Saturday, December 22, 2012


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Google doodles for Ramanujan’s 125th birthday
TOI Tech | Dec 22, 2012, 10.56 AM IST

NEW DELHI: Google has marked the 125th birth anniversary of Indian mathematician Srinivasa Ramanujan with a doodle. The maths wizard was born on December 22, 1887 in Erode, Madras Presidency (now Tamil Nadu) and his birthday is celebrated as National Mathematics Day by the Indian government.

Ramanujan was a mathematics prodigy who was introduced to formal education in the subject at the age of 10. By the age of 12, he had finished books on advanced trigonometry and went on to discover his own theorems. In his teenage years, he carried out research on Bernoulli numbers and the Euler-Mascheroni constant.

Despite being a genius at mathematics, Ramanujan failed examinations in other subjects, resulting in loss of scholarship and forcing him to change his college. Thereafter, he took up a job, conducted independent mathematical research and sent samples of his work to University of Cambridge.

English mathematician GH Hardy called Ramanujan to work alongside him at Cambridge. Ramanujan went on to become a Fellow of the Royal Society and Fellow of Trinity College at Cambridge. He is credited for independently coming up with approximately 3900 results in the mathematics. Most of his theorems proved to be right in later years and were deemed unconventional for their time. His work, such as Ramanujan Theta Function and Ramanujan Prime, helped further research in the field.

Ramanujan passed away on April 26, 1920 at the age of 32. Last year, the Government of India announced that 2012 will be marked as National Mathematical Year.

The doodle shows an Indian child etching out geometrical figures and linear equations on the ground using a stick as other children watch on. At the bottom of the Google doodle for Ramanujan's 125th birthday is the numeric value of Pi to the 21st decimal point. The logo of Google is created out of geometric figures like triangles, circles, semi-circles and squares.

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