Posts Tagged 'Maths'

Srinivasa Ramanujam’s house.

I had been to Kumbakonam last week and I was there at Srinivasa Ramanujam’s house which is located at Sarangapani kovil street. It’s unfortunate that one is not allowed to take photographs inside the house. I request people at Sastra University to allow photography inside the house.

Visualising Equations


x*(x-a^2)*(x+b-a^2)*(x+a^2)*(x+b+a^2)+y^2-z^2  = 0  for (a = 0, b = 0.36)


(x^2+y^2+z^2-(0.5+2*a)^2)^2-(3.0*((0.5+2*a)^2)-1.0)/(3.0-((0.5+2*a)^2))*(1-z-sqrt(2)*x)*(1-z+sqrt(2)*x)*(1+z+sqrt(2)*y)*(1+z-sqrt(2)*y) = 0  for (a = 0.43)


x^3+y^3+z^3+1-0.5*a*(x+y+z+1)^3  = 0 for (a = 1)


x*y*z = 0


(x^2+9/4*y^2+z^2-1)^3-x^2*z^3-9/80*y^2*z^3 = 0


x^2/(a+0.05)^2+y^2/(b+0.05)^2-z^2-1 = 0 for  (a = 1, b = 1)


x^3+y^3+z^3+1-0.5*a*(x+y+z+1)^3 = 0  for (a = 1)

All the above graphs were generated using Surfer software. It ire real fun to play with it and vizualize the equations.

Anecdotes of Mathematicians

Paul Erdos was once told that a friend of his had shot and killed his wife. Without blinking an eye, Erdos said, “Well, she was probably interrupting him when he was trying to prove a theorem”

Topologist Bob McDowell of Washington university has a theory that cancer causes smoking.

One day Jacob Bronowski phoned up John von Neumann in the middle of the night to admit that von Neumann had been correct the day before in some discussions they had been having. The great von Neumann’s grumpy reply was, “Call me only when I am wrong.”

A student of Plato once asked the great master, “What practical use do these theorems serve? What is to be gained from them?”

Plato’s answer was immediate and peremptory. He turned to one of his slaves and said,”Give this young man an obol (a small Greek coin) that he may feel that he has gained something from my teachings. Then expel him.”

H.H.Wu of U.C.Berkely tells that on the wall of a New York city subway station was scribble this message: “I have just found a truly marvelous proof of Fermat’s Last theorem. But the train is coming and I don’t have time to write it down”

Ken Rosen is a most successful textbook author. he has penned, for instance the best-selling undergraduate discrete math book and best-selling undergraduate number theory book. One of Ken’s text is used in Kuwait. He received a letter from the Kuwaits protesting a feature of his book.

For, in illustrating ideas of logic, he has the sentences

If 1 + 1 = 3 then God does not exist
If 2 + 2 = 4 the pigs can fly.

The Kuwaitis felt that first sentence was sacrilegious and second affiliated the unclean pig with God.

(Extracts form wonderful book by Steven G. Krantz, Apocrypha Redux)

Long time I had posted one more post on Paul Erdos here. Extract from the same.

The Riemann Hypothesis is one of the problem of the millennium that is yet to be cracked.

Paul Erdos once said all babies (he used to call them epsilons, because babies are really small!) remeber the solution for Riemann Hypothesis. The only problem though is that they tend to forget everything once they reach the age of six month.

Recently SirSivan turned six month and I was lamenting to my wife that, SriSivan would have forgotten the precious solution for Riemann Hypothesis but I wish to believe that he is an exception and indeed he still remembers the solution for Riemann hypothesis.




Beauty depends on size as well as symmetry. – Aristotle

Honestly, I do not know relation between beauty and maths, thankfully that doesn’t stop me  from appreciating it. Macro shot taken with Nikon S10. Diptych to give two different perspective. The background is Thailand’s Grand Palace

Ramaujan’s Letter to Hardy


Madras 16th January 1913

Dear Sir

I beg to introduce myself to you as a clerk in the Accounts Department of the Port Trust Office at Madras on a salary of £ 20 per annum. I am no about 23 years of age. I have had no university education but I have undergone the ordinary school. I have been employing the spare time at my disposal to work at Mathematics. I have not toddle through the conventional regular course, but I am striking out a new path for my self. I have made a special investigation of divergent series in general and the results I get are termed by the local mathematicians as “Startling”

I would request you to go through the enclosed papers. Being poor, if you are convinced that there is anything of value I would like to have my theorems to be published. I have not given te actual investigation nor expressions that I get but I have indicated the lines on which I proceed.

Being inexperienced I would very highly value any advice you give me. Requesting to be excused for the trouble I give you.

I remain
Dear Sir
Your truly

Hardy’s reply

Dear Sir

I was exceedingly interested by your letter and by theorems…

Your will how ever understand that before I can judge properly the value of what you have done, it is essential that I should see proofs of some of your assertions.


I want particularly to see your proofs of your assertions have. You will understand that, in this theorym everything depends on rigorous exactation of proof..

G.H Hardy

Math phobia


People have math phobia because they have to comprehend theorem like the one below.

Banach-Tarsko Theorem Paradox

A solid ball may be separated into a finite number of pieces and reassembled in such a way as to create two solid balls, each identical in shape and volume to the original.

Now, think of having spherical currency in circulation. That would be Sweet!

Humor in Science


One night Georges Cuvier was visited by the devil. One of his students dressed up with horns on his head and shoes shaped like cloven hooves. This frightening apparation burst into Cuvier’s bedroom when he was fast asleep and claimed:

“Wake up thou man of catastrophes. I am the devil. I have come to devour you!”

Cuvier studied the apparation carefully and critically said, “I doubt whether you can. You have horns and hooves. You eat only plants.”

I don’t like electrons; they’ve always had a negative influence on society. (Chris Lipe)

Most prime numbers are even. Proof: pick up any math text and look for a prime number. The first one you find will probably be even.1

“The number you have dialed is imaginary.
Please rotate your phone 90 degrees and try again.”

Man did not originate not from monkey, but from two monkeys…



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