Srinivasa Ramanujan (1887-1920)

One of the greatest mathematicians of all time, Srinivasa Ramanujan was born in 1887 in the Southern part of India. He is still remembered for his contributions to the field of mathematics. Theorems formulated by him are to date studied by students across the world and within very few years of his lifespan, he made some exceptional discoveries in mathematics. 

His biography and achievements prove a lot about him and his struggles to contribute to the field of this subject. All this is also an essential part of the syllabus for aspirants preparing for the upcoming IAS Exam

The facts, achievements and contributions presented by Srinivasa Ramanujan have not just been acknowledged within India, but also globally by leading mathematicians. Aspirants can also learn about other Indian mathematicians and their contributions, by visiting the linked article. 


Srinivasa Ramanujan Biography [UPSC Notes]:-Download PDF Here

Kickstart your UPSC exam preparation now! Complement it with the links given below:

Indian Mathematician S. Ramanujan – Biography

Born in 1887, Ramanujan’s life, as said by Sri Aurobindo, was a “rags to mathematical riches” life story. His geniuses of the 20th century are still giving shape to 21st-century mathematics. 

Discussed below is the history, achievements, contributions, etc. of Ramanujan’s life journey.

Birth – 

  • Srinivasa Ramanujan was born on 22nd December 1887 in the south Indian town of Tamil Nad, named Erode. 
  • His father, Kuppuswamy Srinivasa Iyengar worked as a clerk in a saree shop and his mother, Komalatamma was a housewife. 
  • Since a very early age, he had a keen interest in mathematics and had already become a child prodigy

Srinivasa Ramanujan Education – 

  • He attained his early education and schooling from Madras, where he was enrolled in a local school
  • His love for mathematics had grown at a very young age and was mostly self-taught
  • He was a promising student and had won many academic prizes in high school
  • But his love for mathematics proved to be a disadvantage when he reached college. As he continued to excel in only one subject and kept failing in all others. This resulted in him dropping out of college
  • However, he continued to work on his collection of mathematical theorems, ideologies and concepts until he got his final breakthrough

Final Break Through – 

  • S. Ramanujam did not keep all his discoveries to himself but continued to send his works to International mathematicians
  • In 1912, he was appointed at the position of clerk in the Madras Post Trust Office, where the manager, S.N. Aiyar encouraged him to reach out to G.H. Hardy, a famous mathematician at the Cambridge University
  • In 1913, he had sent the famous letter to Hardy, in which he had attached 120 theorems as a sample of his work
  • Hardy along with another mathematician at Cambridge, J.E.Littlewood analysed his work and concluded it to be a work of true genius
  • It was after this that his journey and recognition as one of the greatest mathematicians had started 

Death – 

  • In 1919, Ramanujan’s health had started to deteriorate, after which he decided to move back to India
  • After his return in 1920, his health further worsened and he died at the age of just 32 years

The life of such great Indians and their contribution in various fields is an important part of the UPSC Syllabus. Candidates preparing for the upcoming civil services exam must analyse this information carefully. 

Other Related Links:

IAS Maths Syllabus for UPSC Mains IAS Maths Optional Booklist
Science & Technology Notes For UPSC UPSC Prelims Science and Technology Question and Answers
IAS Syllabus For General Studies Paper UPSC Mains Answer Writing Practice

Srinivasa Ramanujan Contributions

  • Between 1914 and 1914, while Ramanujan was in England, he along with Hardy published over a dozen research papers
  • During the time period of three years, he had published around 30 research papers
  • Hardy and Ramanujan had developed a new method, now called the circle method, to derive an asymptomatic formula for this function
  • His first paper published, a 17-page work on Bernoulli numbers that appeared in 1911 in the Journal of the Indian Mathematical Society
  • One remarkable result of the Hardy-Ramanujan collaboration was a formula for the number p(n) of partitions of a number ‘n’

Achievements of Srinivasa Ramanujan

  • At the age of 12, he had completely read Loney’s book on Plane Trignimetry and A Synopsis of Elementary Results in Pure and Applied Mathematics, which were way beyond the standard of a high school student
  • In 1916, he was granted a Bachelor of Science degree “by research” at the Cambridge University
  • In 1918, he became the first Indian to be honoured as a Fellow of the Royal Society
  • In 1997, The Ramanujan Journal was launched to publish work “in areas of mathematics influenced by Ramanujan”
  • The year 2012 was declared as the National Mathematical Year as it marked the 125th birth year of one of the greatest Indian mathematicians
  • Since 2021, his birth anniversary, December 22, is observed as the National Mathematicians Day every year in India

The intention behind encouraging the significance of mathematics was mainly to boost youngsters who are the future of the country and influence them to have a keen interest in analysing the scope of this subject. 

Srinivasa Ramanujan Biography [UPSC Notes]:-Download PDF Here

Also, aspirants appearing in the civil services exam can choose mathematics as an optional and the success stories of IAS Toppers from the past have shown the scope of this subject. 

To get details of UPSC 2024, candidates can visit the linked article. 

For any further information about the upcoming civil services examination, study material, preparation tips and strategy, candidates can visit the linked article. 

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  1. Good biography