Srinivasa Ramanujan Facts: 11-15 | Formal Introduction to Mathematics
11. In the same year he took admission in the Town Higher Secondary School. That is where he was formally ‘introduced’ to mathematics. By the time he attained the age of 11, he had completely exhausted mathematical knowledge of two college-going students who lived at his home as lodgers.
12. When he wanted more, he was handed over an Advanced Trigonometry book authored by S. L. Loney. Ramanujan studied the book in details and by the time he was 13, he had completely mastered the book and he had enough knowledge to discover sophisticated theorems all on his own.
13. When he was 14 years old, he had received many academic awards and merit certificates. In mathematics exams he he took only half of the alloted time to complete his exams and by that time only he was pretty much familiar with stuff like infinite series and geometry.
14. In year 1902, for the first time in his life, he was introduced to cubic equations. He learned how to solve them and then, he came up with his very own methods for solving quartic. He even attempted solving quintic, unaware of the fact that radicals cannot be used to solve them.
15. In 1903, a friend of his handed over a copy of ‘A Synopsis of Elementary Results in Pure and Applied Mathematics’ that was authored by G. S. Carr. The book was a collection of 5,000 theorems. Ramanujan studied the book in details. It is said that the extraordinary genius hidden in him was actually brought out by this book.
Srinivasa Ramanujan Facts: 16-20 | He Failed!
16. In 1904, Ramanujan not only developed but also investigated Bernoulli numbers independently. He even ended up calculating the Euler-Mascheroni Constant all the way up to 15 decimal points.
17. The very same year, that is in 1904, Ramanujan graduated from the Town Higher Secondary School. As usual, he excelled in mathematics and his school headmaster – Krishnaswami Iyer awarded him with K. Ranganatha Rao Prize for Mathematics. Iyer even said that Ramanujan is such an outstanding student that he deserves more marks that the maximum allotted.
18. Because of his extraordinary performances, Ramanujan was given a scholarship for studying in Government Arts College in Kumbakonam. Interestingly, Ramanujan was so deeply focused on mathematics that he failed in almost all other subjects. As a result of this failure, he lost his scholarship.
19. In 1905, he ran away from home and escaped towards Visakhapatnam. For about a month he stayed in a place called Rajahmundry. Later on, he took admission in Madras’ Pachaiyappa’s College. There, he again performed poorly in subjects like Sanskrit, physiology, English etc. but performed well in mathematics. However, in mathematics, he answered only those questions that he found appealing and he didn’t even touch the other questions.
20. In December 1906, Ramanujan simply failed in Fellow of Arts examination. He retried in 1907 but failed again. So, he left the college without having an FA degree. After leaving college, Ramanujan started his own independent research in mathematics but stayed in extreme poverty and often went hungry but still remained undeterred.