The Man Who Knew Infinity: A Life of the Genius Ramanujan and over 2 million other books are available for Amazon Kindle . Learn more
Buy Used
£12.42
+ £2.80 UK delivery
Used: Good | Details
Sold by Nearfine
Condition: Used: Good
Comment: A good reading copy. May contain markings or be a withdrawn library copy. Expect delivery in 2-4 weeks.
Trade in your item
Get a £3.61
Gift Card.
Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 2 images

The Man Who Knew Infinity: A Life of the Genius Ramanujan Hardcover – May 1991


See all 6 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle Edition
"Please retry"
Hardcover
"Please retry"
£44.42 £12.42
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


Trade In this Item for up to £3.61
Trade in The Man Who Knew Infinity: A Life of the Genius Ramanujan for an Amazon Gift Card of up to £3.61, which you can then spend on millions of items across the site. Trade-in values may vary (terms apply). Learn more

Product details

  • Hardcover
  • Publisher: Scribner (May 1991)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0684192594
  • ISBN-13: 978-0684192598
  • Product Dimensions: 24.6 x 16.3 x 4.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 450,583 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, and more.

Product Description

Review

An exquisite portrait...the rarest of literary achievements...Ramanujan's tale is the stuff of fable (LOS ANGELES TIMES)

an exciting and thoughtful book... should catch the imagination of any reader- even the reader with little mathematical background. (INDEPENDENT)

This is a fine example of a work of popularising mathematics, and deserves a wide readership. (NEW SCIENTIST)

Enthralling... one of the best scientific biographies I've ever seen. (John Gribbin) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Book Description

* 'One of the finest, best-documented biographies ever published about a modern mathematician' - Martin Gardner --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
Browse and search another edition of this book.
First Sentence
He heard it all his life-the slow, measured thwap . . . thwap . . . thwap . . . of wet clothes being pounded clean on rocks jutting up from the waters of the Cauvery River. Read the first page
Explore More
Concordance
Browse Sample Pages
Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
Search inside this book:

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?

Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
Share your thoughts with other customers

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 7 April 2000
Format: Paperback
Ramanujan perhaps suffers a little from being such an extraordinary character - I'm surprised at how little-known his story is, and most accounts I've read seem rather superficial. Kanigel manages to make him sound like a man - a man with a uniqely sharp mathematical vision - but a human being nonetheless. What, I think, makes Kanigel's account so successful is his willingness to take Ramanujan's religious faith seriously and not to sideline it. He is very good at describing the two different worlds (South India and Cambridge) and letting us get a feel for the culture of each place. He also should take credit for attempting to describe some of the mathematics involved.
The Ramanujan story is, I believe, a sad one and Kanigel isn't scared to confront some of the issues that should anger some of us. Yes, Ramanujan was a phenomenon of which India should feel proud - but equally she should be shocked at how easily he could have lived his life undiscovered. Yes, Hardy should take credit for recognising Ramanujan's genius and taking him under his wing - but equally he allowed Ramanujan to live a lonely and in many way malnourished life in Britain. And so on. I think that this is an excellent, honest, book.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
28 of 31 people found the following review helpful By "ralphfwilkinson" on 27 May 2005
Format: Paperback
I bought this book after reading many others on popular mathematics. I found the book very slow, with heavy repetition of only a few themes. While Ramanujan was clearly an incredible man the book concentrates mostly on the incidental parts of his life and largely ignores the mathematical details the area I believe that defined him as an incredible individual. There was virtually no detail of any of his mathematical achievements making rather a dry biography lacking in interesting detail.
1 Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By GPK on 12 July 2002
Format: Paperback
I had heard of Ramanujan before, but not being a mathematician myself, I never read anything on him so I bought this biography by Kanigel. I like the style in which it is written, it makes easy reading and keeps you fascinated throughout the book. I read it in 1-2 days. The book not only covers the mathematics and collaboration with Hardy in detail but also the tremendous 'sufferings' Ramanujan had to undergo, and the culture clash between the West and India.
The book is worth the money. The only drawback I can think of is the cheap look and feel of the paperback edition. This book is certainly worth to be published in hardcover edition. I give it 4 stars because way too many books in Amazon get overrated by 5 stars and I don't want to fool people. If you are like me, with no background in Ramanujan, just buy this book, it is very good.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 10 July 2001
Format: Paperback
Kanigel weaves an entriguing biography from his extensive research into the life of Ramanujan. This text follows Ramanujan's journey from intellectual isolation to mathematical enlightenment and the universal acclaim he deserved and desired. Cultural aspects of his Indian background and the ensuing shock of Cambridge are conveyed convincingly. The author makes an unusual effort to explain mathematical concepts and he succeeds in creating a book that will enthrall mathematicians and non-mathematicians alike.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Batman Fanatic on 18 Nov. 2008
Format: Paperback
Srinivasa Ramanujan!What a great name and legend in the mathematical history. He is one of my favourite mathematician from my childhood. I tried to find his biography before and I couldnt find proper biography and this book is very very excellent book about the Genius. At one time, I have got tears on my eyes while reading the book and his troubles in his life. He found so many mathematical formulae in his time without proper facilities as we have today.

One thing I can say for sure, he lived only 33 years and If he'd lived more, then where would be the mathematical world?
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Format: Paperback
The enigma of Ramanujan - a mathematical Mozart.

In a 1913 letter to G.H.Hardy, Ramanujan wrote:

"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."

Ramanujan left India for Cambridge on 17th March 1914. Tragically, six years later in April 1920 he would be dead.

His mathematical results live on. The most amazing stuff.

Looking at his work is, for me, like experiencing a kind of mathematical vertigo. Gamma functions scattered all over the place. An amazing and obscure approximation for Pi. His astounding solution to the problem of calculating the partitions of a natural number. He comes up with a class of functions he calls the Mock Theta Functions - because they "mock" him with their beauty. It goes on and on.

With the works of other mathematicians or physicists you can see the problems they were trying to solve. You can see how they hone in on their results as they proceed. They have a plan of attack and they follow it through to the solution. They may reason something like "I have an idea for solving this. If we try this ..." or something like that.

Not so with Ramanujan. It's like he's skipped this first step. The results just come cascading out in torrents. Where did he get the ideas from?

Hardy and Littlewood realised early on that Ramanujan's concept of what constituted a proper proof was sometimes tenuous. But, rather than stem the flow of results with an insistence on more rigour, they turned a blind eye.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Most Recent Customer Reviews


Look for similar items by category


Feedback