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When Srinivasa Ramanujan (1887–1920) died at the age of 32, he left behind three notebooks full of formulas. During his short lifetime, he published 30 papers in combinatorics, number theory, and special functions.

A century later, we are still mining the depths of these works. His discoveries have driven—and continue to drive—groundbreaking work.

Recently, CalTech electrical engineer P. P. Vaidyanathan used Ramanujan’s sums in graph signal processing, a theory that helps power the internet and cell phones.

His legacy is all the more remarkable considering the circumstances in which he grew up. Born to a poor family in India, he was mostly self-taught in mathematics. While working as a clerk for 30 rupees a month, he wrote to G. H. Hardy, a superstar mathematician at the University of Cambridge. Hardy was so astonished by Ramanujan’s theories that he invited him to Cambridge to study and collaborate.

Ramanujan fought against the odds because of his poverty, location, and lack of formal education. Yet with his genius, his dreams, and the support of the mathematical community, he defied those odds. After his talent was discovered, he transformed the future of the field.

With this initiative, we’re providing similar opportunities for today’s “Ramanujans.”

A century later, we are still mining the depths of these works. His discoveries have driven—and continue to drive—groundbreaking work.

Recently, CalTech electrical engineer P. P. Vaidyanathan used Ramanujan’s sums in graph signal processing, a theory that helps power the internet and cell phones.

His legacy is all the more remarkable considering the circumstances in which he grew up. Born to a poor family in India, he was mostly self-taught in mathematics. While working as a clerk for 30 rupees a month, he wrote to G. H. Hardy, a superstar mathematician at the University of Cambridge. Hardy was so astonished by Ramanujan’s theories that he invited him to Cambridge to study and collaborate.

Ramanujan fought against the odds because of his poverty, location, and lack of formal education. Yet with his genius, his dreams, and the support of the mathematical community, he defied those odds. After his talent was discovered, he transformed the future of the field.

With this initiative, we’re providing similar opportunities for today’s “Ramanujans.”