National Mathematics Day: India Celebrates Srinivasa Ramanujan’s Birthday

Every year since 2012, December 22 has been celebrated as National Mathematics Day in India in honour of mathematical genius Srinivasa Ramanujan.   

The then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh announced the celebrations at Madras University. Also, 2012 was celebrated as National Mathematics Year.  

Since then, numerous educational events have been held at schools and universities throughout the country to mark National Mathematics Day on December 22. In 2017, Ramanujan Math Park was inaugurated in Kuppam, in Chittoor, Andhra Pradesh which was dedicated to hands-on mathematics education.  

Srinivasa Ramanujan, the genius who inspired generations to take up mathematics, was born on December 22, 1887, at Erode, Tamil Nadu. Since he was not interested in non-mathematical subjects, he failed college exams in 1903.  

In 1912, Ramanujan started working as a clerk in the Madras Port Trust, and from there, a colleague of him who was also a mathematician discovered the skills of Ramanujan. Subsequently, the colleague referred him to Professor GH Hardy of Trinity College, Cambridge University.  

In 1916, Ramanujan had received a Bachelor of Science (BSc) degree, and in 1917, he was elected to the London Mathematical Society.  

In 1918, he was elected a Fellow of the prestigious Royal Society for his research on Elliptic Functions and the theory of numbers.  

In 1919, Ramanujan returned to India but died a year later at 32.  

 Robert Kanigel penned the biography ‘The Man Who Knew Infinity: A Life of the Genius Ramanujan’ in 1991 which gives a detailed account of his upbringing in India, his mathematical achievements and his mathematical collaboration with mathematician GH Hardy. 

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