The most significant turn came two years later when one of his senior friends showed him Synopsis of Elementary Results in Pure Applied Mathematics by George Shoobridge Carr. For a boy of 15 the title itself must be frightening, but Ramanujan was delighted. He took the book home and began to work on the problems given in it. This book triggered the mathematical genius in him.
Mathematical ideas began to come in such a flood to his mind that he was not able to write all of them down. He used to do problems on loose sheets of paper or on a slate and jot the results down in notebooks. Before he went abroad he had filled three notebooks, which later became famous as Ramanujan’s Frayed Notebooks.
At the age of \(13\), Ramanujan had cracked the difficult problems of trigonometry. No child of his age could even dream of doing the same. But his passion for Mathematics drove him to explore new areas in the subject. After two years, one of his senior friends introduced him to one of the best books for basic Mathematics, Synopsis of Elementary Results in Pure Applied Mathematics by a famous British Mathematics George Shoobridge Carr. He includes all kinds of basic solutions to all kinds of problems to help students prepare for degree-level examinations such as the Cambridge Mathematical students.
Ramanujan had in fact started his pursuit for Cambridge at such a tender age. In fact, the book proved as a base level introduction for him, which helped him reach Cambridge in the future. The title itself is a lengthy one that includes conceptual terms. Rather than getting scared by it, he found it as a blessing and it proved as a trigger for the mathematical genius in him. He started working on all the problems and gained bliss out of it. When students of his age gained entertainment out of cartoons and games, Ramanujan considered Maths as his entertainment. He solved the problems like a game.
Ramanujan loved solving Maths
The book gave him new ideas and it started overflowing with solutions and theorems. Since it was brimming in his mind, he was not able to write it all down at once. Instead, he jotted down in pieces of paper or loose sheets of paper that lay around him. Since one cannot always carry a notebook with them, he wrote on slates or anything that was available to him, as he was not ready to forget or let go of the thought. Before he went abroad for his higher studies, he had filled three notebooks of his ideas, which later came to be known as Ramanujan’s Frayed Notebooks. He had rightly named it so, as frayed generally refers to anything that is disarranged, loose or hanging about.
Words with Difficult Meaning:
|Synopsis||A gist or summary|
|Triggered||To make something happen|
|Jot||To write quickly|
|Frayed||Loose, hanging about|
State Council of Educational Research and Training (2019). Term-2 English Standard-9. From Zero to Infinity (pp. 81-93). Published by the Tamil Nadu Textbook and Educational Services Corporation.