Chakravarthi Padmanabhan Ramanujam

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Chakravarthi Padmanabhan Ramanujam

Born: 9 January 1938

Died: 27 October 1974

  • He was an Indian mathematician who worked in the fields of number theory and algebraic geometry.
  • He was elected a fellow of the Indian Academy of Sciences in 1973.
  • Like his namesake Srinivasa Ramanujan, he also had a very short life.
  • As David Mumford put it, he felt that the spirit of mathematics demanded of him not merely routine developments but the right theorem on any given topic.
  • He wanted mathematics to be beautiful and to be clear and simple.
  • He was sometimes tormented by the difficulty of these high standards, but in retrospect, it is clear to us how often he succeeded in adding to our knowledge, results both new, beautiful and with a genuinely original stamp”.
  • He was a scribe for Igor Shafarevich’s course of lectures in 1965 on minimal models and birational transformation of two-dimensional schemes.
  • Professor Shafarevich subsequently wrote to say that Ramanujam not only corrected his mistakes but complemented the proofs of many results.
  • The same was the case with Mumford’s lectures on abelian varieties, which were delivered at TIFR around 1967.
  • Mumford wrote in the preface to his book that the notes improved upon his work and that his current work on abelian varieties was a joint effort between him and Ramanujam.
  • A little-known fact is that during this time he started teaching himself German, Italian, Russian and French so that he could study mathematical works in their original form.
  • His personal library contained quite a few non-English mathematical works.

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