Srinivasa Ramanujan & National Mathematics Day


    In News

    • National Mathematics Day is celebrated every year on December 22 to mark the birth anniversary of legendary mathematician, Srinivasa Ramanujan.

    More about the National Mathematics Day 

    • In 2012, former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh declared December 22 as National Mathematics Day 
      • The year 2012 was also celebrated as the National Mathematics Year. 
    • Aim:
      • The day is celebrated with the aim to make people aware of the importance of mathematics and advancements and developments made in the field.

    About Srinivasa Ramanujan

    • Birth:
      • Srinivasa Ramanujan was born in 1887 in Erode, Tamil Nadu in a humble Iyengar Brahmin family.
    • Early life:
      • He had developed a liking for mathematics at a very young age, mastering trigonometry at 12.
      • He was eligible for a scholarship at the Government Arts College in Kumbakonam in 1903.
        • But, due to his dislike for non-mathematical subjects, he failed exams there.
    • Madras Port Trust:
      • In 1912, Ramanujan started working as a clerk in the Madras Port Trust. 
      • There, his mathematical genius was recognised by some of his colleagues and one of them referred him to Professor GH Hardy of Trinity College, Cambridge University.
    • Beginning of career in Mathematics:
      • Srinivasa Ramanujan’s journey to being a genius started when he sent a letter to Professor GH Hardy where he mentioned about 120 mathematical theorems. 
      • Bachelor of Science degree:
        • He joined Trinity College a few months before World War 1 started. 
        • In 1916 Ramanujan was awarded the Bachelor of Science degree. 
      • Elected to the London Mathematical Society:
        • In 1917, he was elected to the London Mathematical Society. 
      • Fellow of the Royal Society in London:
        • On May 2, 1918, he became a fellow of the Royal Society in London, one of youngest people to receive such an honour. 
      • Elected as a Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge:
        • The same year (1918) in October he became the first Indian to be elected a Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge.
    • Contribution to the field of Mathematics:
      • Ramanujan was a self-taught mathematician and is considered one of the greatest Indian mathematicians of all time.
      • During his short but impactful lifespan, Ramanujan worked on theorems that seemed impossible to solve. 
        • He is known for the work he did in the folllowing areas
          • Continued fractions, 
          • Riemann series, 
          • Elliptic integrals, 
          • Hypergeometric series and 
          • Functional equations of the zeta function.
    • Return to India & death:
      • In 1919, Ramanujan returned to India. 
      • A year later, in 1920 on April 26th, he breathed his last owing to deteriorating health in Kumbakonam, Madras. 
      • He was just 32 years old. 
    • Legacy:
      • Man who knew infinity:
        • Srinivasa Ramanujan is also known as the ‘man who knew infinity’. Ramanujan who did not receive any formal education in Mathematics has made several important contributions to the field of Mathematics.
        • His biography ‘The Man Who Knew Infinity’ by Robert Kanigel depicts his life and journey to fame.
          • A film of the same name was released in 2015.
      • Stamp & Math Park in India:
        • The 2012 India stamp also featured Srinivasa Ramanujan. 
        • On the National Mathematics Day in 2017, the Ramanujan Math Park was opened in Kuppam, in Chittoor, Andhra Pradesh.
      • Ramanujan Yatra:
        • In 1920, Vigyan Prasar organised events under the name “Ramanujan Yatra” which included a series of talks held monthly on Ramanujan’s work.
      • The Ramanujan Machine of Israel:
        • In early 2021, a team of Israeli scientists announced a software tool called The Ramanujan Machine
          • It creates mathematical conjectures which are equations without proof.
          • Mathematicians then prove or disprove these conjectures, thereby establishing theorems. 
        • Conjectures & Ramanujan:
          • Conjectures in mathematics shed light on newer frontiers that otherwise lurk in tenebrous corners. 
          • Srinivasa Ramanujan was famous for such conjectures. 
          • From 1904 till his passing in 1920, Ramanujan, recorded more than 3,000 equations that were mostly conjectures because he did not supply proof. 

    Scholarships for Mathematics learning in India

    • National Board For Higher Mathematics — Masters Scholarships:
      • The National Board for Higher Mathematics provides scholarships to students pursuing mathematics.
      • The Department of Science and Technology awards the Innovation in Science Pursuit for Inspired Research (INSPIRE) scheme Scholarship for Higher Education (SHE). 
      • Under this, scholarships are offered to students at the undergraduate (UG) and postgraduate (PG) studies.
    • Aicte – Swanath Scholarship Scheme For Students (Degree):
      • Awarded by the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE), this scholarship is to support orphans, children whose parents died due to COVID-19, wards of armed forces and central paramilitary forces who were martyred. 
      • It is an attempt to provide every such child an opportunity to study further in AICTE approved institutions and courses.


    Source: TH