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Srinivasa Ramanujan (22

December 1887 – 26 April 1920)

was an Indian mathematician

and autodidact who, with almost no

formal training in pure

mathematics, made extraordinary

contributions to mathematical

analysis, number theory, infinite

series, and continued fractions.

Living in India with no access to

the larger mathematical

community, which was centered in

Europe at the time, Ramanujan

developed his own mathematical

research in isolation. As a result, he

rediscovered known theorems in

addition to producing new work.

Ramanujan was said to be a natural

genius by the English

mathematician G. H. Hardy, in the

same league as mathematicians

such as Euler and Gauss.

Ramanujan was born at Erode, Madras Presidency (now Tamil Nadu) in a Tamil family. His

introduction to formal mathematics began at age 10. He demonstrated a natural ability, and was

given books on advanced trigonometry written by S. L. Loneythat he mastered by the age of 12;

he even discovered theorems of his own, and re-discovered Euler's identity independently. He

demonstrated unusual mathematical skills at school, winning accolades and awards. By 17,

Ramanujan had conducted his own mathematical research on Bernoulli numbers and the Euler–

Mascheroni constant.

Ramanujan received a scholarship to study at Government College in Kumbakonam, which was

later rescinded when he failed his non-mathematical coursework. He joined another college to

pursue independent mathematical research. During the same time, Diwan Bahadul R.

Ramachandra Rao, ICS; who was a keen mathematician and served as President of the Indian

Mathematical Society himself; assisted Ramanujan in getting a clerical job in the Accountant-

General's office at the Madras Port Trust Office to support himself. In 1912–1913, he sent

samples of his theorems to three academics at the University of Cambridge. G. H. Hardy,

recognising the brilliance of his work, invited Ramanujan to visit and work with him

at Cambridge. He became a Fellow of the Royal Society

Cambridge. Ramanujan died of tuberculosis

of 32.

During his short life, Ramanujan independently compiled nearly 3900 re

(mostly identities and equations).

small number of these results were actually false and some were already known

that were both original and highly unconventional, such as the

the Ramanujan theta function

research. The Ramanujan Journal

all areas of mathematics influenced by his work.

In December 2011, in recognition of his contribution to mathematics, the Government of India

declared that Ramanujan's birth date (22 December

Mathematics Day and declared 2012 the

Mathematical achievements

In mathematics, there is a distinction between having an insight and having a proof. Ramanujan's

talent suggested a plethora of formulae that could then be investigated in depth l

by G. H. Hardy that Ramanujan's discoveries are unusually rich and that there is often more to

them than initially meets the eye. As a by

Examples of the most interesting of these formulae include the intriguing infinite

one of which is given below

This result is based on the negative

number h(d) = 2 (note that 5×7×13×58 = 26390 and that 9801=99×99; 396=4×99) and is related

to the fact that

Compare to Heegner numbers, which have class number 1 and yield similar formulae.

Ramanujan's series for π converges extraordinarily rapidly (exponentially) and forms the basis of

some of the fastest algorithms currently used to calculate π. Truncating the sum to the first term

also gives the approximation

also the more general Ramanujan

One of his remarkable capabilities was the rapid solution for problems. He was sharing a room

with P. C. Mahalanobis who had a problem, "Imagine that you are on a street with houses

marked 1 through n. There is a house in between (x) such that the sum of the house numbers to

Fellow of the Royal Society and a Fellow of

tuberculosis caused by illness and malnutrition in 1920 at the age

During his short life, Ramanujan independently compiled nearly 3900 re

). Nearly all his claims have now been proven correct, alt

small number of these results were actually false and some were already known.

that were both original and highly unconventional, such as the Ramanujan

Ramanujan theta function, and these have inspired a vast amount of further

Ramanujan Journal, an international publication, was launched to publish work in

all areas of mathematics influenced by his work.

In December 2011, in recognition of his contribution to mathematics, the Government of India

declared that Ramanujan's birth date (22 December) would be celebrated every year as

and declared 2012 the National Mathematics Year

In mathematics, there is a distinction between having an insight and having a proof. Ramanujan's

talent suggested a plethora of formulae that could then be investigated in depth l

that Ramanujan's discoveries are unusually rich and that there is often more to

them than initially meets the eye. As a by-product, new directions of research were opened up.

Examples of the most interesting of these formulae include the intriguing infinite

This result is based on the negative fundamental discriminant d = −4×58 = −232 with class

5×7×13×58 = 26390 and that 9801=99×99; 396=4×99) and is related

, which have class number 1 and yield similar formulae.

series for π converges extraordinarily rapidly (exponentially) and forms the basis of

some of the fastest algorithms currently used to calculate π. Truncating the sum to the first term

for π, which is correct to six decimal

Ramanujan–Sato series.

One of his remarkable capabilities was the rapid solution for problems. He was sharing a room

who had a problem, "Imagine that you are on a street with houses

marked 1 through n. There is a house in between (x) such that the sum of the house numbers to

and a Fellow of Trinity College,

caused by illness and malnutrition in 1920 at the age

During his short life, Ramanujan independently compiled nearly 3900 results

Nearly all his claims have now been proven correct, although a

. He stated results

Ramanujan prime and

, and these have inspired a vast amount of further

, an international publication, was launched to publish work in

In December 2011, in recognition of his contribution to mathematics, the Government of India

) would be celebrated every year as National

In mathematics, there is a distinction between having an insight and having a proof. Ramanujan's

talent suggested a plethora of formulae that could then be investigated in depth later. It is said

that Ramanujan's discoveries are unusually rich and that there is often more to

search were opened up.

Examples of the most interesting of these formulae include the intriguing infinite series for π,

−4×58 = −232 with class

5×7×13×58 = 26390 and that 9801=99×99; 396=4×99) and is related

, which have class number 1 and yield similar formulae.

series for π converges extraordinarily rapidly (exponentially) and forms the basis of

some of the fastest algorithms currently used to calculate π. Truncating the sum to the first term

for π, which is correct to six decimal places. See

One of his remarkable capabilities was the rapid solution for problems. He was sharing a room

who had a problem, "Imagine that you are on a street with houses

marked 1 through n. There is a house in between (x) such that the sum of the house numbers to

left of it equals the sum of the house numbers to its right. If n is between 50 and 500, what are n

and x?" This is a bivariate problem with multiple solutions. Ramanujan thought about it and gave

the answer with a twist: He gave a

solution to the whole class of problems. Mahalanobis was astounded and asked how he did it. "It

is simple. The minute I heard the problem, I k

Which continued fraction, I asked myself. Then the answer came to my mind", Ramanujan

replied.

His intuition also led him to derive some previously unknown

for all , where is the gamma function

coefficients of , , and gives some deep identities for the

In 1918, Hardy and Ramanujan studied the

convergent asymptotic series that permits exact computation of the number of partitions of an

integer. Hans Rademacher, in 1937, was able to refine their formula to find an exact convergent

series solution to this problem. Ramanujan and Hardy's work in this area gave rise to a powerful

new method for finding asymptotic formulae, called the

He discovered mock theta functions

were a mystery, but they are now known to be the holomorphic parts of harmonic weak

forms.

Ramanujan–Hardy number 1729

The number 1729 is known as the Hardy

British mathematician G. H. Hardy

words:

[94]

“ I remember once going to see him when he was ill at

number 1729 and remarked that the number seemed to me rather a

hoped it was not an unfavorable omen. "No", he replied, "it is a very interesting number;

it is the smallest number expressible as the sum of two cubes in two different ways."

The two different ways are

1729 = 1

3

+ 12

3

= 9

3

+ 10

3

.

of it equals the sum of the house numbers to its right. If n is between 50 and 500, what are n

and x?" This is a bivariate problem with multiple solutions. Ramanujan thought about it and gave

the answer with a twist: He gave a continued fraction. The unusual part was that it was the

solution to the whole class of problems. Mahalanobis was astounded and asked how he did it. "It

is simple. The minute I heard the problem, I knew that the answer was a continued fraction.

Which continued fraction, I asked myself. Then the answer came to my mind", Ramanujan

His intuition also led him to derive some previously unknown identities, such as

gamma function. Expanding into series of powers and equating

gives some deep identities for the hyperbolic secant

In 1918, Hardy and Ramanujan studied the partition function P(n) extensively and gave a non

convergent asymptotic series that permits exact computation of the number of partitions of an

, in 1937, was able to refine their formula to find an exact convergent

series solution to this problem. Ramanujan and Hardy's work in this area gave rise to a powerful

otic formulae, called the circle method.

mock theta functions in the last year of his life. For many years these functions

were a mystery, but they are now known to be the holomorphic parts of harmonic weak

Hardy number 1729

The number 1729 is known as the Hardy–Ramanujan number after a famous anecdote of the

G. H. Hardy regarding a visit to the hospital to see Ramanujan. In Hardy's

I remember once going to see him when he was ill at Putney. I had ridden in taxi cab

number 1729 and remarked that the number seemed to me rather a dull one

hoped it was not an unfavorable omen. "No", he replied, "it is a very interesting number;

it is the smallest number expressible as the sum of two cubes in two different ways."

of it equals the sum of the house numbers to its right. If n is between 50 and 500, what are n

and x?" This is a bivariate problem with multiple solutions. Ramanujan thought about it and gave

. The unusual part was that it was the

solution to the whole class of problems. Mahalanobis was astounded and asked how he did it. "It

new that the answer was a continued fraction.

Which continued fraction, I asked myself. Then the answer came to my mind", Ramanujan

. Expanding into series of powers and equating

hyperbolic secant.

) extensively and gave a non-

convergent asymptotic series that permits exact computation of the number of partitions of an

, in 1937, was able to refine their formula to find an exact convergent

series solution to this problem. Ramanujan and Hardy's work in this area gave rise to a powerful

For many years these functions

were a mystery, but they are now known to be the holomorphic parts of harmonic weak Maass

Ramanujan number after a famous anecdote of the

regarding a visit to the hospital to see Ramanujan. In Hardy's

. I had ridden in taxi cab

dull one, and that I

hoped it was not an unfavorable omen. "No", he replied, "it is a very interesting number;

it is the smallest number expressible as the sum of two cubes in two different ways." ”

Generalizations of this idea have created the notion of "taxicab numbers". Coincidentally, 1729

is also a Carmichael number.

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