"Ramanujan’s Lost Notebook: History and Survey"





(University of Illinois at Urbana)


In the spring of 1976, while searching through papers of the late G. N. Watson at Trinity College, Cambridge, George Andrews found a sheaf of 138 pages in the handwriting of Srinivasa Ramanujan, generally regarded as India's greatest mathematician.  In view of the fame of Ramanujan's earlier notebooks,  Andrews naturally called these papers Ramanujan's "lost notebook." This work, comprising about 650 results with no proofs, arises from the last year of Ramanujan's life and represents some of his deepest work.  First, we provide a history of the lost notebook. Second, a general description of the topics found in the lost notebook will be provided.  For some of the topics, in particular, q-series, theta functions, mock theta functions, continued fractions, partitions, and infinite series, we offer some details. In the time remaining, the third portion of the lecture will be devoted to a more detailed discussion of one of the topics prominently addressed in the lost notebook, namely continued fractions. The talk will be expository, hopefully understandable to a wide audience





Date:  Monday, August  4, 2014

Time: 15.40 – 16:30

Place: Mathematics Seminar Room, SA-141



Tea and cookies will be served after the seminar.