Celebrating the life and times of the man who knew infinity

A peek inside the Ramanujan Museum, which houses intriguing artefacts and memorabilia from the life of one of the world's most renowned mathematicians.

Madras week has not only been a celebration of heritage but also of the people who made the city. Over the years, many who called the city home have achieved remarkable feats in various fields to put Madras on the global map. One among  them is the mathematical genius, Srinivasa Ramanujan – The Man Who Knew Infinity. A walk through the Ramanujan Museum was organised this Madras Week by Rajith Nair a travel curator who regularly organizes heritage and cultural trips in Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Pondicherry.

The walk was a celebration of the life and times of Ramanujan, who rose to great heights from humble beginnings.  He made great contributions to analytical theory of numbers, infinite series and continued fractions, including solutions to mathematical problems which were considered unsolvable.

To honour his genius, the Ramanujan Museum was established on 1993 in Chennai by Mr. P.K. Srinivasan a maths educator who spent almost 25 years collecting resources and artefacts which were part of Ramanujan’s life. The museum was accommodated in the premises of the Avvai Cultural Academy, Royapuram, Chennai by Mr. A. T. Bose who  currently heads it along with its director Ms. Meena Suresh.

Three volumes of Ramanujan’s work can be found in the museum. Pic: casualwalker.com

This museum treasures the pictures, letters and documents belonging to one of the greatest mathematician of the 20th century. We can find the exhibits of numerous Ramanujan memorabilia, including photographs of his home and family including his mother Komalattammal and wife wife Janaki, the awards he received during his school days and later at Pachaiyappa’ college, pictures from his days at Trinity College – Cambridge, three volumes of his notebooks containing various mathematical models, formulas and theorems, postal stamps  commemorating his 75th Birth Anniversary, his correspondence with friends, relatives, and colleagues, his passport, handwritten job application for the post of clerk at Madras Port Trust,  mathematician Hardy’s replies to Ramanujan’s letters sent to him in early 1913 and even his horoscope.

Artefacts include pictures from Ramanujan’s time in Cambridge. Pic: casualwalker.com

 

Correspondence with friends and family can also be found in the museum. Pic: casualwalker.com

 

Ramanujan’s handwritten application for a position in the port trust is part of the collection. Pic: casualwalker.com

Apart from regular display and tours, the  Museum organizes annual lecture by an eminent mathematicians to commemorate Ramanujan’s birthday on December 22. The Centre also has programmes to foster an interest in mathematics among children.

The walk through of the Ramanujan Museum was a highly inspirational and eye-opening. It was an excellent opportunity  to learn about the life and works of one of the geniuses of our time who we share the city with. It is sure to ignite curiosity among young minds who see the journey of his life.

The museum is currently in need of financial support to continue their great work in memorialising S Ramanujan by expanding to a venue with a larger display area.

Address: Ramanujan Museum & Math Education Centre,15/9, Somu Chetty, 4th Lane, Royapuram, Chennai, Tamil Nadu 600013

Hours: 10 AM to 7.30 PM (All working days)

Contact – Phone number: 9444909262 / email: Ramanujanmuseum@yahoo.com.

[The article first appeared in the author’s blog, Casualwalker.com, and has been republished here with permission.]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Similar Story

Bardhaman town’s tourism potential: Why it must be developed

West Bengal's Bardhaman town has immense tourism potential. Its development must prioritise sustainable tourism and civic development.

Bardhaman town, renowned for its Bengali sweets like mihidana and sitabhog, is also famous for its rich tapestry of folk culture and heritage sites. The town has immense potential for tourism. But the question arises, how much of it has been explored?   This article aims to shed light on Bardhaman's historical sites, the initiatives to promote tourism while addressing the civic issues hindering its progress, and highlight the need to balance tourism with sustainable development.  Heritage sites of Bardhaman Sher Afghan’s tomb  Located beside Pir Beharam, close to Rajbati, lies the  tomb of Sher Afghan, the resting place of the last…

Similar Story

Nam Kudiyiruppu Nam Poruppu: Is the scheme doing more harm than good in Chennai?

RWA members within the community, chosen to implement the scheme in resettlement sites in Chennai, feel alienated from other residents.

In December 2021, the Tamil Nadu government introduced the Nam Kudiyiruppu Nam Poruppu scheme for residents living in low-income, government housing and resettlement sites managed by the Tamil Nadu Urban Habitat Development Board (TNUHDB). In this scheme, residents form associations to oversee the maintenance of these sites, with the intention of transferring ownership of their living spaces back to them. This move is significant, especially for the resettlement sites, considering the minimal consultation and abrupt evictions relocated families have faced during the process. What the scheme entails The scheme also aims to improve the quality of living in these sites.…