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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.
|Publisher||Little, Brown Book Group|
|Number of Pages||456 Pages|
Customers Who Bought This Book Also Bought
By 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 gift it to others.
An excellent biography by Robert Kanigel. Although little maths somehow slowdown the pace of the story, but the narration is excellent. A really inspiring tale of a man who's first and the last love was Mathematics, who only cares for the mathematics.It should be made compulsory for the students of Higher classes.
This is among the finest books I have ever read and certainly the finest biography of Ramanujan.As one reviewer has pointed out,that it is an irony that it took a foreigner to bring us the story of Ramanujan in such illuminating depths.The story of Ramanujan's life appears as if taken out of a Hollywood rags-t-riches(Intellectual,i.e.)movie.
Robert Kanigel must have done a great deal of research before writing this book and it certainly shows.
The book also has another hero-G H Hardy who has been fairly devoted substantial portion of the volume.This because it is difficult to assess Ramanujan's legacy if we don't take into account Hardy's role in it and vice-versa.
Considering that the book is meant for popular reading,proper balance has been maintained in discussing Ramanujan's mathematics and Ramanujan,the person.
The natural follow up to this read would be G H Hardy's essay "A Mathematician's Apology"..
It is sad that the best biography about an Indian mathematician had to be written by a foreigner. The book gives you a fascinating insight into Srinivasan Ramanujan's life. Interested in mathematics from early on, Ramanujan overcame all barriers, including a complete lack of formal mathematical training, to become one of the greatest mathematicians of the 20th century. The book explores Ramanujan's mind which worked very differently from an average 'great' mathematician. Focused on intuitive reasoning rather than rigorous proof, Ramanujan was often disregarded, only to be discovered later By Cambridge mathematician G.H.Hardy. Together until his very early demise, Ramanujan and Hardy performed some of the most exciting mathematics ever.
If you're a fan of scientific biographies, you NEED this in your collection.
Most 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 greatness unlike other biographers of the genius.
An excellent story of will enforced in the proper direction irrespective of the circumstances. An achivement unparalled. Excell...Read More
This is among the finest books I have ever read and certainly the finest biography of Ramanujan.As one reviewer has pointed out...Read More
This is a brilliantly written book on life and ordeal of S. Ramanujan, who inspite of a formal education in Mathamatics, rose t...Read More
I have bought quite a number of books on flipkart. but this is the first book whose quality of paper, printing is very bad. it...Read More