4 Oct 2016 Dreams, The Man Who Knew Infinity (2016 film about Srinivasa Aiyangar Ramanujan) and time travel to Germany

Good morning….it’s very early at I start to write to you…4:05 am lol. I woke up at 11:16 pm because I had one of those really vivid flash dreams I mentioned and all I remember about it is this. I was on a computer and all the sudden like one of those pop up instant messages that happens when someone is instant messaging you on Facebook or something, I see a message from “Digital Admin” saying “Hello Jackie” with a smiley emoticon! It was so real that I woke right up lol! Well if someone was trying to contact me in such a way – “Hello back” or “Boo Back” (thinking of Queen of the Damned when Lestat (Stuart Townsend) says that to Jessie).

Yesterday my brother-in-law called to talk to me about a very vivid flash dream he had about a planet made mostly of water that he named Gemini and what he remembered was that it was a planet where everyone could only have twins but because the land mass of this planet was so small, as a means of birth control, it wasn’t allowed….one of the twins always had to die.  He couldn’t get over how much was in the dream in such a short span of time in which he dreamed it.  I told him, from what I’ve figured out, there is no time in the dream realm.  We talked about what “keys” of his conscious world may have unlocked this dream for him and well he’s a Gemini which is the twin sign and he has been studying planets in his college work for example.   A pretty neat dream and it meant a lot he asked for my help to riddle it out!

Anyhew….we are up!

Last night I had the priviledge and the honor of finally getting to see a beautiful film The Man Who Knew Infinity starring Dev Patel as Ramanujan and Jeremy Irons as Professor Hardy (Jeremy again, he was in another recent film I mentioned trying to watch Highrise and this time I saw him all the way through!) I was also delighted to see Shazad Latif again. We enjoyed him as Dr. Henry Jekyll or Lord Hyde in the television series Penny Dreadful.

I love movies like this because it introduced me to another amazing person I’ve never met in our shared history! The part not so easy to love  is I was still smarting from watching Roots earlier in the day, and the issue of race relations was quite evident in this film also.

I so want people to get beyond the “packaging” of what makes a human being! The God of my understanding see’s only behavior….that we are energy forms and capable of doing such amazing things! Some, such as Ramanujan, who seemed to hear the voice of the God of his understanding through numbers and formulas.

Source Internet - Srinivasa Ramanujan

Source Internet – Srinivasa Ramanujan

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0787524/?ref_=nv_sr_1 – IMDB info about the film


Srinivasa Aiyangar Ramanujan

Born: 22 December 1887 in Erode, Tamil Nadu state, India Died: 26 April 1920 in Kumbakonam, Tamil Nadu state, India

Srinivasa Ramanujan was one of India’s greatest mathematical geniuses. He made substantial contributions to the analytical theory of numbers and worked on elliptic functions, continued fractions, and infinite series.

Ramanujan was born in his grandmother’s house in Erode, a small village about 400 km southwest of Madras. When Ramanujan was a year old his mother took him to the town of Kumbakonam, about 160 km nearer Madras. His father worked in Kumbakonam as a clerk in a cloth merchant’s shop. In December 1889 he contracted smallpox.

When he was nearly five years old, Ramanujan entered the primary school in Kumbakonam although he would attend several different primary schools before entering the Town High School in Kumbakonam in January 1898. At the Town High School, Ramanujan was to do well in all his school subjects and showed himself an able all round scholar. In 1900 he began to work on his own on mathematics summing geometric and arithmetic series.

Ramanujan was shown how to solve cubic equations in 1902 and he went on to find his own method to solve the quartic. The following year, not knowing that the quintic could not be solved by radicals, he tried (and of course failed) to solve the quintic.

It was in the Town High School that Ramanujan came across a mathematics book by G S Carr called Synopsis of elementary results in pure mathematics. This book, with its very concise style, allowed Ramanujan to teach himself mathematics, but the style of the book was to have a rather unfortunate effect on the way Ramanujan was later to write down mathematics since it provided the only model that he had of written mathematical arguments. The book contained theorems, formulae and short proofs. It also contained an index to papers on pure mathematics which had been published in the European Journals of Learned Societies during the first half of the 19th century. The book, published in 1856, was of course well out of date by the time Ramanujan used it.

By 1904 Ramanujan had begun to undertake deep research. He investigated the series ∑(1/n) and calculated Euler’s constant to 15 decimal places. He began to study the Bernoulli numbers, although this was entirely his own independent discovery.

Ramanujan, on the strength of his good school work, was given a scholarship to the Government College in Kumbakonam which he entered in 1904. However the following year his scholarship was not renewed because Ramanujan devoted more and more of his time to mathematics and neglected his other subjects. Without money he was soon in difficulties and, without telling his parents, he ran away to the town of Vizagapatnam about 650 km north of Madras. He continued his mathematical work, however, and at this time he worked on hypergeometric series and investigated relations between integrals and series. He was to discover later that he had been studying elliptic functions.

In 1906 Ramanujan went to Madras where he entered Pachaiyappa’s College. His aim was to pass the First Arts examination which would allow him to be admitted to the University of Madras. He attended lectures at Pachaiyappa’s College but became ill after three months study. He took the First Arts examination after having left the course. He passed in mathematics but failed all his other subjects and therefore failed the examination. This meant that he could not enter the University of Madras. In the following years he worked on mathematics developing his own ideas without any help and without any real idea of the then current research topics other than that provided by Carr’s book.

Continuing his mathematical work Ramanujan studied continued fractions and divergent series in 1908. At this stage he became seriously ill again and underwent an operation in April 1909 after which he took him some considerable time to recover. He married on 14 July 1909 when his mother arranged for him to marry a ten year old girl S Janaki Ammal. Ramanujan did not live with his wife, however, until she was twelve years old.

Ramanujan continued to develop his mathematical ideas and began to pose problems and solve problems in the Journal of the Indian Mathematical Society. He devoloped relations between elliptic modular equations in 1910. After publication of a brilliant research paper on Bernoulli numbers in 1911 in the Journal of the Indian Mathematical Society he gained recognition for his work. Despite his lack of a university education, he was becoming well known in the Madras area as a mathematical genius.

In 1911 Ramanujan approached the founder of the Indian Mathematical Society for advice on a job. After this he was appointed to his first job, a temporary post in the Accountant General’s Office in Madras. It was then suggested that he approach Ramachandra Rao who was a Collector at Nellore. Ramachandra Rao was a founder member of the Indian Mathematical Society who had helped start the mathematics library. He writes in [J. Indian Math. Soc. 12 (1920), 87-90.’,’Reference ‘,30)”30]:-

A short uncouth figure, stout, unshaven, not over clean, with one conspicuous feature-shining eyes- walked in with a frayed notebook under his arm. He was miserably poor. … He opened his book and began to explain some of his discoveries. I saw quite at once that there was something out of the way; but my knowledge did not permit me to judge whether he talked sense or nonsense. … I asked him what he wanted. He said he wanted a pittance to live on so that he might pursue his researches.

Ramachandra Rao told him to return to Madras and he tried, unsuccessfully, to arrange a scholarship for Ramanujan. In 1912 Ramanujan applied for the post of clerk in the accounts section of the Madras Port Trust. In his letter of application he wrote [Ramanujan : Letters and commentary (Providence, Rhode Island, 1995).’,’Reference ‘,3)”3]:-

I have passed the Matriculation Examination and studied up to the First Arts but was prevented from pursuing my studies further owing to several untoward circumstances. I have, however, been devoting all my time to Mathematics and developing the subject.

Despite the fact that he had no university education, Ramanujan was clearly well known to the university mathematicians in Madras for, with his letter of application, Ramanujan included a reference from E W Middlemast who was the Professor of Mathematics at The Presidency College in Madras. Middlemast, a graduate of St John’s College, Cambridge, wrote [Ramanujan : Letters and commentary (Providence, Rhode Island, 1995).’,’Reference ‘,3)”3]:-

I can strongly recommend the applicant. He is a young man of quite exceptional capacity in mathematics and especially in work relating to numbers. He has a natural aptitude for computation and is very quick at figure work.

On the strength of the recommendation Ramanujan was appointed to the post of clerk and began his duties on 1 March 1912. Ramanujan was quite lucky to have a number of people working round him with a training in mathematics. In fact the Chief Accountant for the Madras Port Trust, S N Aiyar, was trained as a mathematician and published a paper On the distribution of primes in 1913 on Ramanujan’s work. The professor of civil engineering at the Madras Engineering College C L T Griffith was also interested in Ramanujan’s abilities and, having been educated at University College London, knew the professor of mathematics there, namely M J M Hill. He wrote to Hill on 12 November 1912 sending some of Ramanujan’s work and a copy of his 1911 paper on Bernoulli numbers.

Hill replied in a fairly encouraging way but showed that he had failed to understand Ramanujan’s results on divergent series. The recommendation to Ramanujan that he read Bromwich’s Theory of infinite series did not please Ramanujan much. Ramanujan wrote to E W Hobson and H F Baker trying to interest them in his results but neither replied. In January 1913 Ramanujan wrote to G H Hardy having seen a copy of his 1910 book Orders of infinity. In Ramanujan’s letter to Hardy he introduced himself and his work [Ramanujan : Am inspiration 2 Vols. (Madras, 1968).’,’Reference ‘,10)”10]:-

I have had no university education but I have undergone the ordinary school course. After leaving school I have been employing the spare time at my disposal to work at mathematics. I have not trodden through the conventional regular course which is followed in a university course, but I am striking out a new path for myself. I have made a special investigation of divergent series in general and the results I get are termed by the local mathematicians as ‘startling’.

Hardy, together with Littlewood, studied the long list of unproved theorems which Ramanujan enclosed with his letter. On 8 February he replied to Ramanujan [Ramanujan : Letters and commentary (Providence, Rhode Island, 1995).’,’Reference ‘,3)”3], the letter beginning:-

I was exceedingly interested by your letter and by the theorems which you state. You will however understand that, before I can judge properly of the value of what you have done, it is essential that I should see proofs of some of your assertions. Your results seem to me to fall into roughly three classes: (1) there are a number of results that are already known, or easily deducible from known theorems; (2) there are results which, so far as I know, are new and interesting, but interesting rather from their curiosity and apparent difficulty than their importance; (3) there are results which appear to be new and important…

Ramanujan was delighted with Hardy’s reply and when he wrote again he said [Collected Papers (Cambridge, 1927).’,’Reference ‘,8)”8]:-

I have found a friend in you who views my labours sympathetically. … I am already a half starving man. To preserve my brains I want food and this is my first consideration. Any sympathetic letter from you will be helpful to me here to get a scholarship either from the university of from the government.

Indeed the University of Madras did give Ramanujan a scholarship in May 1913 for two years and, in 1914, Hardy brought Ramanujan to Trinity College, Cambridge, to begin an extraordinary collaboration. Setting this up was not an easy matter. Ramanujan was an orthodox Brahmin and so was a strict vegetarian. His religion should have prevented him from travelling but this difficulty was overcome, partly by the work of E H Neville who was a colleague of Hardy’s at Trinity College and who met with Ramanujan while lecturing in India.

Ramanujan sailed from India on 17 March 1914. It was a calm voyage except for three days on which Ramanujan was seasick. He arrived in London on 14 April 1914 and was met by Neville. After four days in London they went to Cambridge and Ramanujan spent a couple of weeks in Neville’s home before moving into rooms in Trinity College on 30th April. Right from the beginning, however, he had problems with his diet. The outbreak of World War I made obtaining special items of food harder and it was not long before Ramanujan had health problems.

Right from the start Ramanujan’s collaboration with Hardy led to important results. Hardy was, however, unsure how to approach the problem of Ramanujan’s lack of formal education. He wrote [Dictionary of Scientific Biography (New York 1970-1990). ‘,’Reference ‘,1)”1]:-

What was to be done in the way of teaching him modern mathematics? The limitations of his knowledge were as startling as its profundity.

Littlewood was asked to help teach Ramanujan rigorous mathematical methods. However he said ([Minerva 29 (1991), 393-419.’,’Reference ‘,31)”31]):-

… that it was extremely difficult because every time some matter, which it was thought that Ramanujan needed to know, was mentioned, Ramanujan’s response was an avalanche of original ideas which made it almost impossible for Littlewood to persist in his original intention.

The war soon took Littlewood away on war duty but Hardy remained in Cambridge to work with Ramanujan. Even in his first winter in England, Ramanujan was ill and he wrote in March 1915 that he had been ill due to the winter weather and had not been able to publish anything for five months. What he did publish was the work he did in England, the decision having been made that the results he had obtained while in India, many of which he had communicated to Hardy in his letters, would not be published until the war had ended.

On 16 March 1916 Ramanujan graduated from Cambridge with a Bachelor of Science by Research (the degree was called a Ph.D. from 1920). He had been allowed to enrol in June 1914 despite not having the proper qualifications. Ramanujan’s dissertation was on Highly composite numbers and consisted of seven of his papers published in England.

Ramanujan fell seriously ill in 1917 and his doctors feared that he would die. He did improve a little by September but spent most of his time in various nursing homes. In February 1918 Hardy wrote (see [Ramanujan : Letters and commentary (Providence, Rhode Island, 1995).’,’Reference ‘,3)”3]):-

Batty Shaw found out, what other doctors did not know, that he had undergone an operation about four years ago. His worst theory was that this had really been for the removal of a malignant growth, wrongly diagnosed. In view of the fact that Ramanujan is no worse than six months ago, he has now abandoned this theory – the other doctors never gave it any support. Tubercle has been the provisionally accepted theory, apart from this, since the original idea of gastric ulcer was given up. … Like all Indians he is fatalistic, and it is terribly hard to get him to take care of himself.

On 18 February 1918 Ramanujan was elected a fellow of the Cambridge Philosophical Society and then three days later, the greatest honour that he would receive, his name appeared on the list for election as a fellow of the Royal Society of London. He had been proposed by an impressive list of mathematicians, namely Hardy, MacMahon, Grace, Larmor, Bromwich, Hobson, Baker, Littlewood, Nicholson, Young, Whittaker, Forsyth and Whitehead. His election as a fellow of the Royal Society was confirmed on 2 May 1918, then on 10 October 1918 he was elected a Fellow of Trinity College Cambridge, the fellowship to run for six years.

The honours which were bestowed on Ramanujan seemed to help his health improve a little and he renewed his effors at producing mathematics. By the end of November 1918 Ramanujan’s health had greatly improved. Hardy wrote in a letter [Ramanujan : Letters and commentary (Providence, Rhode Island, 1995).’,’Reference ‘,3)”3]:-

I think we may now hope that he has turned to corner, and is on the road to a real recovery. His temperature has ceased to be irregular, and he has gained nearly a stone in weight. … There has never been any sign of any diminuation in his extraordinary mathematical talents. He has produced less, naturally, during his illness but the quality has been the same. ….

He will return to India with a scientific standing and reputation such as no Indian has enjoyed before, and I am confident that India will regard him as the treasure he is. His natural simplicity and modesty has never been affected in the least by success – indeed all that is wanted is to get him to realise that he really is a success.

Ramanujan sailed to India on 27 February 1919 arriving on 13 March. However his health was very poor and, despite medical treatment, he died there the following year.

The letters Ramanujan wrote to Hardy in 1913 had contained many fascinating results. Ramanujan worked out the Riemann series, the elliptic integrals, hypergeometric series and functional equations of the zeta function. On the other hand he had only a vague idea of what constitutes a mathematical proof. Despite many brilliant results, some of his theorems on prime numbers were completely wrong.

Ramanujan independently discovered results of Gauss, Kummer and others on hypergeometric series. Ramanujan’s own work on partial sums and products of hypergeometric series have led to major development in the topic. Perhaps his most famous work was on the number p(n) of partitions of an integer n into summands. MacMahon had produced tables of the value of p(n) for small numbers n, and Ramanujan used this numerical data to conjecture some remarkable properties some of which he proved using elliptic functions. Other were only proved after Ramanujan’s death.

In a joint paper with Hardy, Ramanujan gave an asymptotic formula for p(n). It had the remarkable property that it appeared to give the correct value of p(n), and this was later proved by Rademacher.

Ramanujan left a number of unpublished notebooks filled with theorems that mathematicians have continued to study. G N Watson, Mason Professor of Pure Mathematics at Birmingham from 1918 to 1951 published 14 papers under the general title Theorems stated by Ramanujan and in all he published nearly 30 papers which were inspired by Ramanujan’s work. Hardy passed on to Watson the large number of manuscripts of Ramanujan that he had, both written before 1914 and some written in Ramanujan’s last year in India before his death.

The picture above is taken from a stamp issued by the Indian Post Office to celebrate the 75th anniversary of his birth.

Article by: J J O’Connor and E F Robertson

Source Internet - quote from Ramanujan

Source Internet – quote from Ramanujan- “An equation for me has no meaning unless it expresses a thought of God”


To close I have been doing a little time traveling lately – this time mostly visiting Germany and remembering how much I enjoyed my time there. I was much younger then. My ex was so kind to take lovely pictures of me. When we divorced on 8 Feb 2005 after 16 years….he got the pictures or “positives” and I got boxes of negatives that I have never really found a good way to affordably get developed. So most of the hard copy pictures I still have were mostly of me like these or were given back to me from my parents and family friends. Some day may be I’ll have the resources or tools to develop the pictures as some of them are from my travels in Europe which is a highlight of my life!

Much love to you today and if you aren’t sure what that means, it means that whoever you are in this dimension we are sharing at this moment, I value and respect you unless you give me a reason not to. For me and whether or not I get along with someone – it’s behavior, not the “packaging”. It’s what you say and do…..not what form you were made in.

*will be watching Ep 3 of Roots today…..


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bitburg – I was stationed here before it was transferred back to the Germans. We lived in a village named Fliessem. Loved their beer!

Bitburg (German pronunciation: [ˈbɪtbʊʁk]; French: Bitbourg; Luxembourgish: Béibreg) is a city in Germany, in the state of Rhineland-Palatinate approximately 25 km (16 mi.) northwest of Trier and 50 km (31 mi.) northeast of Luxembourg city. The American Spangdahlem Air Base is nearby.


The city’s name derives from its Celtic toponym, Beda.

Bitburg originated approximately 2,000 years ago as a stopover for traffic from Lyon through Metz and Trier to Cologne. The first name mentioned was Vicus Beda. Emperor Constantine the Great expanded the settlement to a road castle around 330, the central part of which forms the town centre today. Bitburg is first documented only after the end of the Roman Empire around 715 as castrum bedense. It subsequently became part of Franconia.

The first mention of Bitburg in historic annals occurred in connection with the signing in 1239 of the Trier-Luxembourg Treaty between Archbishop Theoderich II of Trier and Countess Ermesinde II of Luxemburg, under which the town came under the archbishopric’s protection. Bitburg received a town charter in 1262 from Count Henry V of Luxembourg.

Economics and industry[edit]

The most widely known Bitburg enterprise, and landmark of the city, is the Bitburger brewery. Its Pilsener-style lager beer ranks No. 3 among Germany’s best selling beers, with sales of 3.86 million hectolitres (in 2008).

In 1995, the former NATO base was designated the Bitburg Airfield Trade Area, providing commercial development district where 180 enterprises have established themselves.









3 comments on “4 Oct 2016 Dreams, The Man Who Knew Infinity (2016 film about Srinivasa Aiyangar Ramanujan) and time travel to Germany

    • Thank you so much! What good are old photos if you don’t revisit them once and awhile right?! Lots of fantastic memories of my time in Europe and some day soon I hope I will have a chance to go back with Kyle. There are so many places I want to share with him. I think may be a cruise but leave from less rocky shores. Our wedding cruise was from NJ and in May….choppy waters! I get sea sick and so we slept most of the time and I had to wear a bracelet for my wrist the whole time lol. We shall sea….lol. Love to you my friend.

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