Srinivasa Ramanujan Facts: 21-25 | Discovering Ramanujan
21. It was not until 1910 that Ramanujan’s talents came to notice. In that year, Ramanujan was in Madras and he used to tutor some students for earning a livelihood. He also used to walk around the town offering accounting services to several business in order to deal with his poverty.
22. That same year, he went looking for a job in revenue department of the government. There he met an official called V. Ramaswamy Iyer. At that time, Ramanujan was already 23 years old. V. Ramaswamy Iyer was known as Professor Ramaswamy.
23. When Ramanujan met Ramaswamy Iyer, the only thing that Ramanujan had to show was his collection of notebooks where he wrote down all the mathematical works he did. Lucky for Ramanujan, Ramaswamy was a mathematician of great caliber and was the founder of Indian Mathematical Society.
24. Ramaswamy immediately recognized that Ramanujan was no ordinary man and that he was a mathematician of unmatched genius. After taking a look at Ramanujan’s work, Ramaswamy decided to contact R. Ramachandra Rao – the secretary of Indian Mathematical Society.
25. Ramaswamy asked Ramachandra Rao to provide some financial support to Ramanujan. However, Ramachandra, who was despite being impressed by the work, held the notion that whatever Ramanujan presented was not his own work but was the work stolen from previous reputed mathematicians.
Srinivasa Ramanujan Facts: 26-30 | Discovering Ramanujan
26. C. V. Rajagopalachari – a friend of Ramanujan tried to subdue Ramachandra’s doubt about the academic integrity of Ramanujan. On request of Rajagopalachari, Ramachandra decided to meet with Ramanujan. It is then that Ramanujan and Ramachandra had a detailed discussion on topics like hypergeometric series, elliptic integrals and divergent series. After the discussion, Ramanchandra understood that Ramanujan was an extraordinary mathematician.
27. This is when Ramachandra provided financial support to Ramanujan. This allowed Ramanujan to continue with his research while V. Ramaswamy Iyer started publishing the works of Ramanujan in the ‘Journal of the Indian Mathematical Society’.
28. When Ramanujan’s works were published, several flaws were noted initially by M. T. Narayana – editor of the Journal. The flaws were not in what he did with mathematics but with his writing. These flaws were a result of the style he adopted as a child. The works were genius but the presentation was not clear and anyone who was not a mathematical genius but an ordinary mathematical reader could barely understand exactly how Ramanujan achieved the results.
29. The financial position of Ramanujan improved in 1912. First he managed to a job in Accountant General’s office in Madras. It was a temporary job and fetched him a salary of Rs. 20 a month. Ramanujan stayed on the job for a few weeks and later managed to get a job in Madras Port Trust as Class III, Grade IV accounting clerk. This new job fetched him a salary of Rs. 30 a month. However, the new job came to him because of a recommendation from Presidency College’s mathematics professor E. W. Middlemast.
30. While working at the new office, Ramanujan was quick with his work. He used to complete his tasks quickly and use his spare time for mathematical research. Sir Francis Spring – boss of Ramanujan and S. Narayana Iyer (colleague of Ramanujan and also the treasurer of Indian Mathematical Society) were two people who used to always encourage Ramanujan to pursue his research.