Quotes – Ramanujan

Source: WikiQuote, date indeterminate

Paul Erdős has passed on to us Hardy‘s personal ratings of mathematicians. Suppose that we rate mathematicians on the basis of pure talent on a scale from 0 to 100, Hardy gave himself a score of 25, Littlewood 30, Hilbert 80 and Ramanujan 100.

  • Bruce C. Berndt in Ramanujan’s Notebooks : Part I (1994), “Introduction”, p. 14

The formulae (1.10) – (1.13) are on a different level and obviously both difficult and deep… (1.10) – (1.12) defeated me completely; I had never seen anything in the least like them before. A single look at them is enough to show that they could only be written by a mathematician of the highest class. They must be true because, if they were not true, no one would have the imagination to invent them.

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, like Riemann before him.

  • Michio Kaku, Hyperspace : A Scientific Odyssey Through Parallel Universes, Time Warps, and the Tenth Dimension (1995), p. 172

The great advances in mathematics have not been made by logic but by creative imagination. The title of mathematician can scarcely be denied to Ramanajan who hardly gave any proofs of the many theorems which he enumerated.


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