National Mathematics Day is observed every year on December 22 to mark the birth anniversary of renowned Indian mathematician Srinivasa Ramanujan. On this day, people recognise his work and achievements in the field of mathematics. Former Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh had declared December 22 as National Mathematics Day in 2012.

Srinivasa Ramanujan was born on December 22, 1887, in Erode, Tamil Nadu. In 1912, he started working as a clerk in the Madras Port Trust where his mathematical knowledge was recognized by a colleague who referred him to Professor GH Hardy of Trinity College, Cambridge University, who later became his mentor.

Achievements in mathematics

In 1916, Ramanujan got his degree from Cambridge and his research went from strength to strength. He published one excellent paper after another, with a great deal of Hardy’s help in the proofs and presentation. They also collaborated on several great projects and published wonderful joint papers.

Ramanujan was elected to the London Mathematical Society in 1917. Next year, he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society for his research on Elliptic Functions and the theory of numbers. In the same year, in October, he became the first Indian to be elected a Fellow of Trinity College.

Srinivasa Ramanujan made substantial contributions to mathematical analysis, number theory, infinite series, and continued fractions, including solutions to mathematical problems then considered unsolvable. Ramanujan’s other notable contributions include the hypergeometric series, the Riemann series, the elliptic integrals, the theory of divergent series, and the functional equations of the zeta function.

He returned to India in 1919 and a year later, he breathed his last at the age of 32 due to an illness.

Inspiration for a book, a movie and a video game

In 2015, a book written on Srinivasa Ramanujan by Robert Kanigel was adapted as a British biographical drama film on the same name – ‘The Man Who Knew Infinity’. It describes the mathematician’s life in India, his Cambridge University years during World War 1 and his journey towards establishing the famed mathematical theories.

The math wizard’s life also inspired a video game in 2016.