# Srinivasa Ramanujan

### Famous Indian Scientists

#### Srinivasa Ramanujan

Ramanujan was born in Erode, a small village in Tamil Nadu on 22
December 1887 When he was a year old his family moved to the town of
Kumbakonam, where his father worked as a clerk in a cloth merchants shop
When he was nearly five years old, Ramanujan enrolled in the primary school
In 1898 he joined the Town High School in Kumbakonam At the Town High
School, Ramanujan did well in all subjects and proved himself an able all
round scholar It was here that he came across the book Synopsis of Elementary
Results in Pure Mathematics by G S Carr Influenced by the book, he began
working on mathematics on his own, summing geometric and arithmetic series
He was given a scholarship to the Government College in Kumbakonam However his scholarship was not renewed because Ramanujan neglected all subjects other than mathematics In 1905 he appeared for the
First Arts examination which would have allowed him to be admitted to the
University of Madras Again he failed in all subjects other than mathematics,
a performance he repeated in 1906 and 1907 too In the following years he
worked on mathematics, with only Carrs book as a guide, noting his results
in what would become the famous Notebooks

He got married in 1909 and started looking for a job His search took
him to many influential people, among them Ramachandra Rao, one of the
founding members of the Indian Mathematical Society For a year he was
supported by Ramachandra Rao who gave him Rs 25 per month He started
posing and solving problems in the Journal of the Indian Mathematical Society
His research paper on Bernoulli numbers, in 1911, brought him recognition
and he became well known in Chennai as a mathematical genius In 1912,
with Ramachandra Raos help, he secured the post of clerk in the accounts
section of the Madras Port Trust He continued to pursue mathematics and in
1913 he wrote to G H Hardy in Cambridge, enclosing a long list of his own
theorems Hardy immediately recognized Ramanujans mathematical ability
On the basis of Hardys letters, Ramanujan was given a scholarship by the
University of Madras in 1913 In 1914, Hardy arranged for him to go to Trinity
College, Cambridge

Ramanujans work with Hardy produced important results right from
the beginning In 1916 Ramanujan graduated from Cambridge with a Bachelor
of Science by Research In 1918, he was elected a Fellow of the Cambridge
Philosophical Society, a Fellow of the Royal Society of London, and a Fellow
of Trinity College, Cambridge, all in the same year! However, from 1917
onwards he was seriously ill and mostly bedridden In 1919 he returned to
India, in very poor health

Ramanujan made outstanding contributions to analytical number
theory, elliptic functions, continued fractions, and infinite series His published
and unpublished works have kept some of the best mathematical brains in the
world busy to this