Thread: Second Chances
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Old 06-25-2004, 04:03 PM   #24
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Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 516
I can't give you a definite yes, but it seems likely it would be him.

Ramanujan was a self-taught mathematician. He was born to a poor family, and he lived most of his life in India. In high school, he found an old, outdated math textbook, and he used it as a starting point into advanced mathematics. But then he focused so much on math that he failed to pass college exams. He ended up living on handouts from friends while he went around trying to find someone to support his math studies. By himself he rediscovered what a number of other top mathematicians had already worked out, as well as some discoveries of his own.

Ramanujan eventually did get recognized as brilliant. He spent a few years doing research in universities, but he was never very healthy and he died young. If he had lived ten or twenty more years, I'm sure he would be more than just a footnote in math history.
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