Every December 22nd is observed as Mathematics Day — a holiday that not only celebrates mathematics in general but also celebrates the birthday of famed mathematician Srinivasa Ramanujan.
This mathematician is regarded as a genius and his works influenced people all over India and all over the world. While this holiday is observed widely within various mathematical disciplines, it can also be observed by people who only have a passing interest in mathematics.
And, of course, it can be observed by people who are thinking about pursuing a career in mathematics. Regardless of the reason why this day is celebrated, it’s a good day to have on the calendar to celebrate the importance of mathematics in all of our daily lives.
The History Of Mathematics Day
Srinivasa Ramanujan was born on December 22nd, 1887 in Erode Tamil Nadu. He showed an early interest and proficiency in mathematics, despite his lack of formal education. By the time he was 12 years old, he was excelling at trigonometry and had even developed some theorems.
In 1904, he finished secondary school and became eligible for a scholarship to the Government Arts College in Kumbakonam, but he couldn’t get the scholarship due to the fact that he didn’t excel in other subjects.
He ran away from home at 14, and enrolled at Pachaiyappa’s College in Madras, but couldn’t do as well in other subjects as he did in mathematics, so he failed to get his degree.
Ramanujan would live in abject poverty until the founder of the Indian Mathematical Society, Ramaswamy Iyer, helped him get a clerk position at the Madras Port Trust. After sending his work to British mathematicians, Ramanujan was called to London by GH Hardy of Cambridge in 1913.
The following year he went to London. In 1917 he became a member of the London Mathematical Society and the following year, was a Fellow of the Royal Society. In 1919, Ramanujan returned to India because he couldn’t adjust to the British diet. His health began to deteriorate and by 1920 he died. He was only 32 years old.
In 2011, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh created National Mathematics Day in India. The holiday was observed every year in India, but thanks to the mathematics community, soon spread beyond India’s borders. Now it’s not merely an Indian holiday but an international one that celebrates the life of Ramanujan and mathematics as a whole.
Observing Mathematics Day
It’s simple enough to celebrate this holiday. Either a person can celebrate the birthday of Srinivasa Ramanujan, the history of mathematics, or more likely, both of these things at the same time.
People can also spread the word about this holiday online using the hashtag #MathematicsDay online. This is a holiday to celebrate mathematics in all of its forms, as well as the achievements of Ramanujan.