Birthday of the man who popularised the number 1729.Today is the day on which a wizard of Mathematics was born. It is none other than Sreenivasa Ramanujan. It was on the 22nd of December 1887. He was born in a very poor family at Erode in Tamil Nadu. He, with much difficulty completed his school education. Owing to his interest in Mathematics, he did not show much interest in other topics. Hence he could not proceed further in higher studies. However, his interest in Mathematics led him to the high levels in Mathematics. Through certain contacts he sent a bundle of papers to a well known Mathematician, Prof. Hardy. He, having gone through the works of Ramanujan arranged to bring him to England.
Ramanujan, with the support of Hardy, worked on several problems, mainly related to Number theory, Infinite series and Mathematical analysis. His works, finally, attracted the greatest honour for any Scientist, FRS. Thus a man even without a degree in the subject became an FRS, the highest honour for a Scientist.
However he became bedridden due to the attack of TB. His mentor Hardy visited him in his hospital. Mr Hardy came in a hired cab. He casually said that the Registration or number of the car was a useless one. Ramanujan got interested in it asked what was the number. Hardy answered it was 1729. Immediately Ramanujan reacted that it was a special number. 1729 is the smallest number which can be expressed as the sum of two cubes in two different ways. Hardy was astonished by seeing the quickness of Ramanujan's reaction. This number 1729 is known later as Ramanujan number. It is on 22nd December he was born. India is celebrating this day every year as the day of Mathematics.