Srinivasa Ramanujan was a self-taught Mathematician who contributed to the theory of numbers. Born in Erode, Tamil Nadu, in 1887, Ramanujan grew up in poverty, his father used to work as an accounting clerk, while his mother used to earn a small amount as a temple singer. The mathematician died on April 26, 1920, with this year marking his 100th death anniversary. Here are some facts about the mathematics genius.At the age of 15, Srinivasa Ramanujan obtained a copy of Synopsis on Elementary Results in Pure and Applied Mathematics, which contained 5,000 theorems, but had either brief proofs or did not have any. S Ramanujan then took to solving each of theorems, eventually succeeding.Ramanujan had obtained a scholarship from the University of Madras, but he ended-up losing it because he neglected his studies in other subjects in comparison Mathematics.Srinivas was in such poverty that he often sustained on minimal foods and did not even have enough money to get paper for his studies. As a result, he used slates for his mathematics calculation and cleaned them with his elbow, leading to bruises and marks.Even with little formal training in mathematics, Ramanujan published his first paper in the Journal of Indian Mathematical Society in 1911.In 1913, Ramanujan started communicating with G H Hardy, a British mathematician. This led him to obtaining a scholarship from University of Madras and a grant from Trinity College in Cambridge, after which he travelled to England and started to work on some research with Hardy.Even as Ramanujan did not have much knowledge about modern mathematics due to no formal guidance, no living mathematician equaled in his knowledge of continued fractions.After his advances, especially in the field of partition of numbers, and the publication of his papers in several English as well as European journals, he was elected to the Royal Society of London in 1918.Ramanujan was a sensitive person. He had once invited a friend and the friend’s fiancee to dinner while he was in Cambridge. However, when his friend and fiancee, full from eating Rasam, declined the next serving, Ramanujan vanished from the house without informing his friends.When he returned four days later, he admitted to his friends that his feelings were hurt when his friends denied the serving.After contracting tuberculosis, the mathematician recovered enough in 1919 to return to India, but died the following year, without much recognition. However, the mathematics community recognised him as a genius without peer.The genius mathematician left as his legacy three notebooks and a huge bundle of pages, which contained unpublished results which were being verified by mathematicians many years after his death.Continuing with the new tradition of giving Hindi names to policies and programmes, National Mathematics Day, celebrated on December 22 to mark the anniversary of Srinivasa Ramanujan,has been now christened GANIT.GANIT is an acronym for Growing Aptitude in Numercial Innovations & Training. This year, Ramanujan’s anniversary will be a week-long affair intended to ‘encourage teachers and students towards Mathematics education’ and make the subject more interesting, and reduce the fear for learning the subject through various activities and use of Information & Communication Technology.Through the week students will do projects with geogebra, watch video programmes on mathematics and can also contribute their resources in the form of audios, videos, interactive objects, images, documents, posters, activities or in any other form on national repository of open educational resources.Geogebra is a mathematical software and derives its name from geometry and algebra. This is used for creating mathematical constructions and models and allows interactive explorations by dragging objects changing parameters. Students will also get an opportunity to do projects on magic squaresHarish Sharma
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