A Devoted Mathematician – Ramanaujam

Born: 22 December 1887 in Erode, Tamil Nadu state, India
Died: 26 April 1920 in Kumbakonam, Tamil Nadu state, India

He developed an indomitable affection and love towards mathematics and possesses exceptional mathematical abilities. His role model is great Indian mathematician “Ramanujan”. During graduation, He submitted papers on Number Theory, which were published in Mathematical Spectrum and The Mathematical Gazette. He worked hard and dreamed of getting into one of the world’s best university “Cambridge”. And one day he got it, admission to Cambridge.
Very soon he realized that his father cannot afford his education at Cambridge. He and his father searched helplessly for a sponsor all over India but nobody came up. And one day his family’s only breadwinner: his father died and his last hope of getting good education diminished. He gave up the dream of Cambridge and came back to his home in Patna, Bihar.

He would work on Mathematics during day time and would sell papads in evenings with his mother, who had started a small business from home, to support her family. He also tutored students in maths to earn extra money. Since Patna University library did not have foreign journals, for his own study, he would travel every weekend on a six-hour train journey to Varanasi, where his younger brother, learning violin under N. Rajam, had a hostel room. Thus he would spend Saturday and Sunday at the Central Library, BHU and return to Patna on Monday morning.He rented a classroom for Rs 500 a month, and began his own institute, the Ramanujam School of Mathematics (RSM). Within the space of year, his class grew from two students to thirty-six, and after three years there were almost 500 students enrolled. Then in early 2000, when a poor student came to him seeking coaching for IIT-JEE, who couldn’t afford the annual admission fee due to poverty, Kumar was motivated to start the Super 30 program in 2003, for which he is now well-known.Every year in August, since 2003, the Ramanujan School of Mathematics, now a trust, holds a competitive test to select 30 students for the ‘Super 30’ scheme. About 4,000 to 5,000 students appear at the test, and eventually he takes thirty intelligent students from economically backward sections which included beggars, hawkers, auto-driver’s children, tutors them, and provides study materials and lodging for a year. He prepares them for the Joint Entrance Examination for the Indian Institutes of Technology (IIT). His mother, Jayanti Devi, cooks for the students, and his brother Pranav Kumar takes care of the management.

When he was 15 years old, he obtained a copy of George Shoobridge Carr’s Synopsis of Elementary Results in Pure and Applied Mathematics, 2 vol. (1880–86). This collection of thousands of theorems, many presented with only the briefest of proofs and with no material newer than 1860, aroused his genius. Having verified the results in Carr’s book, Ramanujan went beyond it, developing his own theorems and ideas. In 1903 he secured a scholarship to the University of Madras but lost it the following year because he neglected all other studies in pursuit of mathematics.

Ramanujan continued his work, without employment and living in the poorest circumstances. After marrying in 1909 he began a search for permanent employment that culminated in an interview with a government official, Ramachandra Rao. Impressed by Ramanujan’s mathematical prowess, Rao supported his research for a time, but Ramanujan, unwilling to exist on charity, obtained a clerical post with the Madras Port Trust.

In 1911 Ramanujan published the first of his papers in the Journal of the Indian Mathematical Society. His genius slowly gained recognition, and in 1913 he began a correspondence with the British mathematician Godfrey H. Hardy that led to a special scholarship from the University of Madras and a grant from Trinity College, Cambridge. Overcoming his religious objections, Ramanujan traveled to England in 1914, where Hardy tutored him and collaborated with him in some research.

Ramanujan’s knowledge of mathematics (most of which he had worked out for himself) was startling. Although he was almost completely unaware of modern developments in mathematics, his mastery ofcontinued fractions was unequaled by any living mathematician. He worked out the Riemann series, the elliptic integrals, hypergeometric series, the functional equations of the zeta function, and his own theory of divergent series. On the other hand, he knew nothing of doubly periodic functions, the classical theory of quadratic forms, or Cauchy’s theorem, and he had only the most nebulous idea of what constitutes a mathematical proof. Though brilliant, many of his theorems on the theory of prime numbers were wrong.

In England Ramanujan made further advances, especially in the partition of numbers (the number of ways that a positive integer can be expressed as the sum of positive integers; e.g., 4 can be expressed as 4, 3 + 1, 2 + 2, 2 + 1 + 1, and 1 + 1 + 1 + 1). His papers were published in English and European journals, and in 1918 he was elected to the Royal Society of London. In 1917 Ramanujan had contracted tuberculosis, but his condition improved sufficiently for him to return to India in 1919. He died the following year, generally unknown to the world at large but recognized by mathematicians as a phenomenal genius, without peer since Leonhard Euler (1707–83) and Carl Jacobi (1804–51). Ramanujan left behind three notebooks and a sheaf of pages (also called the “lost notebook”) containing many unpublished results that mathematicians continued to verify long after his death.

(sdource: https://www.britannica.com/biography/Srinivasa-Ramanujan)

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