Ramanujan’s Dream Theory Proven


Recently The Huffington Post put out an interesting article that caught our attention called “Ramanujan’s Mock Modular Forms: Indian Mathematician’s Dream Conjecture Finally Proven.” The article shares the story of Srinivasa Ramanujan, an Indian mathematician who wrote down a number of functions that came to him in his dreams just before he died.

It turns out, 100 years later that researchers have proved him right! These mysterious functions were said to mimic theta functions, or modular forms, which have repeating, complex patterns. The article says, “Ramanujan believed that 17 new functions he discovered were “mock modular forms” that looked like theta functions when written out as an infinite sum (their coefficients get large in the same way), but weren’t super-symmetric.”

Ramanujan died before he could prove his theory and now, over 90 years later, Ken Ono of Emory University and his team have proved that these functions do mimic modular forms but don’t share the defining characteristics like super-symmetry.

To read more about Ono’s discoveries click here and to keep tabs on more momentous and interesting engineering facts and historic dates, follow us on twitter with @PTC_Mathcad and look for our series starting with “This day in engineering history…”

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