This is the first of two articles on the life and mathematical legacy of the Indian mathematician Ramanujan, who died one hundred years ago. Here, the story of Ramanujan’s life is related. His cultural and social background are briefly described and his educational experiences are outlined. Attention is then drawn to the deep nature of his discoveries in number theory, set alongside a sketch of the humble person who created these wild and fantastic theorems.
The second article, which will appear in the next issue of Australian Mathematics Education Journal, will discuss Ramanujan’s mathematical legacy. A selection of examples from Ramanujan’s work will also be presented. The chosen examples are accessible to secondary teachers of mathematics and their students, and may serve as extension and enrichment for high achieving students.