C P Ramanujam, an Indian Mathematician, not to be confused with Srinivasa Ramanujan, one who worked with GH Hardy.
Ramanujam's achievements at High School had been outstanding and he had shown that he was extraordinarily gifted, so he entered Loyola College with great expectations. He continued his interest in chemistry but it was mathematics that he specialised in, taking Mathematics Honours after obtaining his Intermediate qualification. He was awarded a B.A. with Honours in Mathematics in 1957 but, strangely for such an outstanding student, he only obtained a second class degree. This may have been a result of starting his university education at so young an age before he was really ready, for the second class degree no way reflected his remarkable mathematical abilities. On the other hand it may have resulted from a lack of belief in himself which haunted Ramanujam throughout his life.
Ramanujam felt that he did not have what it takes to solve the big problems of mathematics, and he had no wish to solve small routine problems. Again, as in his undergraduate course, it would appear to be a psychological problem rather than a mathematical one but for Ramanujam, it was a very real problem and he became more and more frustrated.
It was a stimulating experience to know and collaborate with C P Ramanujam. He loved mathematics and he was always ready to take up a new thread or pursue an old one with infectious enthusiasm. He was equally ready to discuss a problem with a first year student or a colleague, to work through an elementary point or puzzle over a deep problem. On the other hand he had high standards. He felt the spirit of mathematics demanded of him not merely routine developments but the right theorem an any given topic. He was sometimes tormented by these high standards, but, in retrospect, it is clear to us how often he succeeded in adding to our knowledge, results both new, beautiful and with a genuine original stamp.
Back in India after his year at the University of Warwick, Ramanujam asked for a Professorship at the Tata Institute ,but be based in Bangalore where a new branch dealing with applications of mathematics was being set up. This was agreed and he taught analysis in Bangalore but, again in the depths of depression caused by his illness, he tried again to leave the Institute and obtain a university teaching post. While waiting for an offer of such a post from the Indian Institute at Simla, he took his life with an overdose of barbiturates.