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Mathematical genius: extrapolate from your own experience?

The BBC biography series Great Lives covered in its most recent episode Srinivasa Ramanujan. In the closing minutes of the programme, host Matthew Paris said this, which I found quite interesting (or at least, interestingly expressed):

I’m so far from understanding the mind of a mathematical genius that it’s simply inconceivable that you could tell a person an apparently random number and he could intuit or deduce the kind of fact that he deduced about that taxi license number. I mean, I can’t run a four-minute mile, but I once ran a five-minute mile, and I can extrapolate from my own experience, in a way understand how someone might just be a lot better than me at something that, in an inferior way, I can also do. But Ramanujan isn’t like that. It’s as though this man were a different species, not just a superior example of the same species. Can you learn to do this kind of thing? Could I, if I had applied myself? Or is it that goddess again, is it really just genius?

Answers on a postcard!

Carnival of Mathematics 129

The next issue of the Carnival of Mathematics, rounding up blog posts from the month of November, and compiled by the team at Ganit Charcha to celebrate the birthday of Srinivasa Ramanujan, is now online at Ganit Charcha.

The Carnival rounds up maths blog posts from all over the internet, including some from our own Aperiodical. See our Carnival of Mathematics page for more information.

There’s going to be a film about Ramanujan

The Man Who Knew Infinity was a well-received biography of Srinivasa Ramanujan. Now it’s being made into a film: happy hooray! It’ll star Jeremy Irons as Hardy and Dev Patel as Ramanujan.

That’s all the news about that, for now.

More information

Jeremy Irons to Co-star in ‘The Man Who Knew Infinity’ at Variety.

Irons stars in maths genius biopic in The Belfast Telegraph. (why are all the headlines about the supporting actor?)

The Man Who Knew Infinity in the IMDB.

via Luis Guzman on Google+