Who is C.S. Venkitaraman?
Known to his friends as CSV, Prof. Venkataraman was born at Chelakkara, a small village in Thrissur District of Kerala, India on 14 September 1918 as the son of late Professor C V Subbarama Iyer, who too was a professor of Mathematics at the University College, Trivandrum for a long time and later as the Principal in 1951.
After his early education in his native village and in Trivandrum, he had his higher education at the Presidency College, Chennai where he had the opportunity of studying under the eminent Professor K Ananda Rau, who was a contemporary and a friend of Ramanujan and a student of Hardy at University of Cambridge. Naturally, CSV got the inspiration to become a mathematician from his great Professor Ananda Rau and also, he got an opportunity to get introduced to another mathematical genius Prof R Vaidyanathaswamy, who had already established himself at the University of Madras in the thirties and had set up a tradition and an academic atmosphere that gave Madras an international recognition in the field of Mathematics. CSV was selected as a research scholar in the Department of Mathematics of Madras University to do research in Theory of Arithmetic function under the guidance of Prof R Vaidyanathaswamy. In fact, there he was in the eminent company of senior research scholars like P Kesava Menon and K G Ramanathan and the Theory of Multiplicative function formed the material for the dissertations of P Kesava Menon and CSV. The Theory of Arithmetic Functions was initiated in the thirties by Professors E. T. Bell of the California Institute of Technology and independently by Prof R Vaidyanathaswamy. CSV expounded the theory in a series of remarkable research papers which soon became a classic and CSV was awarded the Ph.D degree by the University of Madras in 1952 for his "Contributions to the Theory of Multiplicative Functions". During the work leading to the award of Ph.D degree, he derived a new identity for multiplicative functions of two variables. Vaidyanathaswami’s identity for multiplicative functions which appeared in Transactions of the American Mathematical Society in 1931 could be deduced from that of CSV's.
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