Ramanujan's Biography Translated

Published: 23rd December 2013 07:12 AM  |   Last Updated: 23rd December 2013 07:12 AM   |  A+A-

The story of how legendary mathematician Srinivasa Ramanujan was able to get a degree in Cambridge University after failing university exams thrice in India shows the deep flaws in the Indian education system, scientist Roddam Narasimha said.

Speaking on Sunday at the release of the Kannada translation of Robert Kanigel’s The Man Who Knew Infinity, a biography of Ramanujan, the aerospace engineer reflected on how Ramanujan could never get through the Indian education system.

“Ramanujan was a bright student in school. However, he started suffering as he progressed higher. He failed thrice in his university exams in English and other subjects, except mathematics. He failed his last-ever university exam in 1907. However, nine years later, he received a BA degree through research at Cambridge. In 1918, he was elected to the Royal Society. What did the British do to him that we are still unable to do to our students?” Narasimha asked. This is a question from Ramanujan’s life that is unanswered, he said. “The arithmetic of marks has abolished all other forms of judgment,” he added.

Kanigel’s book was translated into Kannada by C S Aravinda, an associate professor at the Centre for Applicable Mathematics at the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR). Titled Anantada Odanaatadalli, Aravinda took about a year to finish the translation. The book is published by the National Book Trust and is priced at `480.

“Ramanujan’s story is still relevant. It tells us that language should never come in the way of mathematical learning,” Aravinda said. When asked for his views on the medium of instruction in schools, he said, “They should learn in Kannada till Class-4. Our children should have a base in their own language to help them learn further.”

Stay up to date on all the latest Bengaluru news with The New Indian Express App. Download now
(Get the news that matters from New Indian Express on WhatsApp. Click this link and hit 'Click to Subscribe'. Follow the instructions after that.)


Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp