Bruce C Berndt
CAS Professor of Mathematics
Professor Berndt is an analytic number theorist. Since 1974 he has been attempting to find proofs for the claims made in notebooks by Srinivasa Ramanujan (1887–1920), generally regarded as India’s greatest mathematician. The earlier notebooks arise from approximately the years 1904-1914, while the “lost notebook” is from the last year of Ramanujan’s short life. The three earlier notebooks were published in photocopy form by the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research in Bombay in 1957. Over a period of more than 20 years, with the help of several others, including, in particular, some of his Ph.D. students, Professor Berndt completed the task of finding proofs for all of the approximately 3000-4000 claims in the earlier notebooks. This work was published in Ramanujan’s Notebooks, Parts I-V (Springer), for which Berndt received the Steele Prize from the American Mathematical Society in 1996.
The “lost notebook” was found in the library at Trinity College, Cambridge,in March, 1976 by Professor George Andrews of Pennsylvania State University. (At the invitation of Professor G. H. Hardy, Ramanujan did research at Cambridge in the years 1914-1919.) Since the mid 1990s, Berndt has been attempting to find proofs of the claims made by Ramanujan in his lost notebook and other unpublished partial manuscripts and fragments found in the libraries at both Cambridge and Oxford. To date, supported by a Guggenheim Fellowship and a grant from the Sloan Foundation, Berndt and Andrews have published four volumes (Springer) of an anticipated five volumes on the lost notebook. The fifth and final volume is under preparation.