The life history of the late Srinivasa Ramanujam probably appeals to most of us more as a symbol of our
community who made his mark internationally than anything else. 'Higher Maths' is unlikely to be most
peoples' preferred cup of tea.
Ramanujam went to England, and Cambridge in 1914, in times when 'crossing the waters' carried a stigma
and could result in ostracization from our rigidly orthodox community on return.
"Ramanujan's first Indian biographers describe him as rigorously orthodox Hardy remarked on Ramanujan's
strict observance of vegetarianism" This brief extract is from <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Srinivasa_Ramanujan>
where those interested can refer for a more detailed account
But the anecdote perhaps most widely associated with Ramanujam is of the famous mathematician's Hardy visit when
he was very seriously ill in hospital It is given in brief below, and a detailed account can be read at the link below..
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
1729 is the natural number following 1728 and preceding 1730. 1729 is known as the Hardy–Ramanujan number after a famous anecdote of the British mathematician G. H. Hardy regarding a visit to the hospital to see the Indian mathematician Srinivasa Ramanujan. In Hardy's words:
"I remember once going to see him when he was ill at Putney. I had ridden in taxi cab number 1729 and remarked that the number seemed to me rather a dull one, and that I hoped it was not an unfavorable omen. "No," he replied, "it is a very interesting number; it is the smallest number expressible as the sum of two cubes in two different ways."
The two different ways are these:
1729 = 13 + 123 = 93 + 103