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7:30 pm, Wednesday, November 8th, 2017
Fairmont Lounge, St. John's College
2111 Lower Mall, UBC

 

Why does Ramanujan,"The Man Who Knew Infinity",’’ matter?

Ken Ono

Emory University

Srinivasa Ramanujan (1887-1920), one of the most inspirational figures in the history of mathematics, was a poor Brahmin from lush south India who left behind three shabby notebooks that engineers, mathematicians and physicists continue to mine today. His ideas came to him as visions from a Hindu goddess. As a two-time college dropout, he could have easily been lost to the world, a thought that scientists cannot begin to absorb. I will present some of the studies of Ramanujan that are most accessible to the general public, and share several clips from the film "The Man Who Knew Infinity" (starring Dev Patel and Jeremy Irons) about Ramanujan. I will also explain why Ramanujan matters today, in terms of the “Idea of Ramanujan”: talent is often found in the most unpromising circumstances. It must be located and then nurtured.

To learn more please visit his webpage.

Note that Prof Ono was also an Associate Producer of the film "The Man Who Knew Infinity"; further information about the film can be found at its wikipedia webpage.

Additional resources for this talk will be available after the talk.