1887 - 1920

Self-taught math genius

Ramanujan grew up in southern India under British occupancy and received only little formal education in math. However, he got hold of a book listing many theorems and short proofs. Reproducing these theorems, he built a foundation to come up with his own conclusions.

While he focused his studies mostly on math, he did not pass the exams to retain a scholarship to attend university. However, on his search for a job, he eventually got in contact with G. H. Hardy, a professor in Cambridge who recognized his genius. Overcoming religious reservations, he eventually travelled to England to collaborate with Hardy. That time was overshadowed by illness. On the other hand, he was awarded a PhD and he was elected a member of the Royal Society.

He died at the age of 32, shortly after he returned from England. His work inspired, even decades later, scientists among others in math, physics and computer science.

Written by: Tobias Lieber.