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The Man Who Knew Infinity Movie

  1. Mar 2, 2016 #1


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  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 2, 2016 #2
    Cool! It is a fascinating story. Hardy ultimately concluded that Ramanajun's huge talent had been largely wasted due to his inferior education. But what can you do?

    The ultimate math film might be Pi.
  4. Mar 2, 2016 #3


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    Your post reminds me of the Somerset Maughm story The Verger. Its about a fellow who was fired from his job as a church verger because he couldn't read. He starts a small tobacco business and become quite wealthy. His banker suggests that he begin investing all the money he's made and gives him a prospectus to read whereupon he admits that he can't read.

    The banker exclaims:
    and he replies:
  5. Mar 2, 2016 #4


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    that's brilliant :smile:

  6. Mar 2, 2016 #5
    It is. But mathematics doesn't work that way.

    Perhaps Ramanajun's greatest effort was coming up with a theory of a complex variable. It was brilliant, but it was wrong. That might be fine for success in business, but no go in mathworld. That brilliance and effort was wasted.

    There is no reason to think that education would have made him any less brilliant. It surely would have prevented him from that futile expenditure of energy.
  7. Mar 2, 2016 #6


    Staff: Mentor

    I like the quote from the Beautiful Mind movie:

    I often feel that creativity comes from those folks with poor memories who remember something wrong and then discover something new.
  8. Mar 2, 2016 #7
    The trope that cracked a thousand pots, I say. Gauss, Newton, and Nash himself seemed to have survived high-quality educations unscathed. It has been a long time since an amateur contributed much to math. The last I know is Oliver Heaviside in the 19th century.

    I have done good creative work by misremembering things. Education doesn't stop you from having a poor memory. It does stop you from wasting your time rediscovering things. Ramanajun did a lot of that.

    At any rate, Hardy doesn't agree with you. He was Ramanajun's patron, mentor, and co-worker, so his opinion carries a little weight.
  9. Mar 2, 2016 #8


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    I think you missed what I was referring to .... note what I quoted :wink:

  10. Mar 3, 2016 #9
    I don't get it. Nash was nuts, so he's making a fool of himself?
  11. Mar 3, 2016 #10


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    no that was a later post, my post #4 was responding to post #3 as per the quote
  12. Apr 14, 2016 #11


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    I am really looking forward to seeing the movie.

    And I just ran across an excerpt from a book Ken Ono has co-authored: My Search for Ramanujan: How I Learned to Count

    I really loved maths when I was younger, so I can relate to both Ramanujan and Ono.
    More with Ramanujan actually.
    My sister is 5 years older than I am, and when I was about 4, she started teaching me her level of math.
    I don't know why, but I devoured it like candy. :smile:
  13. Mar 25, 2017 #12
    This was the only thread I could find here about the movie. I just saw it on DVD and was somewhat disappointed; I wonder if anyone else has seen it & would care to offer their thoughts?

    My disappointments were mostly with how the movie seems to have "Hollywooded up" the events of R's life, e.g. in actuality his wife was far younger than he and so their relationship must have been quite different than as depicted; also no doubt he felt out of place in England, but they show this only in the most obvious ways; there is no attempt at subtlety or realism in depicting him as a character. My only previous contact with R's story was through Hardy's memoir, and that was many years ago, but I can't help but feel a better job could have been done in bringing it to the screen.

    As for the math bits in the movie, as one would expect these are always difficult to convey; I did like the scene where Irons, playing Hardy, explains partitions to his secretary ("Even you can understand this") - that added just enough concreteness.
  14. Mar 31, 2017 #13
    Oh, I recognize the actor of the serie Skins. :nb)
  15. Apr 21, 2017 #14


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    I have not seen it, but my friend, a mentor of ken Ono who was invited by Ken to the first screening, told me it was excellent for its depiction of mathematical research activity. I have read that the biographical bits are faked, the romance as well as the racial animosity in England.
  16. Apr 22, 2017 #15
    In regard to this - one thing that bothered me later, when I read more about Ramanujan's real life, was that apparently didn't have a problem doing proofs when needed. If so, this is totally opposite how he's depicted in the movie & would seem a very unfair thing way to represent him. I don't much like biopics that do hatchet jobs just for "drama."
  17. Apr 24, 2017 #16
    I liked the movie, and I still refuse to believe that ##\sum_{n=1}^{\infty} n = -\frac{1}{12}##.
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