Over a century has passed after the death of Srinivasa Ramanujan, a child prodigy and a pioneer in mathematics, yet his achievements continue inspiring young minds even today. Born in the city of Erode on December 22, 1887, Ramanujan had no formal education in mathematics and yet, he made significant contributions in taxi numbers, number theories, presentation of ‘pi’ as an infinite series, mathematical analysis and continued fractions, among many others.
When he was just 31-years-old, he was selected as a member of Britain’s Royal Society, making him the youngest member. He was also the first Indian to be elected a Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge University. Unfortunately, he contracted tuberculosis in 1919 and died at the young age of 32 on April 26, 1920, in Kumbakonam, Tamil Nadu.
On his 101st death anniversary, let’s get inspired by some quotes by the world-renowned mathematician:
1. No, it is a very interesting number, it is the smallest number expressible as a sum of two cubes in two different ways – Ramanujan’s reply to a statement that said the number 1729 was “dull”.
2. The manuscript looks chaotic, even by mathematics standards.
3. An equation means nothing to me unless it expresses a thought of God.
4. While asleep, I had an unusual experience. There was a red screen formed by flowing blood, as it were. I was observing it. Suddenly a hand began to write on the screen. I became all attention. That hand wrote a number of elliptic integrals. They stuck to my mind. As soon as I woke up, I committed them to writing.
5. I have not trodden through a conventional university course, but I am striking out a new path for myself. I have made a special investigation of divergent stories in general and the results I get are termed by the local mathematicians are as ‘startling’.