Srinivasa Ramanujan is a renowned Indian mathematician. He made great contributions to number theory, continued fractions and infinite series.
- He was born on 22, December 1887 in a village of Tamilnadu (Erode).
- His father was K. Srinivasa Iyengar, a clerk in a sari shop and his mother Komalatammal was a housewife. He married to Janakiammal.
- He was brought up in a traditional orthodox Brahmin family. He was a strict Vegetarian. He used to worship his family goddess, Mahalakshmi of Namakkal.
- He got his taste in mathematics during his studies in Town high school of Kumbakonam. From the childhood, he showed his interest in mathematics. His life took a turn when he read the book “A Synopsis of Elementary Results in Pure and Applied Mathematics” which he had borrowed from his friend. He studied all the 5000 theorems contained in the book thoroughly.
- He took admission in the Government Arts College, Kumbakonam. For his studies he got scholarship. But he was so much involved in mathematics that he neglected all the other subjects and lost his scholarship. Later he enrolled in the Pachaiyappa’s College. He faced the same problem there and left the college without any degree.
- He faced many problems in his professional life and spent many days in poverty. In the beginning, he published his work in the Journal the Indian mathematical society. He also sent his work to many English mathematicians. But few showed interest. Among them he worked with professor G.H. Hardy and J.E. Littlewood. They invited him to the Cambridge. Initially he was reluctant but at last he left Madras in 1914. He spent about five years in England. There he published many papers with G.H. Hardy and J.E. Littlewood. He was elected a fellow of the royal society in 1918. In the same year he was elected a fellow of Trinity College.
- He had difficulty in England as he was a strict vegetarian. As a result, health problems arose and he fall seriously ill. He returned to India in 1919. But it was too late and he died on April 26, 1920.
- In December 2011, ’22 December’ (Birthday of Ramanujan) was declared as “National Mathematics Day”. A film on Ramanujan’s life is also made. TIFR has published his notebooks in two volume collector’s edition