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Friday, June 17, 2016

James Propp Explores Ramanujan


"What can you say about a thirty-two-year-old mathematician who died?  That he loved numbers and equations.  That he had a mysteriously intimate understanding of infinite numerical processes...
so begins a brand new post from James Propp on Indian savant mathematician Srinivasa Ramanujan.

Ramanujan, of course, has been much in the news of late, due to a major motion picture on his life, and also a Ken Ono bio of him; now comes along the best single post I've ever seen on him from Propp, that provider of once-a-month thought-provoking, "enchanting" posts:


https://mathenchant.wordpress.com/2016/06/16/sri-ramanujan-and-the-secrets-of-lakshmi/


This is just a great, succinct compendium of Ramanujan's life and work (if I were you, I'd print it out and keep on hand, just for inspiration!). Not only is there a bit of the wonderful life story in brief, but lots of the math wonderment for which Ramanujan was famous. Jim too goes a little into the mysterious connection between Ramanujan and his family Hindu "Goddess" Namagiri Thayar (who supposedly provided him his math insights), as I did in an earlier post here.


This is a not-to-be-missed post! (with lots of good links and endnotes as well). And next month Jim will be doing a followup specifically on the current film biopic of Ramanujan's life ("The Man Who Knew Infinity"). His take should be very interesting.

Anyway, a great post to take you into the weekend.




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