Why does Ramanujan,"The Man Who Knew Infinity", matter?

Speaker: 
Ken Ono (Emory University)
Event Date and Time: 
Wed, 2017-11-08 19:30 - 21:00
Location: 
St. John's College - Fairmont Lounge / 2111 Lower Mall (UBC)
Local Contact: 
Swarn Rai - 604-822-1383 or pitpoffice@phas.ubc.ca
Intended Audience: 
Public

Srinivasa Ramanujan (1887-1920), one of the most inspirational figures in the history of mathematics, was a poor Brahmin from lush south India who left behind three shabby notebooks that engineers, mathematicians and physicists continue to mine today. His ideas came to him as visions from a Hindu goddess. As a two-time college dropout, he could have easily been lost to the world, a thought that scientists cannot begin to absorb. I will present some of the studies of Ramanujan that are most accessible to the general public, and share several clips from the film "The Man Who Knew Infinity" (starring Dev Patel and Jeremy Irons) about Ramanujan. I will also explain why Ramanujan matters today, in terms of the “Idea of Ramanujan”: talent is often found in the most unpromising circumstances. It must be located and then nurtured.

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