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The Man Who Knew Infinity: A Life of the Genius Ramanujan

Robert Kanigel

8 Reviews

Rated 0

Prose: non-fiction, Popular science

* 'One of the finest, best-documented biographies ever published about a modern mathematician' - Martin Gardner

In 1913, a young unschooled Indian clerk wrote a letter to G H Hardy, begging the pre-eminent English mathematician's opinion on several ideas he had about numbers. Realising the letter was the work of a genius, Hardy arranged for Srinivasa Ramanujan to come to England. Thus began one of the most improbable and productive collaborations ever chronicled.

With a passion for rich and evocative detail, Robert Kanigel takes us from the temples and slums of Madras to the courts and chapels of Cambridge University, where the devout Hindu Ramanujan, 'the Prince of Intuition,' tested his brilliant theories alongside the sophisticated and eccentric Hardy, 'the Apostle of Proof'. In time, Ramanujan's creative intensity took its toll: he died at the age of thirty-two and left behind a magical and inspired legacy that is still being plumbed for its secrets today.

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Praise for The Man Who Knew Infinity: A Life of the Genius Ramanujan

  • 'An exquisite portrait the rarest of literary achievements Ramanujan's tale is the stuff of fable' LOS ANGELES TIMES

  • 'an exciting and thoughtful book should catch the imagination of any reader- even the reader with little mathematical background.' INDEPENDENT

  • 'This is a fine example of a work of popularising mathematics, and deserves a wide readership.' NEW SCIENTIST

  • 'Enthralling one of the best scientific biographies I've ever seen.' John Gribbin

  • 'A vivid study of cultural contrasts.' OBSERVER

  • 'A remarkable story moving.' INDEPENDENT NEWSPAPERS IRELAND

  • 'Robert Kanigel recounts as extraordinary a personal history as one could ever hope to encounter.' TES

  • 'Poignant and Absorbing.' IRISH INDEPENDENT

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