Bust of Ramanujan

Passport photo of Ramanujan

Prof. Richard Askey learnt from newspaper reports which appeared soon after the discovery of the Lost Note book of Ramanujan by Prof. George Andrews, in 1976, that Mrs. Ramanujan was lamenting the absence of a bust of Ramanujan – promised but not made. This was sufficient for making Prof. Askey to set the ball rolling and his efforts culminated in presenting a bust of Ramanujan to his widow, in 1985, at a function in the University of Madras. Professor Askey had the support of Professors George Andrews and S. Chandrasekhar for this purpose, as well as several mathematicians and scientists.

The challenge of transforming the passport (two-dimensional) photograph of Ramanujan into a three dimensional bust was taken up by Paul Granlund, sculptor-in-residence at Gustavus Adolphus College at Saint Peter, Minnesota, U.S.A. On Feb 6, 1985, while presenting a copy of the bronze bust of Srinivasa Ramanujam to the Indian Academy of Sciences by Prof. S. Chandrasekhar and Mrs. Lalitha Chandrasekhar (ref. Patrika, Newsletter of the Indian Academy of Sciences, No. 10, April 1983), a tribute to Ramanujan from Prof. Richard Askey was read out, detailing the circumstances which led to the commissioning of the bust.