An obscure clerk at the Port Trust of Madras, Srinivas Ramanujan was to become a Fellow of the Royal Society and of Trinity College, Cambridge, while proving, in association with his mentor, G.H. Hardy, results that continue to astound the world of mathematics to this day. Hardy was an atheist, a rationalist and groomed in formal pure mathematics. Ramanujan was self taught from a textbook that was at least a generation out of date. Hardy was radical, against the war (not a popular opinion at that time) and an eccentric academic and Ramanujan was a victim of a system woefully unprepared to nurture his genius. The collaboration between Hardy and Ramanujan was as much about coming to terms with the differences in their education as their culture. This was, as Hardy wrote, the one romantic incident of his life. A First Class Man explores this relationship, Ramanujan's development as a man and a mathematician and his experiences in an alien culture and climate in the back drop of the first world war.
September 29, 2006
6:30 PM to 9:00 PM.
Room 312, Mathematics Department, Columbia University, 116th Street and Broadway
Columbia University's Mathematics Department along with the Columbia University Arts Initiative host an Evening on Srinivasa Aiyangar Ramanujan: His Life and Work, on 29th September, 2006. The panel of eminent speakers includes experts on Ramanujan's field of number theory and in colonial studies, who will examine the context of Ramanujan's contribution in the time of British colonial India, as well as more ethnographic antecedents of scientific logic in contrast to Cartesian rationalism in vogue in western scientific discourse. The panelists include:
Freeman Dyson: Professor Emeritus, School of Natural Sciences, the Institute of Advanced Studies, Princeton
Peter C Sarnak: Eugene Higgins Professor of Mathematics, Princeton University
Dorian Goldfeld: Professor of Mathematics, Columbia University
Gauri Viswanathan: Class of 1933 Professor in the Humanities, Columbia University
David Freeman: Playwright of A First Class Man
Harish S Bhat: Assistant Professor, Applied Science and Applied Mathematics, Columbia University