The Man Who Knew Infinity: A Life of the Genius Ramanujan

Robert Kanigel


The Man Who Knew Infinity: A Life of the Genius Ramanujan

The Man Who Knew Infinity: A Life of the Genius Ramanujan

  • Title: The Man Who Knew Infinity: A Life of the Genius Ramanujan
  • Author: Robert Kanigel
  • ISBN: 9780349104522
  • Page: 144
  • Format: Paperback



The tale of a relationship between a young Indian mathematics genius, Ramanujan, and his tutor at Cambridge University, G.H Hardy, in the years before World War I Through their eyes the reader is taken on a journey through numbers theory Ramanujan would regularly telescope 12 steps of logic into two the effect is said to be like Dr Watson in the train of some argumentThe tale of a relationship between a young Indian mathematics genius, Ramanujan, and his tutor at Cambridge University, G.H Hardy, in the years before World War I Through their eyes the reader is taken on a journey through numbers theory Ramanujan would regularly telescope 12 steps of logic into two the effect is said to be like Dr Watson in the train of some argument by Sherlock Holmes The language of symbols and infinitely large and small regions of mathematics should be rendered with clarity for the general reader.


Recent Comments "The Man Who Knew Infinity: A Life of the Genius Ramanujan"

oh my heart this story about ramanujan so painful the genius man , Absolutely I loved this book and happy to know about him and difficult life he lived just to prove something he believes .

2013 December 22nd was the 125th birth anniversary of Srinivasa Ramanujan. He was a genius whose early death, owing to a multitude of factors not entirely in his control, was a tragedy too profound for tears, as someone said.That mathematicians are trying to come to terms with his papers and notebooks to this day, is a testimony to his originality. There was a news about his last notebooks on mock modular forms being proven just last month.This biography by Robert Kanigel is a work of outstandin [...]

Ramanujam is considered one of the best mathematicians of all times, in the same league as a Jacobi or Euler.Even though his work is well known within the mathematical community, outside of it, he is virtually an unknown quantity. Robert Kanigel has put in a lot of effort researching material to write such a comprehensive biography of a genius from a century ago. Ramanujam was born in a poor Tamil brahmin family and had little access to formal education. He had an unnatural flair for mathematics [...]

It’s way beyond five stars ! The Book was just BRILLIANT ! I really had an amazing time reading this one and I was reading this at a time when no other book seemed nice [I really tried a lot of books from the Hitchhiker’s guide to Sherlock to Child Thief.but nothing worked] .It’s a very ,very well written and thoroughly researched book and I would just like to say that I haven’t read many biographies, but this is exactly how a biography should be done .What Robert Kanigel has done with R [...]

One of the best-crafted biographies I've ever read, this book offered not only a deep insight into the story of Ramanujan himself, but also a social biography of colonial India and war time Europe during the early 1900s. Not too heavy on mathematics, it had just enough for the reader to acquire a basic idea of Ramanujan's accomplishments and his contribution to many and various branches of science(note to self: audio books are not well suited for understanding equations). The book is a fertile g [...]

This is one of the most fascinating and incredible books I have read in recent times. It is the biography of the famous Indian mathematician Srinivasa Ramanujan.The book’s blurb states: “The Man Who Knew Infinity is a fascinating biography of the brilliant, self-taught Indian mathematician, Srinivasa Ramanujan. It is also a history of the astonishingly fruitful cross-cultural collaboration between this young, ill-educated mathematical genius and his mentor at Cambridge University, G. H. Hard [...]

A fascinating account on the short but outstanding life of the enigmatic and extraordinary Ramanujan.From a young, unschooled Indian clerk to an exemplary mathematician, his journey albeit he died at the mere age of 32, is nevertheless awe-inspiring. Even in his final days, he never left his slate and continued to give prominent contributions. Such was his love for Mathematics. He failed in everything else but scored high in Mathematics. But it just wasn’t enough to clutch him a degree. So he [...]

As someone who grew up in Southern part of India, I knew about Ramanujam and some his stories since childhood. The Author has definitely done his research and he is right about almost everything that he mentions in this book. I can clearly see that someone who has never heard about this Mathematician before would enjoy this book far more than I did since I vaguely knew his stories. Nevertheless, if you are interested in Maths, you should probably read this book.

This book is a biography of Ramanujan, the Indian genius mathematician.It's difficult to avoid finding Ramanujan fascinating, even if you have no interest in math. He was born poor in India in 1887, and showed an incredible natural talent for math -- including theoretical as well as arithmetical abilities -- but his poor academic talent in other areas prevented him from moving up in India's educational structure. While working a series of low-level bureaucratic jobs, he continually tried to get [...]

Ramanujan is one of the greatest mathematicians and the most famous mathematician that India has ever produced. I hardly knew anything about him or his contributions to mathematics. I picked this book up with the sole intention of knowing more about this genius. And I am so glad that I did. It was such an inspiring story that I feel every young person must read it.Ramanujan has been compared with mathematicians like Euler and Jacobi. Ramanujan was a genius, he was -" the man whom the English had [...]

A head-first dive into one of India's most intuitive mathematicians, depicting the central theme of his life. Inspite of being shrouded by circumstances involving British Rule, the World War I, illnesses, cultural obligations, his sheer willpower to pursue what he loved, is astounding. He possessed the rarest of the abilities - to imagine and invent mathematics, to be able to shine a light on paths that people never knew existed, and be able to enter into conclusions others would take years to p [...]

This biography is about a a self- taught, turn-of-the-century mathematician, Srinivas Ramanjan So, the story is about a man who has an obsession with numbers and maths, but is born in a culture which does not understand it. He is born in Southern India where religion matters more than anything. As correctly, Robert Kanigel pointed out,If Bombay was known for commerce, and Calcutta for Politics, Madras was the most single-mindedly religious. It was a place where there was less, as it were, to dis [...]

The Man Who Knew Infinity by Robert Kanigel explores the uprbining of legendary math genious Ramanujan. The book starts in his earliest upbrinings through childhood. He grew up in the small slums of Madras, where class and and religious segregation defined societys laws. A devout muslim, Ramanujan's wore traditional clothing, was a strict vegetarian, and reguarly attended the temple. His high school was rundown, and deprived in American standards, however for the rural area, where most teenagers [...]

Wonderful biography of Srinivasa Ramanujan, one of the most "romantic" figures of the history of mathematics and science - born relatively poor, no contact with universities, shut out due to an extremely rigid system, no training in mathematics, a pure autodidact who somehow managed to come up with novel and outstanding results but was seen as a bit of a crank, then was invited to the UK by Hardy to finally come in contact with the greats of mathematics, finally got recognition, published a slew [...]

This book describes the life of Srinivasa Ramanujan. He was an Indian mathematician of early 20th century. The book is written beautifully. The author gives all the relevant information like local customs, religion, geography, and family dynamics at appropriate places while describing the life of Mr. Ramanujan. The friendship between two great mathematicians, G. H. Hardy and S. Ramanujan is narrated in great details and makes a very important part of this book. Those two men were as different as [...]

First of all kudos to ROBERT KANIGEL to come up with such fascinating facts about one of the indigenous prodigy "Ramanujan" with such ease and effortless storytelling which is rare to be seen without using much mathematical jargons that would make this book certainly *romantic affair* for the readers ! The way all threads are connected with such sumptuous details in chronological events-order ,perhaps it keeps your intrigue alive through-out ! The way Hardy's idiosyncrasies and peculiar thinking [...]

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 B [...]

This book is so well written! The author seem to have done so much of deep research. This is how, I feel, biographies should be written. You can actually feel as if you were with Srinvasa Ramanujan all through his lifeThe greatest lesson to be learnt from this life story of Ramanujan is that to encourage and support a person for their skills and talent instead of insisting that they follow the syllabus and curriculum prepared/decided by the State and Educationists from earlier generations.A #mus [...]

This is one of the fascinating books I've read in a long time. Though I am aware of Srinivasa Ramanujan and his achievements, this books takes us through an entirely different journey altogether. Author had researched every nook and corner to gather the much required materials to write about the man who knew infinity.Like all the regular biographies, even this book takes its steps in a chronological order, starting with the birth of Ramanujan and his upbringing in the small town of Kumbhakonam i [...]

Talented biographers tend to be drawn towards one of two kinds of subject. First, there are the people whose lives hold some sort of intrinsic appeal—people like Gandhi, Shakespeare, et. al. But we also have subjects whose biographical-worthiness requires a writer's acumen to uncover (see, for instance, the tale of Henrietta Lacks). Crucially, each kind presents the biographer with a challenge, whether it involves saying something noteworthy or proving that the story's even worth telling in th [...]

A beautiful look into a fascinating but short life. More than Ramanujan's genius and potential that was tragically cut short in its prime, what affected me more was the tragic life of his wife - Married at 13 and widowed very soon with hardly a sniff at life Wish we had a culture that treated its women better !!Writing wise, I wish the author didn't spend so many pages writing G.H. Hardy's biography. Would have helped me struggle less thru the first half of the book :)

I believe there is a "math world" which I go into when I really get into a proof or equation or whatnot. For me, like many others I imagine, it is a foreign land wherein I don't speak the language fluently nor know the local customs. Ramanujan, however, seemed to be native to it and preferred being there.This book provides a decent portrait of the individual: he was a normal man who had his share of misfortunes, troubles, and difficulties but who also had joys and epiphanies - oh, and happened t [...]

I'm torn between rating this two or three stars, but decided to round up to three.The difficulty here was figuring out whether the writing or the story was more important, and in the end I went with story. However, here are some problems I had with the book:1. Flowery descriptions that were in some places completely ridiculous and in some others just wrong2. Lots of irrelevant detail (I don't care about the author of the book that was read by Ramanujan, or the boat he traveled to England in)3. A [...]

This is the best biography I have ever read. The author's writing was brilliant. He evoked the characters of Ramanujan and Hardy, and the feeling of India and England and their relationship at that time. He provided a sense of World War I, and some of the importance of Ramanujan for India and the rest of the world during his lifetime as well as after his death. The depth he achieved in this biography is an uncommon accomplishment. In addition, it is difficult to provide a sense of the mathematic [...]

This is a very well researched and wonderfully written biography of two great mathematecians S.Ramanujan and G.H.Hardy. The author goes into a lot of details about ramanujan's early life and his struggles in south india and after his "discovery" by hardy, the author goes into the aspects of his life in cambridge.The only disappointment in this book is how little of ramanujan's work in mathematics is present in it.even though i wish there was more math in it,this is still an excellent book.

3.75 stars. The book tells the story of Ramanujan, a self-taught mathematical genius who grew up poor in southern India at the turn of the 20th century, without proper instruction in math (or anything else, because he was stubborn). You don’t have to be interested in math to enjoy this book. It’s about finding finding ways to nurture genius as best as possible, particularly when it’s found in places unsung for producing the cream of the crop. He had to struggle to come to the attention of [...]

Paraphrasing the excellent prologue to this edition, One cannot understand Ramanujan's life without some appreciation for the mathematics that he lived for, loved and some would say, sacrificed his health for. Can we understand an artist without a feeling for the works? A philosopher without a glimpse into the philosopher's beliefs? Well, this brilliant biography accepts the challenge and succeeds in giving the reader a tangible taste of the remarkable mathematical theorems of Ramanujan, as well [...]

Writing a biography, that too of a Mathematician, that too of an era so bygone that it is difficult for half the world to relate to it - is an audacity that speaks of the might of Robert Kanigel. What could have been a dry documentary of a genius so far advanced for normal mortals to understand is instead turned into a heart-moving account of Ramanujan's life. Those days light up in the ink of Kanigel and the reader gets to peek from behind the curtains of how the short life of this Indian geniu [...]

One of the most detailed, researched and structured biography that I've ever read. The author goes beyond the normal storytelling narrative by equally valuing​ the the great mathematician's character and motivations. He even succeeds a great deal in making the layman reader appreciate the complex mathematical topics and Ramanujan's contributions to those fields.He was a perfectionist but I felt that he went a bit overboard on several occasions. Since I am interested in reading about Ramanujan, [...]

It saddens me to no end that Ramanujan isn't as widely known as, say, Einstein or Newton. Certainly, this man contributed so, so, so much to the field of mathematics and beyond. Today, his equations are used to understand black holes and other aspects of the universe which, to him, were widely unknown and unfathomable.This biography is really dense and replete with details that may not add to the story of his life, but I applaud the author for being so meticulous, taking the reader on a biograph [...]


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    Published :2019-02-14T06:03:35+00:00