22nd December is celebrated as National Mathematics Day in India to honour Srinivasa Ramanujan, the greatest mathematician of the country. Ramanujan was born on this day in 1887. During a visit to the Madras University in 2012, former prime minister Dr Manhmohan Singh declared 22nd December as National Mathematics Day. India celebrates the day to encourage people to develop self-learning and rational skills and realise the importance of mathematics in our life.
Key points|1. Greatest Mathematician Srinivasa Ramanujan was born in a Tamil Brahmin Iyengar family, on December 22, 1887 at Erode, Tamil Nadu. He studied at the Government College in Kumbakonam. He failed exams in his college due to his ignorance for non-mathematical subjects.
2. In 1912, Ramanujan worked as a clerk in the Madras Port Trust. At the same place, his knowledge was recognised by a colleague who was also a mathematician, who further referred Ramanujan to Professor GH Hardy of Trinity College, Cambridge University.
3. In 1916, Ramanujan received a Bachelor of Science (BSc) degree and was elected to the London Mathematical Society in 1917. His research on Elliptic Functions and theory of numbers led him to be elected a fellow of the prestigious Royal Society in 1918.
4. He is the first Indian to be elected a fellow at Trinity college. Although Ramanujan had almost no formal training in pure mathematics, he had compiled more than 3,000 mathematical results and equations, and made substantial contributions to the field.
5. Ramanujan died in 1920, due to tuberculosis. In 2015, a movie was released named 'The Man Who Knew Infinity', based on Srinivasa Ramanujan’s biography. The movie describes life and journey towards establishing the famed mathematical theories.
6. Ramanujan's biography 'The Man Who Knew Infinity' by Robert Knaigel, mentions GH Hardy, mentor of Ramanujan once went to visit his disciple at a hospital. Hardy told him that he came in a taxi with the number '1729' which seemed to be an ordinary number. Ramanujan replied that it was not as it is the smallest number which can be expressed as the sum of two different cubes in two different ways. Later 1729 was termed the Hardy-Ramanujan Number.