27 May 2008

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

I have wanted to read a book on Ramanujan ever since I heard the basic details of his life story. This book is everything I could have asked for. A complete account of the man's life, as well as everything else one might want to know about the times and places he lived. By this I mean, the book details the lives of those closest to Ramanujan as well as the culture in India and England at the time. It is written for the mathematically unsophisticated and is thus accessible to everyone. Even the layman can appreciate the amazing formulas that are presented and explained very well by the author.

I highly recommend this book to everyone. It gives insight into the workings of professional mathematicians which is something that I think non-mathematicians should be informed of. Further, to the mathematically oriented, this book gives insight into one of the most original and brilliant minds of the 20th century and possibly ever. Furthermore, this book is a wealth of information on the cultural aspects that affect academic achievement from the mid-19th century through to the present.

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