Srinivasa Ramanujan (1887-1920) – Biography, Achievements

By BYJU'S Exam Prep

Updated on: September 20th, 2023

Srinivasa Ramanujan is one of the most celebrated mathematicians of all time who is remembered for his contribution to mathematics. Though he had a small lifespan, he came up with some phenomenal mathematical discoveries. He formulated theorems that are still used by students today all over the world.

Srinivasa Ramanujan’s biography, contributions, and achievements in mathematics have been an essential part of the UPSC syllabus, and a bunch of questions has been asked in the civil services exam. Below you will learn about Srinivasa Ramanujan’s biography, his contributions to mathematics, and achievements of Srinivasa Ramanujan.

Srinivasa Ramanujan

Srinivasa Ramanujan is not only one of the leading Indian mathematicians but has been acknowledged globally because of his achievements and contributions to mathematics.

His discoveries in mathematics during the 20th century are still used by mathematicians worldwide in the 21st century. His life story is considered the “rags to mathematical riches” by Sri Aurobindo.

Srinivasa Ramanujan Biography

Srinivasa Ramanujan is one of the most celebrated mathematicians of all time who is remembered for his contribution to mathematics. Srinivasa Ramanujan’s Biography from his birth to death is explained below-

Birth of Srinivasa Ramanujan

Srinivasa Ramanujan was born in Erode, a South Indian town in Tamil Nadu. Kuppuswamy Srinivasa Iyengar, his father, was a clerk in a saree shop, while Komalatamma, his mother, was a housewife. From an early age, he showed an interest in mathematics. At that time, he had already become a child prodigy.

Education of Mathematician Ramanujan

He did his early education in Madras at a local school. He was mostly self-taught, and he developed his love for mathematics at a very young age. During high school, he won several academic prizes. But during his college days, his passion for mathematics turned out to be a pitfall as he failed in subjects other than mathematics. So, he dropped out of college. Despite all the odds, he continued to work on his concepts, ideologies, and mathematical theorems until he was successful in getting the final breakthrough.

Final Break Through of S. Ramanujan

After dropping out of college, he sent his work to mathematicians all over the globe. He was appointed as the clerk in the Madras Post Trust Office in 1912. His manager encouraged him to reach out to Cambridge University’s famous mathematician, G. H. Hardy. At Cambridge, another mathematician, J.E.Littlewood, along with Hardy, analyzed Ramanujan’s work, after which he was recognized as one of the greatest mathematicians of all times.

Srinivasa Ramanujan Death

During his work at Cambridge University, his health began to drop. So, he decided to come back to India in 1919. However, within a year, his health worsened, and later, he died when he was 32 years old.

Srinivasa Ramanujan’s Contribution to Mathematics

Ramanujan, along with Hardy, published more than 12 research papers in England between 1911 and 1914. The significant contributions of Srinivasa Ramanujan toward Mathematics are as follows-

  • He published more than thirty research papers in a span of three years.
  • The circle method was developed by Ramanujan and Hardy to derive the asymptomatic formula for this function.
  • A 17-page work on Bernoulli numbers was Ramanujan’s first paper. It was published in the Journal of the Indian Mathematical Society in 1911.
  • The formula for the number p(n) of partitions of a number ‘n’ is considered the best result out of the Hardy-Ramanujan collaboration.

Achievements of Srinivasa Ramanujan

Srinivasa Ramanujan was a brilliant student who was way beyond his fellow students. He completely read A Synopsis of Elementary Results in Pure and Applied Mathematics and Loney’s book on Plane Trigonometry at the age of 12. The achievements of Srinivasa Ramanujan is as under-

  • In 1916, Cambridge University granted a degree in Bachelor of Science by research to Ramanujan.
  • He was the first Indian to be honoured as a “Fellow of the Royal Society” in 1918.
  • “In areas of mathematics influenced by Ramanujan” was published in the newly launched “The Ramanujan Journal” in 1997.
  • On his 125th birthday, the year 2012 was declared as the National Mathematical Year.
  • Ramanujan’s birthday, i.e., December 22, has been celebrated as the National Mathematical Day in India since 2021.

Srinivasa Ramanujan UPSC PDF

Srinivasa Ramanujan has been an essential topic for aspirants appearing in the Civil services exam in the prelims and mains exam, especially for the aspirants with mathematics as an optional subject. You can download the PDF of the topic with the link provided above. You can also refer to the previous year’s question papers or to UPSC test series to judge your preparation for Srinivasa Ramanujan and other related topics.

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