SIAM AG on Orthogonal Polynomials and Special Functions


Extract from OP-SF NET

Topic #9  -------------   OP-SF NET 9.1  -------------  January 15, 2002
From: Tom Koornwinder (
Subject: Ramanujan: Essays and Surveys


Ramanujan: Essays and Surveys
Edited by: Bruce C. Berndt, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, IL, and
Robert A. Rankin, University of Glasgow, Scotland


This book contains essays on Ramanujan and his work that were written
especially for this volume. It also includes important survey articles in
areas influenced by Ramanujan's mathematics. Most of the articles in the
book are nontechnical, but even those that are more technical contain
substantial sections that will engage the general reader.

The book opens with the only four existing photographs of Ramanujan,
presenting historical accounts of them and information about other people
in the photos. This section includes an account of a cryptic family history
written by his younger brother, S. Lakshmi Narasimhan. Following are
articles on Ramanujan's illness by R. A.  Rankin, the British physician D.
A. B. Young, and Nobel laureate S. Chandrasekhar. They present a study of
his symptoms, a convincing diagnosis of the cause of his death, and a
thorough exposition of Ramanujan's life as a patient in English sanitariums
and nursing homes.

Following this are biographies of S. Janaki (Mrs. Ramanujan) and S.
Narayana Iyer, Chief Accountant of the Madras Port Trust Office, who first
communicated Ramanujan's work to the Journal of the Indian Mathematical
Society. The last half of the book begins with a section on "Ramanujan's
Manuscripts and Notebooks".  Included is an important article by G. E.
Andrews on Ramanujan's lost notebook.

The final two sections feature both nontechnical articles, such as Jonathan
and Peter Borwein's "Ramanujan and pi", and more technical articles by
Freeman Dyson, Atle Selberg, Richard Askey, and G. N.  Watson.

This volume complements the book Ramanujan: Letters and Commentary, Volume
9, in the AMS series, History of Mathematics. For more on Ramanujan, see
these AMS publications, Ramanujan: Twelve Lectures on Subjects Suggested by
His Life and Work, Volume 136.H, and Collected Papers of Srinivasa
Ramanujan, Volume 159.H, in the AMS Chelsea Publishing series.

Copublished with the London Mathematical Society. Members of the LMS may
order directly from the AMS at the AMS member price. The LMS is registered
with the Charity Commissioners.

     R. A. Rankin -- Commentary (by R. A. R.)

The life of Ramanujan
     The four photographs of Ramanujan
     The books studied by Ramanujan in India
     The influence of Carr's synopsis on Ramanujan
     The notebooks of Srinivasa Ramanujan
     A recently discovered letter giving Ramanujan's examination scores
     On Ramanujan
     The Ramanujan family record

Ramanujan's illness
     Ramanujan as a patient
     Ramanujan's illness
     An incident in the life of S. Ramanujan, F.R.S.: Conversations with G. H.
         Hardy, F.R.S. and J. E. Littlewood, F.R.S. and their sequel

S. Janaki
     S. Janaki Ammal (Mrs. Ramanujan)
     Conversation "I didn't understand his work, but I knew his worth"

S. Narayana Iyer
     A short biography of S. Narayana Iyer
     The distribution of primes
     Some theorems in summation

E. H. Neville
     Srinivasa Ramanujan
     University lectures in Madras

Ramanujan's manuscripts and notebooks
     Ramanujan's manuscripts and notebooks
     Ramanujan's manuscripts and notebooks, II
     An overview of Ramanujan's notebooks
     An introduction to Ramanujan's "lost" notebook

Nontechnical articles on Ramanujan's work
     Ramanujan and pi
     pi related developments since 1988
     Reflections around the Ramanujan centenary
     The problems submitted by Ramanujan to the Journal of the Indian
          Mathematical Society

Somewhat more technical articles on Ramanujan's work
     A walk through Ramanujan's garden
     Ramanujan and hypergeometric and basic hypergeometric series
     The final problem: An account of the mock theta functions

     Publisher: American Mathematical Society, London Mathematical Society
     Distributor: American Mathematical Society
     Series: History of Mathematics, ISSN: 0899-2428
     Volume: 22
     Publication Year: 2001
     ISBN: 0-8218-2624-7
     Paging: 347 pp.
     Binding: Hardcover
     List Price: $79
     Institutional Member Price: $63
     Individual Member Price: $63
     Order Code: HMATH/22

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