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Srinivasa Ramanujan (1887-1920)

Srinivasa Ramanujan, an eminent mathematician, was born in 1887 in the Southern region of India. Ramanujan enduring legacy in the realm of mathematics continues to captivate scholars and learners worldwide. The theorems Ramanujan formulated remain integral to contemporary mathematical studies, transcending time and geography. Within an astoundingly brief lifespan, Ramanujan's mathematical revelations left an indelible mark on the field.

Ramanujan's life journey and remarkable achievements shed profound light on his enduring struggles and unwavering dedication to advancing his field of expertise. These aspects serve as a pivotal illustration of his commitment and influence on the subject. It's noteworthy that Ramanujan biography and achievements hold significant weight in educational contexts, forming an integral part of the syllabus for aspirants preparing for upcoming challenges. The legacy of Ramanujan serves as a source of inspiration for those seeking to emulate his dedication and make their mark in the realm of mathematics.

Ramanujan The Indian Mathematician – A Life Retold

1887 marked the birth of Ramanujan, whose life journey, as described by Sri Aurobindo, epitomized a rags to mathematical riches" tale. His brilliance during the 20th century continues to mold the landscape of 21st-century mathematics. Below, we explore the journey of Ramanujan's life, covering his history, accomplishments, contributions, and more.


Srinivasa Ramanujan came into this world on December 22nd, 1887, in the town of Erode, located in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu. Ramanujan father, Kuppuswamy Srinivasa Iyengar, held a position as a clerk in a saree shop, while Ramanujan mother, Komalatamma, dedicated herself to homemaking. From a tender age, Ramanujan displayed a remarkable fascination with mathematics, demonstrating his prodigious talents even as a child.

Srinivasa Ramanujan's Educational Journey -

Ramanujan's early education unfolded in Madras, where he attended a local school. His affinity for mathematics began to bloom at a young age, largely through self-study. Displaying immense promise, he garnered several academic accolades during his high school years. Ramanujan passion for mathematics presented challenges when he transitioned to college. Excelling predominantly in this field, he struggled in other subjects, ultimately leading to his decision to discontinue his college education. Despite this setback, Ramanujan's devotion to mathematics remained steadfast. He continued to cultivate his collection of mathematical theorems, concepts, and ideas. This dedication persisted until he experienced his groundbreaking breakthrough, propelling him into the realm of mathematical excellence.

Milestone Breakthrough in Srinivasa Ramanujan's Journey:

Global Outreach of Discoveries: Ramanujan didn't hoard his discoveries he consistently shared his findings with mathematicians worldwide.
A Fateful Appointment: In 1912, Ramanujan secured a clerk position at the Madras Post Trust Office. Here, S.N. Aiyar, the manager, urged him to connect with G.H. Hardy, a renowned mathematician at Cambridge University.
The Landmark Letter: The year 1913 marked a pivotal moment when he sent a letter to Hardy. Enclosed were 120 theorems, a sample of his work that would later become famous.
Hardy's Appraisal: Hardy, along with Cambridge mathematician J.E. Littlewood, meticulously analyzed Ramanujan's work.Their verdict a testament to true genius.
Ignition of Greatness: With this evaluation, Ramanujan's ascent as one of history's preeminent mathematicians was set in motion, propelling him into a realm of recognition that remains enduring.

Srinivasa Ramanujan's Death—

By 1919, Ramanujan's health began to decline, prompting his decision to return to India. Upon his arrival in 1920, his health continued to deteriorate, leading to his untimely demise at the tender age of 32.

Srinivasa Ramanujan's Contributions:

During his stay in England between 1914 and 1919, Ramanujan, in collaboration with Hardy, authored over a dozen research papers. Over a span of three years, he astonishingly produced around 30 research papers, showcasing his prolific mathematical output. The collaboration between Hardy and Ramanujan led to the creation of a pioneering technique, now renowned as the circle method. This method was instrumental in deriving an asymptotic formula for a specific mathematical function. Rumanian’s inaugural publication, a 17-page treatise on Bernoulli numbers, was featured in the Journal of the Indian Mathematical Society in 1911. An especially notable achievement stemming from the partnership of Hardy and Ramanujan was the formulation of a ground-breaking formula for the count of partitions of a number 'n', a result of immense significance.

Srinivasa Ramanujan's Remarkable Milestones

At the tender age of 12, he absorbed the content of advanced texts like Loney’s Plane Trigonometry and A Synopsis of Elementary Results in Pure and Applied Mathematics, which exceeded the typical level of high school study. In 1916, he achieved a distinctive Bachelor of Science degree "by research" from Cambridge University, showcasing his exceptional dedication to his studies. By 1918, he achieved an unprecedented distinction as the first Indian ever to be elected as a Fellow of the esteemed Royal Society. The legacy of his brilliance endures through initiatives such as The Ramanujan Journal, established in 1997, dedicated to publishing work that resonates with Ramanujan's mathematical influence. 2012 was a significant year, marking the National Mathematical Year in commemoration of Srinivasa Ramanujan's 125th birth anniversary, honoring one of India's most illustrious mathematicians. Since 2021, December 22, Ramanujan's birth anniversary, has been designated as National Mathematicians Day in India, celebrating his enduring impact on the world of mathematics.

Srinivasa Ramanujan Biography [UPSC Notes]: