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:28 July 2016


Last night I watched the movie "The man who knew infinity," a biopic of the Indian math genius Ramanujan. I enjoyed the movie and felt that it was a much better movie compared to "The imitation game," about the life of another great mathematician Alan Turing. Some dramatic license was taken to make the movie, but that's to be expected. Interestingly, I found out that Ken Ono was involved in the making of the movie. He is a well-known number theorist at Emory University (in Atlanta) and I happened to attend one of his talks in 2011. Ono and his student put out a paper on arXiv recently called "The 1729 K3 Surface," where they revisit the famous "taxi-cab" number. After studying Ramanujan's writings first-hand, they found that he was thinking about K3 surfaces several decades before the concept was even coined by the leading mathematicians. This adds yet another chapter to the list of spectacular recent discoveries involving Ramanujan's notebook. K3 surfaces is an exceedingly difficult mountain to climb and an important next frontier in mathematics. That Ramanujan gave remarkable examples illustrating some of their features in 1919 simply blows my mind.

Last modified 26 October 2016 at 3:23 pm by svattam