National Mathematics Day – Celebrating Srinivasa Ramanujan


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The National Mathematics Day is celebrated on the 22nd of December each year. It is celebrated to identify the attainments of the genius, Srinivasa Ramanujan, who was born in 1887 on this day. Manmohan Singh, in the year 2012, declared this day as the National Mathematics Day, and was started in Chennai. This day was declared to pay tribute to the 125th birth anniversary of Ramanujan. Srinivasa Ramanujan made a lot of contributions to mathematics in numerous aspects like number theory & analysis, infinite series as well as fractions. He has more than 3,900 theorems and their results, all to his acclaim. This day esteem the legacy of him in the magnificent field of mathematics.
Ramanujan was born in Erode in Tamil Nadu in a family of Tamil Brahmin Iyengars. He studied at the Government College in Kumbakonam in the year 1903. He actually failed a few subjects in college in the subjects which were not mathematics. He worked as a clerk at Madras Port Trust in 1912. Here, one of his colleagues identified his knowledge of a mathematician. This colleague was generous enough to recommend Ramanujan to Professor GH Hardy who taught in Trinity College, University of Cambridge. Ramanujan joined Trinity a couple months after the World War 1 began. He received his degree in BSc, which is now a PhD, in 1916 and a year later was elected to the London Mathematical Society. A part of this was published in the journal called Proceedings of the London Mathematical Society.
In 1918, Ramanujan was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society in recognition of his research on the Elliptic Functions and the Theory of Numbers. In just a few months in the same year, he was the first Indian to be elected a Fellow of Trinity College. He was just 31 years old at the time, and that made him the youngest Fellows since the Royal Society even began in 1660. This award was only given to those who’d made a ‘substantial contribution to the improvement of natural knowledge, including mathematics, engineering science and medical science.’ Charles Darwin, Sir Isaac Newton, Albert Einstein were few others who were a part of the Fellows of the Royal Society. But Ramanujan was the first Indian to be elected for this society at Trinity College in Cambridge.
Unfortunately, Ramanujan wasn’t the healthiest person and suffered greatly throughout his life through illnesses and health issues. Moving to England worsened his health due to the change in environment and geography. He had to spend a lot of time in the hospitals as he was diagnosed with tuberculosis and also with severe vitamin deficiency. These reasons caused him to come to India in 1919, but unfortunately, he passed away just a year later in 1920, at the age of 32. According to some experts, the medical records were wrong & Ramanujan was misdiagnosed with tuberculosis and in actuality, had hepatic amoebiasis, which could have been treated and completely cured at the time.
His legacy has as one of the greatest Indian mathematicians has been recognized and duly celebrated in numerous ways. His formulas & theories still make the basis of a lot of advanced equations. A British movie adaption was made on his life in 2015 called The Man Who Knew Infinity and focuses on at the Cambridge University while the First World War happened. It also covers all of his accomplishments with Professor Hardy and a few other ones.
This was a little about Srinivasa Ramanujan and his incredible life. If you enjoyed this article, do let us know in the comments below. And do let us know if you would like more such content about such amazing personalities around the world!
- Kinjal Dixit