Srinivasa Ramanujan Biography
Srinivasa Ramanujan, there is no need for introduction about the famous mathematician. However, there is a brief history of his life, achievement and contribution to the mathematics. He was born on 22 December 1887 in Erode, Madras Presidency at his grandparents’ house. His father name was Srinivasa Iyengar, a clerk in a local sari shop and mother Komalatammal, a housewife. He was well talented in singing traditional songs and sang in a local temple. The family belonged to orthodox Brahmin Iyengar, so Ramanujan lived in a traditional house in his childhood in Kumbakonam. His mother gave birth to another three babies. Unfortunately, all died at very early age.
At first, Ramanujan joined in a local school in Kanchipuram near Madras, present-day Chennai. Later he joined in Kangayan Primary School in Kumbakonam. Later, he joined in a primary school in Madras. But he didn’t like the schools in Madras, so he again came back to Kumbakonam to live with his family. Whenever he came back to Kumbakonam, Ramanujan spent most of the time with his mother. Generally, theirs was a traditional family so he learned the Epics and Puranas of Hinduism. He also attended the traditional pujas in the local temples with his mother. These activities made him separate cultural habits. The same habits made him uncomforted in England.
In 1897 at the age of 10, he passed the primary examinations in English, Geography and arithmetic. In the same year, he joined in Higher Secondary School in Kumbakonam. There he felt very interested to learn mathematics. At the age of 11, he practised mathematic equations of college students. Surprisingly he started to discover sophisticated theorems in Trigonometry. In the school, he became a well talented and bright student in the school. He was very interested in geometry and infinite series. Since then he never looks back in discovering his own formulas in cubic equations, quadratic geometry.
Ramanujan as a Mathematician
In 1903 at the age of 16 Ramanujan studied the famous theories in mathematics in various branches. He studied thoroughly the ‘A Synopsis of Elementary Results in Pure and Applied mathematics, G.S.Carr’s”. The study made Ramanajun an enlightened mathematician to widen his knowledge of the numbering system. He did many experiments, especially in Bernoulli numbers. So his friends commented him as a ‘rarely understood person’.
In 1904 he completed the Higher Secondary School education. The school headmaster applauded him about his genius attitude in mathematics. He also co-operated him to get scholarships for his further education. Later, Srinivasa Ramanujan joined in Government Arts College. But there he focused only on Mathematics and neglected other subjects and failed. His poverty made him to left the college to search a post for sustain in the life. In the meantime, he met V. Ramaswamy Aiyer who was the founder of Indian Mathematical Society. The meeting benefit to Ramanujan to recognition as a brilliant mathematician in Madras society. The fame made him join as a researcher at the University of Madras.
Srinivasa Ramanujan Staying in England
The famous English mathematician G.H. Hardy received a letter from his office clerk in India in 1913. The letter fully contained about the theories on various subjects of algebra, calculus and integrations. The formulas impressed the English mathematician. Then G.H Hardy discussed with his collaborator J.E. Littlewood and came to the conclusion that Ramanujan was not a common man. Immediately, he wrote the letter to Ramanujan and made him the scholar at the University of Madras. The position made Ramanujan overcome the debts by drawing a double salary of his clerk’s salary. However, Hardly wanted to take Ramanujan to England to do the further experiments in Mathematics and on various equations. But his mother didn’t accept the proposal due to orthodox Hindu beliefs of travelling to foreign lands. Finally, Ramanujan convinced his mother and wife and went to England in 1914. There he stayed five years with the collaboration of Hardy.
Since his childhood days, Ramanujan had been facing health problems. As a Brahmin boy, he followed very strict traditional dietary. When he was in England, didn’t have proper familiar food. Especially, during the First World War period, he didn’t have proper food to strengthen his health. So he diagnosed a severe vitamin deficiency. He continued his experiments even the health became worse. So in 1919, he came back to Kumbakonam. However, his health became very worse and died in 1920 at the early age of 32. Then his wife Janaki Ammal migrated to Bombay and returns back to Triplicane and stayed there until her death.