Google CEO Sundar Pichai and Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg, among others, have reportedly pledged to form a foundation in the name of legendary Indian mathematician Srinivasa Ramanujan after recently attending a private screening of Hollywood director Matthew Brown’s “The Man Who Knew Infinity”, a biopic on Ramanujam organised by Russian billionaire Yuri Milner.
The movie was released in India on Friday and stares Dev Patel, Jeremy Irons, Devika Bhise, Stephen Fry, Toby Jones and Arundhati Nag. Some of them, who saw the movie, were so deeply moved that have pledged to form a foundation in Ramanujan’s name.
“Sundar Pichai (CEO, Google), Sergey Brin (founder, Google), Mark Zuckerberg (founder, Facebook), Brendan Iribe (CEO of Oculus VR), and some other fifty other ‘1 percenters’ of Silicon Valley were at Yuri Milner’s house in Los Altos. Yuri hosted a very private screening and dinner for the film and they came out with tears,” said the source.
The movie depicts the journey of the Indian legendary mathematician Srinivasa Ramanujan from anonymity in his village in Tamil Nadu to everlasting fame in England.
In the movie, set in 1913, actor Dev Patel essays Ramanujan, a 25-year-old shipping clerk and self-taught genius, who failed out of college due to his near-obsessive, solitary study of mathematics. The movie is based on the 1991 book of the same name by Robert Kanigel. The movie has received praise by mathematicians and scientists for its authentic portrayal of theoretical mathematicians.
Though Srinivasa Ramanujan had almost no formal training in pure mathematics, he made extraordinary contributions to mathematical analysis, number theory, infinite series, and continued fractions. Several of his discoveries were made in isolation. Not only had he rediscovered previously known theorems in addition to producing new ones. He unfortunately passed away at a young age of 32 in 1920. During his short life, Ramanujan independently compiled nearly 3,900 results (mostly identities and equations). Interestingly, the natural number - 1729 is known as Hardy–Ramanujan number after a famous anecdote of the British mathematician and Ramanujan’s collegue G. H. Hardy visited to the hospital to see the legendary Indian mathematician.