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This is the biography of a mathematical prodigy- Srinivasa Ramanujan, whose inhibited genius finally came to recognition when he stepped into Europe.
Summary Of The Book
Srinivasa Ramanujan was an enigma during his lifetime and continues to be one, even today. Ramanujan was born into a poor Brahmin family in Madras, and his parents were financially unable to support him after his initial schooling, which is one of life’s little ironies, since his contributions to the world of mathematics are inspiring and brilliant.
Kanigel doesn’t stop with focusing on the protagonist, and provides a peek into the setting in which Ramanujan was groomed and raised. He describes how the education system in India works, the orthodox nature of Ramanujan’s family, and his premature marriage to a very young girl.
He takes readers through how, after writing to many mathematicians and several failed attempts to make himself heard, luck finally aided Ramanujan when G.H. Hardy, an English mathematician, realized his gift. Ramanujan received a scholarship to continue with his study and research in the field of Pure Mathematics. Hardy managed to get him to England, where Ramanujan worked closely with him and other Cambridge mathematicians.
Kanigel also acquaints the world with the canons that guide the Indian society, and in Ramanujan’s case, all these hampered with his mathematical explorations. Unable to comply with cultural norms, he became a social outcast. An arranged marriage to a minor, who suffered a great deal under his mother’s ill-treatment, left him in a state of anxiety and distress.
Unfortunately, in England, he contracted tuberculosis and his battle against the disease deterred his further discoveries. He succumbed to the illness at the early age of 32. It is to be noted that some of his unfinished work is still being analyzed by mathematicians.
The Man Who Knew Infinity was written by Robert Kanigel in the year 1991. The verity of the information provided in the biography evinces extensive research and the book received and continues to receive positive reviews in India and abroad.
About Robert Kanigel
Robert Kanigel is a Brooklyn-born biographer and science writer. After completing a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering, he began freelance writing in 1970 and published his first book in 1986.
Kanigel’s writings, however, are not confined to books, and he has published over 400 articles, essays and reviews, appearing in magazines like Johns Hopkins Magazine, Baltimore Sun, The New York Times Magazine, The Washington Post, Science 85, and Human Behavior. As an author, he wrote many books, including Apprentice To Genius: The Making of a Scientific Dynasty, The One Best Way: Frederick Winslow Taylor and the Enigma of Efficiency, High Season: How One French Riviera Town Has Seduced Travelers for Two Thousand Years, and On An Irish Island.
Kanigel’s books are commended for their well-researched and detailed content and are considered lively and interesting to read.
Robert Kanigel was born on 28 May, 1946, and studied in New York. Later, he went on to become professor of science writing at MIT and directed a Graduate Program in Writing for 7 years. In 1999, Kanigel returned to Baltimore to pick up his writing full time and began working on a biography of Jane Jacobs.
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Krishna Kumar Deep
Dec 25, 2014
The best source on Ramanujan's life
Oct 30, 2014
quality of printing sucks
Sep 27, 2014
Lotus in mud
Sep 26, 2014
The man who knew infinity
Apr 24, 2014
A biography worth your time
Nov 17, 2009
A magical story,brilliantly toldBy far the best scientific biography I ever read.It's a magical story,of a person whose life and story almost sound mythical,a person who continues to be a source of inspiration for people around the world who are familiar with him.And it is a story told in a very engaging way by Robert Kanigel.The exhaustive research he did is remarkable. This book will captivate you and touch you and it will stay in your memory as one of the finest literary experiences you have had.And what is more,it is a very human tale.I've no hesitation in recommending that you buy this one immediately and maybe even gif… (Expand)
Dec 20, 2013
About the quality of the productionThis review is NOT about the contents of this book - of course that is of very
Dec 29, 2011
CaptivatingExcellent read & a well researched book. The genius of Ramanujan is perplexing. A bit sad that he had to die so young. Can't imagine what he'd have done living a few more years in good health. A must read for any math fan - strongly recommended!
Mar 11, 2014
Awesome book but poor page quality !!Nothing to be commented on the story . But what a poor page quality at this level of high price!!! disappointed!
Apr 27, 2012
Bad book qualityI have bought quite a number of books on flipkart. but this is the first book whose quality of paper, printing is very bad. it is printed by some delhi/noida company. after paying 400 odd rupees, it is surprising to get such a bad quality. i think the foreign edition of the book selling for 900 odd rupees would be better. do not buy this book, buy the foreign edition.
Apr 17, 2012
The Man who knew Infinity by Robert KanigelMost of us have heard of the Mathematical genius, Ramanuajam, and how G H Hardy, a British Mathematician facilitated his visit to England. We are also aware of the amazing insights of Ramanujam and how he and Hardy worked together to bring these insights into wider knowledge. However, the book by Kanigel traces the history of Ramanujam and his ordinary background from a small town in south India in such great detail and with such a human touch that the book is worth every minute spent in reading it. The author has given a lot of importance also to the mathematical elements of Ramanujam's great… (Expand)
Feb 17, 2012
Mar 7, 2011
Ramanujan And HardyREAD IT if you are interested in knowing about a man who went from Chennai to Cambridge in search of an environment to groom his natural talents in numbers. READ IT if you want to know about the only great mathematician that modern India has produced. READ IT if you are interested in a boy who derived many theorems all on his own, only to find out that many of them were already derived by mathematicians that came a little before him.READ IT........
Krishna Kumar Deep
Dec 25, 2014
The best source on Ramanujan's lifeNot used this edition as mine is from different publisher & I purchased offline.
Oct 30, 2014
quality of printing sucksthe book which i got has terrible paper quality and printing.