“The Man Who Knew Infinity”, A Biopic On Indian Mathematician Srinivasa Ramanujan

The Logical Indian

September 27th, 2015

Image Source: hinduhistory, thehindu

“The Man Who Knew Infinity”, is a biopic on Indian mathematician Srinivasa Ramanujan, which is going to have its opening at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) 2015.

After the biopic of the young Indian mathematician makes its way to theaters, he’ll take his place next to history’s greatest minds like Sir Isaac Newton & Professor Stephen Hawking.

Srinivasa Ramanujan Iyengar (1887-1920) is hailed as an all-time great mathematician, like Euler, Gauss or Jacobi, for his natural genius, has left behind 4000 original theorems, despite his lack of formal education and a short life-span. He was an Indian mathematician and autodidact who, with almost no formal training in pure mathematics, made extraordinary contributions to mathematical analysis, number theory, infinite series, and continued fractions.

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. As recently as 2012, researchers were finally proving and finding applications for mathematical theories he wrote on his deathbed, which Ramanujan claimed came to him in dreams.

During his short life, Ramanujan independently compiled nearly 3900 results (mostly identities and equations). Nearly all his claims have now been proven correct, although some were already known. He stated results that were both original and highly unconventional, such as the Ramanujan prime and the Ramanujan theta function, and these have inspired a vast amount of further research. The Ramanujan Journal, an international publication, was launched to publish work in all areas of mathematics influenced by his work.

Some of this work is being used in the study of black holes, which were decades away from being theorized when Ramanujan died in 1920.

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