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xl Osrivaxy vozzces : i SRINIVASA RAMANUJAN. Shmmrvasa Rasaxtsax, who died at Kambakonam on April 26th, 1920, Tad been n member of the Society since 1917. He was not a man who, talked much about himself, end until recently I knew very little of big, early life. ‘Two notices, by P. V. Sesbu Aiyar and B. Ramachandra Tao, two of the mostdevoted of Ramanujan's Indian friemds, have been published: recentlyin the Journal af the Indian Mathematical Society; and Sir Francis Spring has very kindly placod ai my disposal an article which appeared in the Madvas Times of April 5th, 1919. From thesa sourees of informa- tion T enn row supply a good many details with ‘hich I was previously ‘unacquainted. Ramanujan (Srinivasa Lyengar Ramaguja Iyengar, to give him for once his proper mame) vas born on December 22nd, 1967, at Brode in southern India. His father was an accountant (gumasta) ta a cloth marshint at Kumbakonam, while his maternal grandfather had served as amin in the Munsiff’s (or local judge's) Court at Erode. He firs: wont to school nt five, and was transferred Defore he was seven to she Town Tigh School at Kumbakonata, where be held a" free scholarship”, and whore ‘hin extraordinary powers appecr to have beom reeognised immediately “He used”, so writes an old schuolfellaw to Mz. Sesha Aiyar, “to borrow Gurr’s Semepsis of Pure Mathematics from the College Ii and delight in verifying some of the formule given there.... THe used to entertain his frieade with his thoorems and formal, even in those onrly dnys. . . - ‘He bad en extraordinary memory and could easily repeat the complete lists of Sanscrit roots (atmanepada and parasmepada) ; he could give the yuluca of 4/2, 7, ¢ ... to any number of decimal plases. Tn manners, he was simplicity itself. . He passed his matriculation examination to the Government College ‘at Kumbakonam in 1904; snd secured the “Junior Subraniam Scholar- ship". Owing to woakuoss in English, he failed in bis noxt examination nd lost his seholarship ; and left Kumbskonam, first for Vimgopatam and ‘then for Madras. Here he presented himeel! for the “First Examination in Arta” in December 1906, but failed and never tried again. For the next few years be continued his independent work in mathernatics, “ jotting down bis results in two good-sized notebooks”: I have one of those noe ‘Sanevasi RAWARUSAN, xii’ books in my possession still. In 1909 he married, and it became necessary for him to Gad some permanent employment. I quote Mc, Seshu Aiyar: + ‘16 this end, ‘Re wont to Titucoilur, a small sub-division tovm in South Arcot Distlict. Louse Mt, Rasa Abja, the founder of the Tadian Matheratioa. Sosiety, bat Mev! ‘ipae sing hia wondortl gts, persuaded his. to go to Madion Th moa then alot some + four yon ikerval tad Mr, Hariacnjon ma cue at Madea, wish hls two well-ioed. 34 books ferred to above, Tera? Ramanajin ith a note of recommendation io tbat tre see of Mattoratice, Dewan Bahadne ®. Ratachinérs as, who wae then Disirist Collar st Nellans « spall town soe (ghty Sales north of Medrar, Mc- Hao so hia beo¥ to tl sayings wae ome tomake on favllcrual gla Uw Rausenujan tot st @ moti! sade like Nollore, and recommended his stay at Madras, generously undertaking to pay Mr. Ramanujan's expenses for s time. This was in December 1910, Aftern while, othor attempts to obtain for him s scholarship having fsiled, ond Ramenujan himself being unwilling 0 ben bexdan am anybody for any langeh of me, bu dacded to fake up small sppolatment ender he Madens Bors Tran in 1071. Bat be never ssclenod hin work at Mathemtice, Hie ensiatepatrbction to the Jourval ofthe indian Mathematical Gosely wea in Abe for ol gustioas cuznanicled by ime fo Vol, 1 QUIN), its art long telco on “Sene Properties of Betnoali’s Nembert” ‘am poblishd inthe December namberof the same volume Bi. Ramanajaa"s mothe were atere ed wil ne ea rcpmiedine a Tanking fa apenas Sad pulse, tind Celinary ender, sasccaslomed to suc lnlellelial gymmition could hnsdly fallow bm, This purieular trio was retard zoe than oaee bythe Bdlior before lt tooe «och mil sbie fee publication, Ti wat during this pered that he came ta me one day wih etme toram on Prine Numbers, and when T refered him to Hardy's Tract on Order of Iity trcbservod that Hardy bad tid on p OG of Hin hack “iin sxmca order o€ pf) [aelued the equatios “i (a) = wd | £ wharo r (2) denotes the numter cf primes less ee 2), huss uot yet been determined ', snk shat he himsel€ hed discovered s result which gave the order of (2). On this T suggested unt he might communicate his vesalt to Mir. Hardy, together with some moze of his results, This passage brings mo to the beginning of my own acquaintance with Ramanujan. But hefore [ say anything nbont the letters whieh I received trom him, und which resulted ultimstely in bis journey to England, I mast add a little more about lis Indian career. Dr. G.T. Walker, PRS, Head of the Meteorological Department, and formerly Fellow snd Mathe- iatical Lecturer of Trinity College, Cambridge, visited Madras for some ‘ollieial puxpose some time in 1919; and Sir Francia Spring, K.O.LE., tha Chairman of the Madms Port Authocisy, called bis attention to Ramanajan’s work. Dr. Walker wae fur too good s mathematician aot to recognise its quality, little aa it had in commen with hisown. He brought Ramanujan’s case to the notice of the Government and the University of Madras, A rexearch sbudontship, “ Ro, 75 par ntenaom for o poried of two yeara”, was awarded him; and heteenme, and remained for the rest of his life, a pro- fessional mathematician. ‘ Ouzvane NoricKs T + Ramanujan wrote to me first on Januney 16th, 1918, and at fairly vegular intervals until ho sailed for England in 1914. I do not bolieve ‘that his letters were entirely his own. Tis knowledge of English, at that stage of his life, could senresly hve boon suliciont, and thoro is am occasional phrase which is burly characteristic. Indeed I seem to re- member his telling me thet his friends had given him some assistance. However, it was the mathematies that mattered, amd that was very emphatically his. Madras, 16th January 1918 “Dear Sir I beg to introduse myself to you as a clerk in the Asconnts Department of the Porl Trust Office ab Madras on a salary of only £20 per annum. I um new abous 28 yeara of age. I have had no university edueation bat 1 have undergone the ordinary echoo! courso. After leaving school 1 have been employing the spare time at my dispose) to work at Mathematics. T have not trodden through the conventional tegular course which is followed in # university course, but I am striking out a uew path for mysel J buve made 4 special investigation of diver- gent series in general and the results I get are termed by the local mathe- maticians as ‘startling ' Just as in elementary mathematics you give u meaning to a" when » is negative and Fractional to eontorm to the law which holds when nis & positive integer, similarly the whole of my investigations proceed on giving a meaning to Fulerian Second Integral for all values of n, My frionds who have gone through the regular coarse of university education ‘ell ine that [srtetas T(n) is true only when x is positive. ‘They say that this intogral relation is not true when x is negative. Supposing this is true only tor positive values of n and also supposing the definition al) =I+) to be universally tru, I heve given meanings to these jintegrals and under the conditions I'state the intagral is trne for all valuos ‘of w negative and fractional. My whole investigntions are based upon this cond I havo boon doveloping this to a remarkable extent so much so that the local mathematicians are not able to understand me in my bighor fights. ~ Very revontly.I came cross tract published by yon styled Orders of Infinity in paga 86 of which 1 find a statomont that no definite ex- pression bas been as yet found for the no of prime nos less than any