Stamp from India featuring the mathematician Ramanujan

It's National Mathematics Day in India

Today is a special day in the Indian yearly calendar. It marks the celebration of mathematics in that country. It also marks the anniversary of the birth of Srinivasa Ramanujan.

Ramanujan was a genius mathematician who was obsessed with mathematics his whole life. He was largely self-taught. He kept notebooks where he performed investigations and found some solutions re-discovered and new.

He saw math in his dreams and believed them to be from his Goddess Mahalakshmi of Namakkal.

“An equation for me has no meaning, unless it represents a thought of God.” - Srinivasa Ramanujan

What I Share with Ramanujan

Learning this about Ramanujan made me feel a little closer to him. I also have math dreams. I can never predict when they will come but they are so immersive. I cannot explain what it is like to view the world from the position of being a graph. Something impossible to experience in the real world but very possible in dreams.

The other connection that I have is the mathematician G.H. Hardy. To pursue his dreams, Ramanujan wrote to many people at Cambridge. Hardy was the first to recognize he was dealing with a mathematical genius and brought him to the UK. Together they did profound work and it is one of the most celebrated partnerships in math history.

You can read Ramanujan’s story in the book, “The Man Who Knew Infinity.” This was also translated to screen by the same title starring Jeremy Irons as Hardy and Dev Petal as Ramanujan.

By the way, I have a pattern for the Taxicab number if you wish to sew it as a bookmark.

The taxicab number 1729

Download Taxicab Number Pattern

What is National Mathematics Day?

National Mathematics Day was first celebrated on December 22nd, 2012. It was declared a holiday in India for the 125th anniversary of Srinivasa Ramanujan’s birth. In 2017, the Ramanujan Math Park was opened. Similar to our MoMath full of interactive learning.

This stamp was issued to commemorate the first National Mathematics Day.

This is a postal stamp from India featuring a portrait of Rmanujan andd the words National Mathematics Day.

Starting my Stamp Collection

My father passed away a few years back. He started collecting stamps when he was very young. His mother wanted him to start the hobby to learn geography. I remembered him sharing his albums with me when I was growing up.

I asked my stepmother to send me his collection if she ever found it. I did not know how extensive it was. This year she mailed me three boxes worth of stamps and coins.

My father and I weren’t close. We didn’t see eye to eye on most things though we did love each other. Things got better in my later years as we started to reach a mutual understanding. Unfortunately, I was never really able to repair our relationship as time ran out for us.

This stamp collection is one connection that I still have with my dad. So it felt right to add to the collection and make it ours. That’s how I came to purchase three different stamps from India on ebay that all celebrate Ramanujan including this National Mathematics Day stamp. Finally, something we can do together.