The Man Who Knew Infinity: A Life of the Genius, Ramanujan Test | Final Test - Easy

Robert Kanigel
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This test consists of 15 multiple choice questions and 5 short answer questions.

Multiple Choice Questions

1. What was Euler's contribution to understanding partitions?
(a) A functional approximation.
(b) A theorem about series.
(c) Notes on the performance of nested square roots.
(d) An algorithm, but without values.

2. Who met Ramanujan in England?
(a) Hardy.
(b) Euler.
(c) John Littlewood.
(d) Neville.

3. When did Ramanujan write to Hardy?
(a) 1909.
(b) 1920.
(c) 1913.
(d) 1916.

4. What were Ramanujan and Hardy looking for in their work on partitions?
(a) A point at which partitions broke down for prime numbers.
(b) A way to define the number of partitions precisely.
(c) A way to bridge partitions.
(d) A theorem that demonstrated how partitions operate in series.

5. How does Kanigel describe Ramanujan when he returned to India?
(a) Spirited.
(b) Sullen.
(c) Devout.
(d) Friendly.

6. In his letter to Hardy, what was the importance of the thing Ramanujan claimed to have discovered?
(a) It was just being discovered simultaneously at other math departments.
(b) It had been a mystery for years.
(c) No one under thirty had even tried it.
(d) It was already common knowledge.

7. What did Ramanujan and Hardy develop for working with partitions?
(a) The circle method.
(b) A refinement of Euler's suggestion.
(c) A precise method for determining partitions for prime numbers.
(d) Nested square roots.

8. Based on his letter, what was Hardy trying to determine about Ramanujan?
(a) How he had devised his theories.
(b) Who his teachers had been.
(c) Where he was from.
(d) Whether he was a crank.

9. How did Ramanujan respond to Hardy's request for proofs?
(a) He sent them immediately.
(b) He said he could not produce them.
(c) He would send them if Hardy would help him financially.
(d) He dragged his feet about sending them.

10. What did Ramanujan discover when his friend Mahalanobis read a puzzle from the paper?
(a) A proof to all problems like that puzzle.
(b) The constant that resolves series to prime numbers.
(c) The mystical nature of numbers.
(d) The value of pi.

11. What aspect of the English does Kanigel say affected Ramanujan?
(a) Nationalism.
(b) Affected coldness.
(c) Intellectual rigor.
(d) Chauvinism.

12. What did Ramanujan petition Cambridge for?
(a) The right to return.
(b) Publication.
(c) An assistant.
(d) A stipend.

13. Who was Leonard Euler?
(a) Hardy's protégé.
(b) A brilliant mathematician to whom Hardy compared Ramanujan.
(c) Ramanujan's tutor.
(d) A teacher at Cambridge.

14. When do mathematicians believe Ramanujan did his best work?
(a) Before he left for England.
(b) During his illness.
(c) On the ship back to India.
(d) At Cambridge.

15. How do people account for Ramanujan's self-assessment?
(a) Ramanujan's arrogance.
(b) Ramanujan's naïveté.
(c) Overwork.
(d) Hardy's coldness.

Short Answer Questions

1. What was the doctor's prescription for Ramanujan's condition?

2. Who was Neville?

3. How does Kanigel describe John Littlewood?

4. How much of Ramanujan's work did Hardy believe was sound and original?

5. How does Kanigel characterize Ramanujan's theorems and formulas?

(see the answer keys)

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