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Ramanujan Quotes

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"In the simplest array of digits [Ramanujan] detected wonderful properties: congruences, symmetries and relationships which had escaped the notice of even the outstandingly gifted theoreticians." - James R Newman

"That was the wonderful thing about Ramanujan. He discovered so much, and yet he left so much more in his garden for other people to discover." - Freeman Dyson

"They [formulae 1.10 - 1.12 of Ramanujan] must be true because, if they were not true, no one would have had the imagination to invent them." - G H Hardy

"Plenty of mathematicians, Hardy knew, could follow a step-by-step discursus unflaggingly-yet counted for nothing beside Ramanujan. Years later, he would contrive an informal scale of natural mathematical ability on which he assigned himself a 25 and Littlewood a 30. To David Hilbert, the most eminent mathematician of the day, he assigned an 80. To Ramanujan he gave 100." - Robert Kanigel

"... each of the 24 modes in the Ramanujan function corresponds to a physical vibration of a string. Whenever the string executes its complex motions in space-time by splitting and recombining, a large number of highly sophisticated mathematical identities must be satisfied. These are precisely the mathematical identities discovered by Ramanujan." - Michio Kaku

"Sometimes in studying Ramanujan's work, [George Andrews] said at another time, "I have wondered how much Ramanujan could have done if he had had MACSYMA or SCRATCHPAD or some other symbolic algebra package."" - Robert Kanigel

"There is great exhilaration in breaking one of these things. ... Ramanujan gives no hints, no proof of his formulas, so everything you do you feel is your own.[About verifying Ramanujan's equations in a newly found manuscript.]" - George Andrews

"I read in the proof sheets of Hardy on Ramanujan: "As someone said, each of the positive integers was one of his personal friends." My reaction was, "I wonder who said that; I wish I had." In the next proof-sheets I read (what now stands), "It was Littlewood who said..."" - John Edensor Littlewood

"For my part, it is difficult for me to say what I owe to Ramanujan - his originality has been a constant source of suggestion to me ever since I knew him, and his death is one of the worst blows I have ever had." - G H Hardy

"I read in the proof-sheets of Hardy on Ramanujan: 'As someone said, each of the positive integers was one of his personal friends.' My reaction was, 'I wonder who said that; I wish I had.' In the next proof-sheets I read (what now stands): 'It was Littlewood who said..." - John Edensor Littlewood

"I still say to myself when I am depressed and and find myself forced to listen to pompous and tiresome people Well, I have done one thing you could never have done, and that is to have collaborated with Littlewood and Ramanujan on something like equal terms." - Godfrey Harold Hardy

"I remember once going to see him [Ramanujan] when he was lying ill at Putney. I had ridden in taxi-cab No. 1729, and remarked that the number seemed to me rather a dull one, and that I hoped it was not an unfavourable omen. "No," he replied, "it is a very interesting number; it is the smallest number expressible as a sum of two cubes in two different ways."" - G H Hardy

"No mathematician should ever allow him to forget that mathematics, more than any other art or science, is a young man's game. ... Galois died at twenty-one, Abel at twenty-seven, Ramanujan at thirty-three, Riemann at forty. There have been men who have done great work later; ... [but] I do not know of a single instance of a major mathematical advance initiated by a man past fifty. ... A mathematician may still be competent enough at sixty, but it is useless to expect him to have original ideas." - G H Hardy

"Srinivasa Ramanujan was the strangest man in all of mathematics, probably in the entire history of science. He has been compared to a bursting supernova, illuminating the darkest, most profound corners of mathematics, before being tragically struck down by tuberculosis at the age of 33... Working in total isolation from the main currents of his field, he was able to rederive 100 years' worth of Western mathematics on his own. The tragedy of his life is that much of his work was wasted rediscovering known mathematics." - Michio Kaku



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