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Friend of Numbers

The Life of Mathematician

Srinivasa Ramanujan



Eerdmans Books for Young Readers

(pub. 10.17.2023)

48 pages

Ages 5-9

Author: Priya Narayanan

and Illustrator: Satwik Gade


Character: Srinivasa Ramanujan


" Growing up in southern India during British rule, Srinivasa Ramanujan was fascinated by numbers: they made patterns only he could see. Soon he spent as much time as he could in the world of mathematics, exploring concepts and trying to publish his ideas.

In 1914, twenty-six-year-old Ramanujan sailed to England to work with the acclaimed mathematician G.H. Hardy. Cambridge University was so different from home, but Ramanujan’s love of numbers kept him going. He had big questions to ask—and important discoveries to make!"

Tantalizing taste:

"Like an artist exploring forms and colors or a poet exploring words and images, Ramanujan threw himself into exploring numbers.

Soon he lost interest in all other subjects. Every time he opened his English or history book, numbers sneaked and slunk into the pages.

They made patterns only he could see."

And something more: Priya Narayanan on the last page of FRIEND OF NUMBERS explains that "Ramanujan passed away on April 26 1920, when he was only 32. In that short time, he not only worked with his beloved numbers to make important contributions to mathematics, he also fulfilled his childhood curiosity by calculating the length of the equator to be 40,078 km. Today, it has taken us calculators and computers to know that the length is around 40,075 km!"

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