The Man Who Knew Infinity: the Movie, the Man, and the Mathematics

Speaker: Prof. George E. Andrews
Date: 07/02/2017
Time: 11:00 - 12:00

Location: RISC Seminar room

*RISC Colloquium Announcement with corrected date* Abstract: In the spring of last year, the motion picture, The Man Who Knew Infinity, was released. It is now available on DVD. The movie tells the life story of the Indian genius, Ramanujan. In this talk, I hope to start with the trailer from the movie. Then I shall provide some discussion of Ramanujan's life. Finally I hope to give a glimpse of his mathematics from the celebrated Lost Notebook. I will especially try to highlight aspects where computer algebra leads us to the solution of some of Ramanujan's mysteries while still leaving us in the dark concerning how he came to his discoveries. Note by Peter Paule: The talk is directed to a general mathematical audience; students are particularly welcome! - Professor Andrews was President (2009-2010) of the American Mathematical Society (AMS). He is a world-renowned expert on Ramanujan's work. For instance, in 1977 he went to Cambridge to look for historic works in the Wren Library of Trinity College. There he found pages of mathematical work in Srinivasa Ramanujan's own handwriting. This discovery led to Andrews' spending thirty years on the hundreds of results in what he called Ramanujan’s Lost Notebook. Andrews has also been involved in computer algebra and teaching, has given many lectures all over the world, was on the committee that wrote problems for the Putnam Exam, and has served on the editorial boards of numerous mathematical journals. Andrews is a Member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, and a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He is currently Evan Pugh Professor of Mathematics at The Pennsylvania State University. Andrews is a Fellow of the AMS. - The movie "The Man Who Knew Infinity" was also released in German, "Die Poesie des Unendlichen"; actors: Jeremy Irons, Dev Patel ("Slumdog Millionaire").