„I beg to introduce myself to you as a clerk in the Accounts Department of the Port Trust Office at Madras… I have no University education but I have undergone the ordinary school course. After leaving school I have been employing the spare time at my disposal to work at Mathematics. I have not trodden through the conventional regular course which is followed in a University course, but I am striking out a new path for myself. I have made a special investigation of divergent series in general and the results I get are termed by the local mathematicians as "startling"…. Very recently I came across a tract published by you styled Orders of Infinity in page 36 of which I find a statement that no definite expression has been as yet found for the number of prime numbers less than any given number. I have found an expression which very nearly approximates to the real result, the error being negligible. I would request that you go through the enclosed papers. Being poor, if you are convinced that there is anything of value I would like to have my theorems published. I have not given the actual investigations nor the expressons that I get but I have indicated the lines on which I proceed. Being inexperienced I would very highly value any advice you give me. Requesting to be excused for the trouble I give you. I remain, Dear Sir, Yours truly…“

—  Srinivasa Ramanujan, Letter to G. H. Hardy, (16 January 1913), published in Ramanujan: Letters and Commentary American Mathematical Society (1995) History of Mathematics, Vol. 9
Srinivasa Ramanujan photo
Srinivasa Ramanujan
matemático indiano 1887 - 1920

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„Had I been present at the Creation, I would have given some useful hints for the better ordering of the universe.“

—  Alfonso X of Castile King of Castile 1221 - 1284
Si hubiera estado presente en la Creación, habría dado algunas indicaciones útiles. After studying Ptolemy's treatise on astronomy.; reported in Thomas Carlyle, History of Frederick the Great, book ii. chap. vii. Carlyle wrote that this saying of Alfonso about Ptolemy's astronomy, "that it seemed a crank machine; that it was pity the Creator had not taken advice," is still remembered by mankind, — this and no other of his many sayings. If the Lord Almighty had consulted me before embarking on creation thus, I should have recommended something simpler. Quoted/paraphrased by Adam Riess in his Nobel Prize (in Physics 2011) lecture slides on Supernovae Reveal An Accelerating Universe (A Science Adventure Story).

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