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National Mathematics Day 22nd December 2021: History & Significance

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National Mathematics Day 22nd December 2021: History & Significance

“God is man’s greatest invention” – Srinivasa Ramanujan

Geniuses are called so for a reason, they think different, they think better! Let’s read about the life of one such Math virtuoso. 

The National Mathematics Day 2021: Every year on the 22nd of December, National Mathematics Day is celebrated in the honorable memory of legendary Indian Mathematician Srinivasa Ramanujan. Ramanujan has made great contributions in the field of mathematics and is known for his brilliant mathematical formulae which are yet to be proved by mathematicians. 

Since 2012, India’s National Mathematics Day is celebrated on December 22nd annually with numerous educational events held at schools and universities throughout the country.

Ramanujan’s contribution to Mathematics is unparalleled to date. The National Mathematician Day celebrates his contributions regarding fractions, infinite series, number theory, mathematical analysis, etc. alongside great Indian Mathematicians like Aryabhatta and Bhaskara.

Who inaugurated the National Mathematics Day?

The National Mathematics Day was inaugurated by the former Prime Minister of India on the 125th birth anniversary of Srinivasa Ramanujan.

How is National Mathematics Day celebrated?

The National Mathematics Day is celebrated all across the nation in various schools, colleges, universities, and educational institutions. The International Society UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation) and India had agreed to work together to spread the immersive learning and understanding of Mathematics. Along with this, various steps has been taken to educate the students in this subject and spread knowledge to the students and learners all over the world.

Many schools and institutions commemorate this day by watching ‘The Man Who Knew Infinity,’ starring Dev Patel. It’s a great biopic of Ramanujan’s inspiring journey. If you don’t know much about him, you can watch his incredible story of success.

National Mathematics Day 2021: History

Srinivasa Ramanujan took birth in Erode Tamil Nadu, in 1887 to a Brahmin family. At the age of 12, he excelled at Trigonometry and developed many theorems for himself despite lacking a formal education.

He had spent his childhood days in great difficulty in poverty. He used to borrow books from his friends and read them in school. At the age of 14, Ramanujan ran away from home and applied at Pachaiyappa’s College in Madras, where he excelled only in Mathematics and was unable to finish with a Fellow of Arts degree. Soon, the Mathematician was started getting noticed in Chennai’s Mathematics circles. In 1912, Ramaswamy Iyer who was the founder of the Indian Mathematical Society helped him get the position of a clerk at the Madras Port Trust. Ramanujan then started to send his work to British Mathematicians post which he received a breakthrough in 1913 when Cambridge-based G.H Hardy called him to London.

In 1917, Ramanujan was reaching every height with success, after getting elected for membership in the London Mathematical Society, and he also became a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1918 — one of the youngest to achieve the esteemed position.

Ramanujan couldn’t get accustomed to the diet in Britain, so he returned to India in 1919. His health continued to deteriorate and he passed away in 1920 at the age of 32. However, his achievements in the field of Mathematics are and will always be highly regarded across the globe. 


What are some major contributions of Srinivasa Ramanujan?


  • One of his most treasured findings was his infinite series for pi. This series forms the basis of many algorithms we use today. He has given more than 3500 Mathematical equations/ formulas which are yet to be proved by the present time Scientists and Mathematicians.
  • In 1911 Ramanujan published the first of his papers in the Journal of the Indian Mathematical Society.
  • His research in the Theory of Numbers and Elliptic Functions gave him a fellowship of Royal Society in 1918. Ramanujan became the first Indian to become a fellow of Trinity College.
  • He elaborately described the mock theta function, which is a concept in the realm of modular form in Mathematics.
  • In 1919, due to hepatic amoebiasis (a complication from episodes of dysentery many years previously) compelled Ramanujan’s return to India, where he died in 1920 at the age of 32.


One of Ramanujan’s most fascinating discoveries is the taxicab number!

The Taxi Cab Number of 1729

1729, also known as the Ramanujan’s number or the Ramanujan-Hardy number. Once, when the British mathematician G. H. Hardy visited Srinivasa in hospital, they happened to have the following conversation, as narrated by Hardy:

“I remember once going to see him when he was ill at Putney. I had ridden in taxi cab number 1729 and remarked that the number seemed to me rather a dull one and that I hoped it was not an unfavourable omen. “No,” he replied, “it is a very interesting number; it is the smallest number expressible as the sum of two cubes in two different ways.”

The number is the sum of the cubes of 10 and 9: Cube of 10 is 1000 and Cube of 9 is 729; adding the two numbers results in 1729.

1729 is also the sum of the cubes of 12 and 1: Cube of 12 is 1728 and Cube of 1 is 1; adding the two results in 1729.

National Mathematics Day 2021: Significance

The National Mathematics Day is celebrated across the nation to hail and acknowledge the contributions and excellence of Ramanujan in the field of Mathematics. The main goal behind celebrating this day is to raise awareness amongst people about the importance of Mathematics, eradicate the Mathematical phobia from students’ minds to develop humanity in every sense. The various contributions of Ramanujan can guide and inspire people to pursue Mathematics as a subject and its application to the world so it can become a better place to survive. We see that people are not much interested in Mathematics nowadays as they find it too hard to understand but with the help of National Mathematics Day, we can highlight the importance of Mathematics.


Also published on Medium.

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