National Mathematics Day
National Mathematics Day is celebrated on 22nd December every year in India to honor mathematical genius, Srinivasa Ramanujan. The enigmatic Indian mathematician Srinivasa Ramanujan was perhaps one of the most original mathematicians of all time. He made remarkable contributions in different fields of mathematics.
Though with barely any formal training in pure mathematics, he made substantial contributions to mathematical analysis, number theory, infinite series, and continued fractions, including solutions to mathematical problems which were then considered unsolvable.
The Indian government declared 22 December to be National Mathematics Day. This was announced by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on 26 February 2012 at Madras University, during the inaugural ceremony of the celebrations to mark the 125th anniversary of the birth of the Indian mathematical genius Srinivasa Ramanujan.
The main goal of celebrating the day is to raise awareness about the importance of mathematics and inculcate a positive attitude towards learning maths among the younger generation of the country.
A Man Who Knew Infinity
Srinivasa Ramanujan was one of India’s greatest mathematical geniuses, was born on 22nd December 1887 in Madras, India. He was mentored by G. H. Hardy in the early 1910s. In 1913, Srinivasa Ramanujan, a 23-year old shipping clerk from Madras, India, wrote to G.H. Hardy (and other academics at Cambridge), claiming, among other things, to have devised a formula that calculated the number of primes up to a hundred million with generally no error.
The self-taught and obsessive Ramanujan had managed to prove all of Riemann’s results and more with almost no knowledge of developments in the Western world and no formal tuition. He claimed that most of his ideas came to him in dreams.
It quickly became apparent that Ramanujan was a mathematician of exceptional ability, and Hardy soon began to consider ways in which he could be brought to Britain to receive formal training and an advanced degree from Cambridge. He was awarded the degree of Bachelor of Science by Research (renamed Ph.D. in 1920) by the University of Cambridge.
In 1918, he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society for his research on Elliptic Functions and the theory of numbers. The same year in October he became the first Indian to be elected a Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge.
Ramanujan was gifted with a power of calculation and symbolic dexterity unavailable to most mathematicians prior to the computer age. He also had an uncanny ability to spot patterns that nobody knew existed. During his short life, Ramanujan independently compiled nearly 3,900 results (mostly identities and equations). Many were completely novel; his original and highly unconventional results, such as the Ramanujan prime, the Ramanujan theta function, partition formulae, and mock theta functions, have opened entire new areas of work and inspired a vast amount of further research.
How is the day celebrated?
Ramanujan’s mathematics has provided a constant source of inspiration and wonder for mathematicians. His birth anniversary National Mathematics Day is celebrated by various universities, colleges, schools in India. On this day mathematicians, teachers, students are provided training for Maths and research different areas of maths.
India and UNESCO coordinate with the aim to spread the love for mathematics in children globally. Many workshops, seminars, debates, competitions, quizzes are held on this day with Math as the main theme. On National Mathematics Day, students can voice out their concerns, fears, and hesitation when it comes to studying mathematics.
Maths is to be enjoyed and not to be made a horror show of!
An equation means nothing to me unless it expresses a thought of God. – Srinivasa Ramanujan
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