Ramanujan's Lost Notebook in Five Volumes - Reflections

May 30

4:00pm - 5:00pm

The Herbert Howe Lecture will take place in Olin 105 at 4:00 p.m. A reception will follow in Olin Rotunda.

In 1976, George Andrews discovered the Ramanujan’s Lost Notebook, a manuscript of mathematical discoveries and formulas from the last year of mathematician Srinivasa Ramanujan’s life. This talk will be a personal account from his decades-long effort of proving Ramanujan’s assertions or, in very rare instances, refuting or correcting his formulas.

Abstract from the speaker: Bruce Berndt and I have recently completed the fifth and final volume on Ramanujan's Lost Notebook. All of Ramanujan's assertions (with perhaps one of two exceptions) have been proved or, in very rare instances, refuted or corrected.

Among these hundreds of formulas there are a number that stand out. For example, the recent explosion of results on mock theta functions and mock modular forms has it origin in the Lost Notebook. The "sums-of-tails" phenomenon also arose from the Lost Notebook. This talk will be a personal account of highlights from this project and questions, yet to be answered, that arose from this decades long effort.

About the speaker: Prof. George Andrews is a leading expert in the theory of partitions. He wrote over 250 research and popular articles on q-series, special functions, combinatorics and applications. Prof. Andrews is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and a fellow of the American Mathematical Society. He also served as the president of the American Mathematical Society.

The Herbert Howe Lecture Series brings prominent mathematicians and astronomers to DU to promote current research in mathematics and astronomy. The series is named in honor of Herbert Alonzo Howe, a 19th century professor of mathematics and astronomy at the University of Denver and Denver's first astronomer.