Terry Tao is no mathematician, Fields Medal or not.

]]>“…the most important of [Ramanujan’s methods] were completely original. His intuition worked in analogies, sometimes, remote, and to an astonishing extent by empirical induction from particular numerical cases. …his most important weapon seems to have been a highly elaborate technique of transformation by means of divergent series and integrals … He had no strict logical justification for his operations. He was not interested in rigour, which for that matter is not of first-rate importance in analysis beyond the undergraduate stage, and can be supplied, given a real idea, by any competent professional. The clear-cut idea of what is *meant* by a proof, nowadays so familiar as to be taken for granted, he perhaps did not possess at all. If a significant piece of reasoning occurred somewhere, and the total mixture of evidence and intuition gave him certainty, he looked no further. It is a minor indication of his quality that he can never have *missed* Cauchy’s theorem. With it he could have arrived more rapidly and conveniently at certain of his results, but his own methods enabled him to survey the field with an equal comprehensiveness and as sure a grasp.”

–from a review of “The Collected Papers of Srinivsa Ramanujan” appearing in the Mathematical Gazette, April 1929, Vol. XIV, No. 200; reprinted in “Littlewood’s Miscellany,” pp 94-99.

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