Jeremy Irons joins Dev Patel film The Man Who Knew Infinity

Posted September 18, 2014 by admin in latest News

The British actor will star in the biopic of Indian mathematician Srinivasa Ramanujan, to be played by Dev Patel.

Ramanujan conducted his mathematical research alone and without formal training, yet made extraordinary contributions to mathematical analysis, number theory, infinite series and continued fractions. This man had one of the best mathematical minds of all time.In 1913, a twenty-five-year-old Indian clerk with no formal education wrote a letter to G.H. Hardy, then widely acknowledged as the premier English mathematician of his time. Srinivasa Ramanujan begged Hardy’s opinion regarding several ideas he had about numbers. Hardy realized that the letter was a work of genius.Thus began one of the most productive and unusual scientific collaborations in history, that of an English don and an impoverished Hindu genius whose like has never been seen again. Hardy arranged for Ramanujan to sail for England, leaving behind his wife and other in Madras. Ramanujan’s isolation from his family and the intensity of his work eventually took their toll, and within seven years of leaving India he was dead. For Hardy the collaboration with Ramanujan was “the one truly romantic incident of my life.”

Robert Kanigel’s achievement is not simply to make Ramanujan’s science accessible, but to show the pleasure, the excitement, and the love of numbers that inspired it. Here is a life and a life’s work that resound a century later.
A mathematical genius who ascribed his brilliance to a personal relationship with a Hindu Goddess. He saw the divine in the dance of numbers. 

The inexhaustible Ramanujan was an observant Hindu, adept at dream interpretation and astrology. His work was marked by bold leaps and gut feelings. Growing up he had learned to worship Namagiri, the consort of the lion god Narasimha. Ramanujan believed that he existed to serve as Namagiri´s champion – Hindu Goddess of creativity.  In real life Ramanujan told people that Namagiri visited him in his dreams and wrote equations on his tongue.

Ramanujan could never explain to G H Hardy how he arrived at his deep insights in mathematical terms; but he did say many of his discoveries came to him in dreams, from the goddess Namakkal, and that he had a morning ritual of awakening and writing them down.

He was intensely religious. He often united mathematics and spirituality together. He felt, for example, that zero represented Absolute Reality, and that infinity represented the many manifestations of that Reality. Ramanujan felt that each mathematical discovery was a step closer to understanding the spiritual universe. He once told a friend, “An equation for me has no meaning unless it expresses a thought of God.”

While growing up, he lived the life of a traditional Brahmin with his forehead shaved and wearing a topknot. He often prayed to his family Deity, the Goddess Namagiri of Namakkal, and followed Her advice. Namakkal is also called as “Namagiri”. He pilgrimaged all over Tamil Nadu. He quoted the Vedas, interpreted dreams and was regarded by his friends to be a mystic. Throughout his life, Ramanujan worshiped at the Sarangapani Vishnu temple in Kumbakonam.

Srinivasa Ramanujan was a brilliant mathematician, who helped pave the way towards today’s digital age, but died of malnutrition and illness in 1920, aged just 32.

The film, which is being directed by Matt Brown, is based on Robert Kanigel’s biography.

Film Shooting at Cambridge

Dev Patel is Srinivasa Ramanujan

Dev Patel & Jeremy Irons at Trinity College in Cambridge

Ramanujan, Trinity College Cambridge

 

(2001)

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