Srinivasa Ramanujan Iyengar (Tamil: ஸ்ரீனிவாச ராமானுஜன்) (December 22, 1887 – April 26, 1920) was an Indian mathematician who is considered to be amongst the most talented mathematicians in recent history. With almost no formal training in pure mathematics, Ramanujan made substantial contributions in the areas of analysis, number theory, infinite series and continued fractions.
Ramanujan, born and raised in Erode, Tamil Nadu, India, first encountered formal mathematics at age ten. He demonstrated a natural ability at math, and he was given books on advanced trigonometry by S. L. Loney. He mastered the book by age thirteen, and he even discovered his own theorems. He demonstrated his true genius at school, winning accolades and awards from his school. By the age of seventeen, Ramanujan was conducting his own mathematical research on Bernoulli numbers and the Euler–Mascheroni constant. He received a scholarship to study at Government College in Kumbakonam. He failed his non-mathematical coursework, and lost his scholarship. He then joined another college to pursue independent mathematical research. In 1909, he married a nine-year old bride, Janaki Ammal, as per his parents' wishes. To make a living, he worked as a clerk in the accountant general's office at the Madras Port Trust Office. In 1912-1913, Ramanujan sent samples of his theorems to three academics at University of Cambridge. Only G. H. Hardy recognized his brilliant work, and he asked Ramanujan to study under him at Cambridge.
Ramanujan compiled over 3500 results (mostly identities or equations) during his short lifetime. Although a small number of these results were actually false and some were already known to other mathematicians, most of his results have now been proven to be correct. He stated results that were both original and highly unconventional, and these have inspired a vast amount of further research. However, some of his major discoveries have been rather slow to enter the mathematical mainstream. Recently, Ramanujan's formulae have found applications in the field of crystallography and in string theory. The Ramanujan Journal, an international publication, was launched to publish work in all the areas of mathematics that were influenced by Ramanujan.