Srinivasa Ramanujan

The man who knew infinity

Ramanujan (centre) with other scientists at Trinity College
Ramanujan (centre) with other scientists at Trinity College

Here's a time line of Ramanujan's life:

  • 1887 – born in Erode, Madras Presidency (now Tamil Nadu).
  • 1892 – was enrolled at the local school.
  • 1897 – passed his primary examinations in English, Tamil, geography and arithmetic with the best scores in the district.
  • 1897 – entered Town Higher Secondary School, where he encountered formal mathematics for the first time.
  • 1901 – was receiving merit certificates and academic awards that continued throughout his school career.
  • 1904 – was awarded the K. Ranganatha Rao prize for mathematics by the school's headmaster, Krishnaswami Iyer.
  • 1905 – ran away from home, heading towards Visakhapatnam, and stayed in Rajahmundry for about a month.
  • 1909 – married Janaki (Janakiammal), then a ten-year-old girl whom his mother had selected for him a year earlier.
  • 1910 – started to get recognition within the mathematics circles of Madras, subsequently leading to his inclusion as a researcher at the University of Madras.
  • 1913 – Hardy wrote Ramanujan a letter expressing his interest in his work, adding that it was "essential that I should see proofs of some of your assertions".
  • 1914 – departed from Madras aboard the S.S. Nevasa.
  • 1916 – was awarded a Bachelor of Science degree by research (this degree was later renamed PhD) for his work on highly composite numbers.
  • 1917 – was elected to the London Mathematical Society.
  • 1918 – was the first Indian to be elected a Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge.
  • 1919 – returned to Kumbakonam, Madras Presidency.
  • 1920 – died at the age of 32.

"An equation for me has no meaning, unless it expresses a thought of God."

Srinivasa Iyengar Ramanujan

If you have time, you should read more about this incredible human being on his Wikipedia entry.

Written and coded by Roman Salikov.