National Mathematics Day: Here Is Why It’s Celebrated

Every year, our country celebrates National Mathematics Day on 22nd December to commemorate the birth anniversary of the ingenious mathematician Srinivasa Ramanujan (22 Dec 1887- 26 Apr 1920).

In 2012, former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh declared 22nd December as the National Mathematics Day. On that occasion, he also announced 2012 would be celebrated as the National Mathematics Year.

Ramanujan, who was born in 1887 in Erode, Tamil Nadu, had a huge passion for mathematics since his childhood. At the age of 12, he had mastered trigonometry and developed many theorems on his own without any assistance. He earned a scholarship to study at Government Arts College, Kumbakonam, but eventually ended up losing it as he did not perform well in other subjects.

His turning point in life came when in 1913 when Ramanujan wrote to the British mathematician G H Hardy, who on realizing Ramanujan’s genius potential wrote back to him and invited him to London. Ramanujan got admitted into Trinity College, Cambridge with his help and hence began his journey on the path of success.

In 1917, Ramanujan was elected to be a member of the London Mathematical Society and in 1918, he became the youngest member of the Royal Society. He made a significant contribution to mock theta function that generalises the form of the Jacobi theta functions while preserving their general properties. He also made substantial contributions to the analytical theory of numbers and worked on elliptic functions, continued fractions, and infinite series.

At the age of 32, the young mathematician breathed his last in Kumbakonam as the London weather and the poor eating habits had slowly made their impact on his health. His house in Kumbakonam, is now maintained as the Srinivasa Ramanujan International Monument.

The Ramanujan Museum & Math Education Centre was established on 18th March 1993 and 24 years later, In 2017, the Ramanujan Math Park was opened in Kuppam, Chittoor, Andhra Pradesh. A biopic on Ramanujan’s life, named The Man Who Knew Infinity, was released in April 2016.

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