SRINIVASA RAMANUJAN was a mathematician so great that his name transcends jealousies, the one superlatively great mathematician whom India has produced in the last thousand years. He was born at the village of Erode in Tanjore on December 22, 1887. His parents were Brahmins of high caste, but very poor, and without any means of direct access to influential people. Srinivasa's mathematical ability was soon recognized at the high school at the neighbouring town of Kumbakonam, which he entered at the age of seven. We are told with what delight the big sixth-form boys found at the bottom of the school a youngster who was ready to do all their hard sums for them, and with what mixed feelings he read in their books theorems which he had discovered for himself. In 1903, a few months before he left the high school with a scholarship to the Government college in the same town, there came into his hands a “Synopsis of Mathematics”, a book containing the enunciations of some six thousand theorems, for the most part without proofs, and Ramanujan set to work systematically to establish the results. Geometry did not appeal to him, but in algebra and calculus he found himself in a magic world, in which he lived for the next ten years. In proving one formula he discovered many others, and he began to compile a note-book, the first of the notebooks which afterwards became famous.
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NEVILLE, E. SRINIVASA RAMANUJAN*. Nature 149, 292–295 (1942). https://doi.org/10.1038/149292a0
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Proceedings of the Indian Academy of Sciences - Section A (1984)