works to British mathematician Godfrey Harold (G. H.) Hardy, based in London. He got back an enthusiastic response with an invitation to England. Hardy proposed to work with him in Cambridge, England. This proved to be another turning point in life, as Ramanujan accelerated his Mathematical career here.
Once Hardy quoted Littlewood saying about the GENIUS Ramanujan
“Every positive integer was one of [Ramanujan’s] personal friends.”
Story of 1729
1729 = ( 1³ + 12³ ) = ( 10³ + 9³ )
His mind worked incredibly, no matter what. Once, during his time in England, Ramanujan fell sick and was in the hospital. His very good friend & and also a Mathematician, Godfrey Harold Hardy came for a visit, while they started discussing Hardy’s taxi number-1729. Hardy expressed that he found nothing unusual or fascinating about this number. It was then when it was first realized by GENIUS Ramanujan that 1729 is the smallest number that can be expressed as a sum of two cubes in two different ways. Hardy was amazed by his knowledge and admired his prowess. Hence, this number is called the Hardy-Ramanujan number or else the taxicab number.
His Indelible Work
They say, acts last more than words. It can very well be proven for Ramanujan. He was not just appreciated for his work in the eighteenth century. His mathematical ideas and developments were studied after his death and were eminently useful in research to scientists and mathematicians. For instance, one of his paragraphs in the paper has become the basis for superstring theory and multidimensional physics; modular functions, that is the most advanced math, could lead to time travel, antigravity, limitless free energy, and widen the scope for futuristic technology. According to mathematician Ken Ono, his theories could be used in further research about the black hole.
Ramanujan has been a true inspiration for a lot of many people. For the most part of his life, he suffered various ailments. Although he died early, he is gloriously survived by his work as a phenomenal mathematician. In his honor, his birth date, which is the 22nd of December month, is commemorated as National Mathematics Day in India. Moreover, he has been rewarded with numerous awards and accolades. A year after his death, his name was included in the “Calendar of Scientific Pioneers”. He was facilitated with the title “Fellow of the Royal Society”. In his memory, a special economic zone (SEZ) was built in Chennai, in 2011, named Ramanujan IT City.
Srinivasan Ramanujan was often compared with the greatest mathematicians Leonhard Euler (1707-83) and Carl Jacobi (1804-51). This self-taught person and self-made achiever made India and Indians immensely proud. His name is even today remembered, not just in mathematical calculations but by researchers all around the globe, whose researches are based on Ramanujan’s astonishing discoveries.
In his thirty-two years, two countries, and uncountable numbers, GENIUS Ramanujan has not been much lucky to get everything in his favor. He suffered diseases, lack of finances, family distress, and quite more.
One person can always imitate another, but could never become that another person. From the life of this noble mathematician, we cannot imbibe his knowledge and become as stupendous as him. All we can learn is no matter what odds are against you. You can always follow your passion and become the extraordinary you!
Srinivas Ramanujan Aiyangar, was born a genius. He died of physical ailments, but his brilliance will always keep him alive near the numbers, which he cherished the most, his entire life.
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