Today is the National Mathematics Day. On 2012, then prime minister Manmohan Singh declared December 22 as the National Mathematics Day to commemorate the birth anniversary of one of the world's greatest mathematicians Srinivasa Ramanujan. Born in 1887 in Erode, Tamil Nadu, Srinivasa Ramanujan had no formal training in mathematics but still, he gave solutions to several mathematical problems considered to be unsolvable. He made substantial contributions to mathematical analysis, number theory, infinite series, and continued fractions. His work and contribution to mathematics have been performed through various works of art that still continues to inspire mathematicians across the world. Most of the discoveries his made were purely based on intuition but they were later proved to be accurate.
Hailed as the man who knew infinity, Ramanujan had a huge passion for mathematics from his childhood and by the age of just 12, he had mastered trigonometry and developed many theorems on his own. Although he died at a very young age, he compiled over 3,900 identities and equations before he lost his life at 32.
Ramanujan was awarded a scholarship to study at Government Arts College, Kumbakonam. He, however, lost that due to his poor performance in other subjects. Following this, he left his home and took admission at Pachaiyappa’s College in Madras.
In 1913, Ramanujan got his major breakthrough when he wrote to British mathematician GH Hardy, who wrote him back invited him to London. Later, Hardy got him enrolled into the Trinity College, Cambridge. In 1917, Ramanujan became was elected as a member of the prestigious London Mathematical Society. In 2018, he became the youngest and just the second Indian to be a Fellow of the Royal Society.
Moved by the inspiring story of Ramanujan, American film director Matthew Brown made a biopic on his life named The Man Who Knew Infinity. Starring Dev Patel as Srinivasa Ramanujan, the film was a success on box office.
Ramanujan belonged to a humble background and his family was very religious. He himself was an ardent follower of Hindu goddess Mahalaxmi and credited his abilities and success to her. His mother was a housewife and used to sing at a local Hindu temple. His father worked as a clerk with a cloth merchant.