The Man Who Knew Infinity: A Life of the Genius, Ramanujan Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

Robert Kanigel
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This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. Who was Komalatammal?

2. Which god was Ramanujan's family devoted to?

3. How does Kanigel say Ramanujan would solve math problems?

4. How does Kanigel characterize Ramanujan's solutions to the math problems in 'A Synopsis of Elementary Results in Pure and Applied Mathematics'?

5. What did Ramanujan use as evidence of his credentials in interviews?

Short Essay Questions

1. How did Ramanujan's temperament reveal itself when he was a child?

2. Who were the Apostles?

3. What work did Ramanujan eventually find?

4. What problems in Ramanujan's thinking came from his use of 'A Synopsis of Elementary Results in Pure and Applied Mathematics'?

5. What happened after Ramanujan left Pachaiyappas College?

6. What does 'A Synopsis of Elementary Results in Pure and Applied Mathematics' consist of?

7. What happened after Ramanujan left Kumbakonam's Government College?

8. How did Hardy explain the value of math to his family?

9. What practices did Ramanujan follow as a result of his religion?

10. Describe the difference between English mathematics and Continental mathematics.

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

What did Ramanujan use math for? What problems did he solve with it? Were they abstract mathematical problems, or life problems? How did math solve Ramanujan's life problems? Where did it fail to?

Essay Topic 2

What problems did Ramanujan have because of his schooling, and how did he overcome them? (i.e. what techniques did he use, and how successful was he?)

Essay Topic 3

Compare and contrast Ramanujan's life and Hardy's. How are they similar? How are they different? What did they offer each other? Was Ramanujan truly Hardy's greatest accomplishment? Does that make Ramanujan's depression, suicide attempt and death Hardy's greatest failure?

(see the answer keys)

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