The Man Who Knew Infinity: A Life of the Genius, Ramanujan Test | Final 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. In his letter to Hardy, what was the importance of the thing Ramanujan claimed to have discovered?

2. What was Ramanujan interested in in this value?

3. What does Kanigel say characterized Indian intellectuals' experience at Cambridge?

4. How does Kanigel describe the value of Ramanujan's discovery?

5. How does Kanigel describe Ramanujan as a mathematical thinker?

Short Essay Questions

1. Where did Ramanujan go when he reached England?

2. Describe Ramanujan and Hardy's work on partitions.

3. Describe Ramanujan's trip to England.

4. What did Ramanujan write to Hardy?

5. What is a formalist in mathematical thinking?

6. What problem kept Ramanujan from coming to England, as Hardy hoped he would?

7. What was Ramanujan's response when Hardy asked him for proofs?

8. What accolades did Ramanujan receive for his work?

9. Describe the decline of Ramanujan's health.

10. In what way was Ramanujan's experience of England similar to Ghandi's?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

How English did Ramanujan become after he went to England? How Indian was he when he returned to India?

Essay Topic 2

What kind of mathematical thinker was Ramanujan? What kinds of problems was he attracted to, and how did he deploy his intelligence to solve them? What kinds of problems did he avoid?

Essay Topic 3

Having reached a degree of fame, Ramanujan attempted suicide because he could not solve all the problems around him. Why was Ramanujan incapable of handling this inevitable limitation? Where else in his life were his needs far beyond the realm of what was possible?

(see the answer keys)

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