Srinivasa Ramanujan Random Facts: 11-15
11. When Ramanujan’s work was first published in the Journal of the Indian Mathematical Society, the first problem that he asked to the readers or the journal was to find the solution to the following problem:
12. No one could answer this and eventually, after waiting for 6 months (three issues), Ramanujan himself gave the solution to the problem.
13. Ramanujan was a staunchly religious person with very pleasant manners. In Cambridge, he once said to Hardy, “An equation for me has no meaning unless it expresses a thought of God”.
14. Ramanujan actually credited all his mathematical genius to divinity and said that his family Goddess – Namagiri – revealed everything to him.
15. Ramanujan once said that when he was asleep, he saw a dream in which he saw a red screen that was formed by flowing blood (symbolizing his family Goddess’ consort – Narasimha) and then suddenly a hand appeared from nowhere and started writing on the red screen. The hand wrote several elliptical integrals that stuck to his mind and as soon as he woke up, he wrote them down in a paper.
Srinivasa Ramanujan Random Facts: 16-20
16. After Ramanujan died, his body was cremated. Unfortunately, his Brahmin relatives did not attend his funeral simply because he had traveled overseas.
17. In England, Ramanujan contemplated suicide by jumping in front of the London Underground Train. A policeman arrested him and was about to throw him in jail when Hardy interfered and said to the policeman that he cannot arrest a Fellow of Royal Society for committing such a crime. This happened two months before Ramanujan was actually awarded the Fellow of Royal Society. Hardy simply lied back then.
18. In England when Ramanujan was ill, Hardy went to see him at Putney. Hardy took a taxicab with the number 1729. On arriving Hardy said to Ramanujan that the number was rather a dull one. To this, Ramanujan said that it was an interesting number and that it was the smallest number that can be expressed as a sum of two cubes in two different ways.
- 1729 = 13 + 123
- 1729 = 93 + 103
19. The number 1729 is today known as Hardy-Ramanujan Number and the generalization of Ramanujan’s idea has actually given birth to the notion of ‘taxicab numbers’. After the 1729 number incident, J.E. Littlewood commented: “Every positive integer was one of Ramanujan’s personal friends.”
20. When Ramanujan was in Class III, his mathematics teacher was teaching and said that any number when divided by itself gives one. The teacher gave an example and said that if three fruits are divided among three people, each person will get 1 fruit. To this Ramanujan asked, ‘so if no fruits are divided among no one, each one will still get 1 fruit each?’. He was a genius right from the beginning!