(December 22, 1887 – April 26, 1920)

Widely deemed the preeminent math genius in the entire human history, Ramanujan’s acumen stunned the world. While a teenager, he cooked and ate advanced mathematics without any tutor or designated syllabus. His extraordinary legacies encompassed many fields including: Analysis and Number Theory. He was unknown until his abilities caught the attention of Godfrey Hardy (Cambridge’s Sadleirian Professor of Mathematics from 1931 to 1942), who mentored him. Hardy was baffled when he realized that this autodidact had rediscovered many of the already known theorems: unaware that they have been previously unveiled. As if to put his own originality beyond doubt, Ramanujan produced arrays of new works which hoisted 20th century mathematics. He even solved old problems which were heretofore deemed unresolvable. In his short life of 32 years, he left colossal footprints. His nearly 4000 equations and identities will keep researchers toiling for centuries. Several professors became famous just by proving one of his many results. After reviewing his works, John Littlewood (one of Cambridge’s top professors) exclaimed: “Every positive integer is among Ramanujan’s personal friends!” Regarding their correspondences, this is how Hardy described them: “His letters were the most remarkable that I ever received, and his theorems defeated me completely. I have never seen anything like them before. He was a mathematician of the highest order: a man of exceptional originality and power.” When quizzed about his gilt-edged wits and mesmerizing achievements, Srinivasa Ramanujan attributed them to God; adding: “An equation, for me is meaningless, unless it expresses a thought of God.”


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