Srinivasa Ramanujan

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An equation for me has no meaning unless it expresses a thought of God.

Srinivasa Aiyangar Ramanujan (Tamil: ஸ்ரீனிவாஸ ஐயங்கார் ராமானுஜன்) (22 December 188726 April 1920) was a groundbreaking Indian mathematician.


  • An equation for me has no meaning unless it expresses a thought of God.
    • Quoted in The Man Who Knew Infinity : A Life of the Genius Ramanujan (1992) by Robert Kanigel, p. 67

Quotes about Ramanujan

  • Paul Erdos has passed on to us Hardy's personal ratings of mathematicians. Suppose that we rate mathematicians on the basis of pure talent on a scale from 0 to 100, Hardy gave himself a score of 25, Littlewood 30, Hilbert 80 and Ramanujan 100.
    • Bruce C. Berndt in Ramanujan's Notebooks : Part I (1994), "Introduction", p. 14
  • He could remember the idiosyncrasies of numbers in an almost uncanny way. It was Littlewood who said that every positive integer was one of Ramanujan's personal friends. I remember once going to see him when he was ill at Putney. I had ridden in taxi cab number 1729 and remarked that the number seemed to me rather a dull one, and that I hoped it was not an unfavorable omen. "No," he replied, "it is a very interesting number; it is the smallest number expressible as the sum of two cubes in two different ways."
    • G. H. Hardy, in Ramanujan : Twelve Lectures on Subjects Suggested by His Life and Work (1940)
  • Every positive integer is one of Ramanujan's personal friends.
  • In his book Scientific Edge, noted physicist Jayant Narlikar stated that "Srinivasa Ramanujan, discovered by the Cambridge mathematician G.H. Hardy, whose great mathematical findings were beginning to be appreciated from 1915 to 1919. His achievements were to be fully understood much later, well after his untimely death in 1920. For example, his work on the highly composite numbers (numbers with a large number of factors) started a whole new line of investigations in the theory of such numbers." Narlikar also goes on to say that his work was one of the top ten achievements of 20th century Indian science and "could be considered in the Nobel Prize class."[86] The work of other 20th century Indian scientists which Narlikar considered to be of Nobel Prize class were those of Chandrasekhara Venkata Raman, Megh Nad Saha and Satyendra Nath Bose.
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