Every year, 22 December is observed as National Mathematics Day in India to commemorate the birth anniversary of legendary mathematician, Srinivasa Ramanujan. The day marks the importance of mathematics in our life and encourages people to develop self-learning and rationale skills.
Former Prime Minister Dr Manhmohan Singh declared 22 December as National Mathematics Day in 2012. Singh's announcement had come during his visit to the Madras University on Ramanujan’s 125th birth anniversary.
Who was Srinivasa Ramanujan?
Srinivasa Ramanujan was born on 22 December, 1887, in a Tamil Brahmin family in the city of Erode. He was known as ‘The Man Who Knew Infinity’ because of his infinite love for and contribution to mathematics.
The mathematical genius could easily solve algebra and trigonometric problem which his fellow mates found difficult to crack. Ramanujan won a scholarship to study at Kumbakonam’s Government Arts College at the age of 17. He, however, failed in some of the other subjects and lost the scholarship. The math wizard did not lose hope and tutored students while also contributing to the Journal of Indian Mathematical Society.
At the age of 26, Ramanujan was invited to the University of Cambridge for his statements on 120 mathematical theorems on infinite series, continued fractions, improper integrals and number theory.
The mathematician went on to become the first Indian to be elected a Fellow at Trinity College and was also the youngest Fellow of Royal Society in London for his work on Elliptic functions and theory of numbers.
Having compiled more than 3,000 mathematical results and equations, the mathematician returned to India in 1919 and passed away due to tuberculosis the next year.
Significance of National Mathematics Day:
India celebrates National Mathematics Day to honour the mathematical assertions made by Ramanujan, which opened new arenas of mathematical research. In the year 2019, the Royal Society also remembered Ramanujan’s contribution by tweeting a special message for him. The path-breaking work of Ramanujan remains an inspiration for future generations.