Ken Ono on Srinivasa Ramanujan

SpringerOpen Editor-in-Chief Ken Ono wrote a book, and consulted on a new movie, about his mathematical idol.


A mathematical biography; and a movie consultation

Ken Ono didn’t follow the traditional or expected path to a mathematics faculty position. Like Ramanujan (and Robert Frost) he took the path less traveled, which included suspending his education (he dropped out of high school) for a time before returning to his studies. He details his journey—the turns and the reasons—in his recent general audience book, My Search for Ramanujan. (Scientific American has an excerpt from the book here.)

Part of Professor Ono’s research focuses on Ramanujan’s “lost notebooks.” After working in Cambridge in his late 20s, Ramanujan returned to India. Although he died a year later (at 32), he spent his last year filling notebooks with mathematical insights, and Ramanujan’s work has helped fuel Ono’s own. In addition, Professor Ono also served as a leading creative consultant for last year’s feature, The Man Who Knew Infinity, written and directed by Matt Brown, and starring Dev Patel and Jeremy Irons.

And as I’ve previously written, Professor Ono’s interests also include open access, as well as number theory, umbral moonshine, and more.

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