The Man Who Knew Infinity by Robert Kanigel
A Life of the Genius Ramanujan

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Synopsis

In 1913, a young unschooled Indian clerk wrote a letter to G H Hardy, begging the preeminent English mathematician's opinion on several ideas he had about numbers. Realizing the letter was the work of a genius, Hardy arranged for Srinivasa Ramanujan to come to England. Thus began one of the most improbable and productive collaborations ever chronicled. With a passion for rich and evocative detail, Robert Kanigel takes us from the temples and slums of Madras to the courts and chapels of Cambridge University, where the devout Hindu Ramanujan, 'the Prince of Intuition,' tested his brilliant theories alongside the sophisticated and eccentric Hardy, 'the Apostle of Proof.' In time, Ramanujan's creative intensity took its toll: he died at the age of thirty-two and left behind a magical and inspired legacy that is still being plumbed for its secrets today.
 

About Robert Kanigel

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ROBERT KANIGEL is the author of six previous books. He has been the recipient of numerous awards, including a Guggenheim Fellowship and the Grady-Stack Award for science writing. His book The Man Who Knew Infinity was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. His work has appeared in numerous publications, including The New York Times Magazine, The New York Times Book Review, Harvard Magazine, and Psychology Today. He has just retired as Professor of Science Writing at MIT in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and now lives in Baltimore.
 
Published May 7, 2013 by Washington Square Press. 464 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Science & Math, History, Travel. Non-fiction

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Kanigel's particular interest in how primitive superstition, India's bureaucratic mindset, English spiritual asceticism and a Western war combined to destroy the miracle of Ramanujan's genius adds deeper dimensions to the already fascinating story of a difficult but astoundingly fruitful cross-cu...

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Publishers Weekly

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This moving and astonishing biography tells the improbable story of India-born Srinavasa Ramanujan Iyengar, self-taught mathematical prodigy.

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