Ramanujan’s life and his genius

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Ramanujan’s life and his genius
Math Fest 2008, Jan-18-2008
The Passport Photo
1887-1920
Ramanujan in Feb 24--1919, on his way back to India.
A thought of God
``An equation for me has no meaning
unless it expresses a thought of God.’’
A thought of a 7 year old
A thought of a 7 year old
``If no fruits are divided among no one, will
each still get one? Is zero divided by zero is
also one?”
Books Ramanujan studied
• S.L. Loney’s Trigonometry (1893). Ramanujan
mastered it when he was 13.
• A Synopsis of Elementary Results in Pure and
Applied Mathematics by George Schoobridge
Carr. Ramanujan read this synopsis around
1903.
Failing in F.A.
• Ramanujan joined the Government college at
Kumbakonam. He failed his F.A. exams
miserably. (1904-1905)
• He then joined Pachaippa’s college at Madras
where he would fail again on his F.A. exams.
On his physiology exam, he would write: `` Sir,
this is my undigested part of the Digestion
chapter”.(1906-1907)
F.A. Grades
Volume 3 of Ramaswami iyer’s new journal
Some Properties of Bernoulli Numbers
The Port Trust Clerical Job
Sir,
I understand there is a clerkship vacant in your office, and I beg
to apply for the same. I have passed the matriculation
examination and studied up to the F.A. but was prevented from
pursuing my studies further owing to several outward
circumstances. I have, however, been devoting all my time to
mathematics and developing the subject. I can say I am quite
confident I can do justice to my work if I am appointed to the
post. I therefore beg to request that you will be good enough
to confer the appointment on me.
I beg to remain,
9th february 1912
Sir,
Your most obedient servant,
S. Ramanujan.
The Letter to Hardy
Seemed scarcely believable
Least impressive and somewhat indifferent
The problem that completely defeated me
The Trip to England
He takes the ship Nevasa on March 17, 1914 to England
The distribution of primes
Godfrey Harold Hardy
Hardy in his prime
Who doesn’t love cricket?
Who doesn’t love cricket?
• ``The problem is most easily grasped in the
language of cricket’’
Who doesn’t love cricket?
• ``The problem is most easily grasped in the
language of cricket’’
• His highest accolade was to rate a
mathematical proof, say, as being ``In the
Hobbs Class’’
Who doesn’t love cricket?
• ``The problem is most easily grasped in the
language of cricket’’
• His highest accolade was to rate a
mathematical proof, say, as being ``In the
Hobbs Class’’
• Her sister would lose her eye as a child, when
Hardy, playing carelessly with a cricket bat,
struck her; she has to wear a glass eye for the
rest of her life.
Hardy and God
• Once, as he and a clergy mean walked in the
fog, they saw a boy with a string and stick. The
clergyman likened God’s presence to a kite,
felt but unseen. In the fog he told young
Hardy, ``you cannot see the kite flying, but you
feel the pull of the string.’’ But in the fog,
Hardy thought, there is no wind and no kite
can fly.
Hardy’s New Year Resolutions
Hardy’s New Year Resolutions
• Prove the Riemann Hypothesis.
Hardy’s New Year Resolutions
• Prove the Riemann Hypothesis.
• Make 211 not out in the fourth innings of the
last test match at the Oval.
Hardy’s New Year Resolutions
• Prove the Riemann Hypothesis.
• Make 211 not out in the fourth innings of the
last test match at the Oval.
• Find an argument for the nonexistence of God
which shall convince the general public.
Hardy’s New Year Resolutions
• Prove the Riemann Hypothesis.
• Make 211 not out in the fourth innings of the
last test match at the Oval.
• Find an argument for the nonexistence of God
which shall convince the general public.
• Be the first man at the top of Mt. Everest.
Hardy’s New Year Resolutions
• Prove the Riemann Hypothesis.
• Make 211 not out in the fourth innings of the
last test match at the Oval.
• Find an argument for the nonexistence of God
which shall convince the general public.
• Be the first man at the top of Mt. Everest
• Be proclaimed the first president of the U.S.S.R.
of Great Britain and Germany.
Hardy’s New Year Resolutions
• Prove the Riemann Hypothesis.
• Make 211 not out in the fourth innings of the
last test match at the Oval.
• Find an argument for the nonexistence of God
which shall convince the general public.
• Be the first man at the top of Mt. Everest
• Be proclaimed the first president of the
U.S.S.R. of Great Britain and Germany.
• Murder Mussolini.

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