It is surprising that the general public don't know or have forgotten this very special and very unique specimen of the human species. He was called Srinivasa Ramanujan. So what is special about him? Numbers. He was a genius. No, wait I don't think it is apt to call him a genius because what he did came naturally to him, like breathing. He had a magical gift of being able to perceive numbers in a way us "normal" humans, can not. He did not have any formal training in pure mathematics, yet he made enormous contributions to mathematical analysis, number theory, infinite series, and continued fractions. Ask the average citizen of any country about Ramanujan and they will blink. It is most likely that Ramanujan was what is today called a "savant." Savants see the world in a very different way. @Mad Indian might be interested.) They do not care or are unable to form much social connections and are obsessed with what interests them (in Ramanujan's case: numbers.) Also Savants in some cases see things very differently. For example they may see numbers as pictures or they may see things around them as numbers and so on. Or in the case of Ramanujan he said that his mathematics was divinely inspired and that a goddess helped him with this mathematics. So Ramanujan was probably hallucinating "numbers." One Savant of our times may have been Shakuntala Devi, the human computer, though I'm not very sure of this. Anyway some background about Ramanujan from wiki Note here that our text books and our students will learn about Euler and Gauss and their theorems but our textbooks don't really have anything on Ramanujan. That's a shame. But thinking about it, this may be due to Ramanujan's theorems being so high level that they are not included in text books, at least I don't remember coming across anything in textbooks about Ramanujan. @pmaitra Have you come across any of Ramanujan's stuff in your work? This thread is dedicated to this mind blowing natural mathematician, most of his stuff I don't even understand. @Mad Indian @Keshav Murali @Free Karma @Peter @sorcerer and others who are interested may add stuff if you are interested.

For more on his mathematical achievements Srinivasa Ramanujan - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Ramanujan claimed that his mathematical work was divinely inspired

ENCOUNTER WITH THE INFINITE HOW DID THE MINIMALLY TRAINED, ISOLATED SRINIVASA RAMANUJAN, WITH LITTLE MORE THAN AN OUT-OF-DATE ELEMENTARY TEXTBOOK, ANTICIPATE SOME OF THE DEEPEST THEORETICAL PROBLEMS OF MATHEMATICS—INCLUDING CONCEPTS DISCOVERED ONLY AFTER HIS DEATH? http://www.believermag.com/issues/201501/?read=article_schneider_phelan