[caption id="attachment_7173" align="alignright" width="280"]Sir C. V. Raman Sir C. V. Raman[/caption]

Every year on 28th of February, India celebrates its National Science Day to commemorate the discovery of the Raman Effect, named after Sir C. V. Raman. Sir Chandrasekhara Venkata Raman was a world renowned physicist and one of the greatest Indians of the 20th century. Among his many scientific achievements the discovery of the effect named after him is the pedestal. Co-discovered with help from K. S. Krishnan, Sir Raman was a man of extraordinary intelligence and fortitude. His discovery came at a time when India was still under colonial rule and not much science was going on in Indian academia. Sir Raman's discovery gave the much needed impetus for Indian science at that time, and he was rightly hailed as a harbinger of a golden era in Indian science and technology.

[caption id="attachment_7170" align="alignright" width="320"]Prof. Ken Ono Prof. Ken Ono (Image Courtesy: OU Math Club)[/caption]

As part of the National Mathematics Day 2014 on 22nd December, Gonit Sora (http://gonitsora.com) in association with Sciensation Media (Pune) and Gyanome.org organised a mini web conference wherein various eminent mathematicians from India and abroad shared their perspectives on mathematics. For Gonit Sora, Manjil Saikia had a conversation with Prof. Ken Ono which we reproduce here verbatim (except for correction of slight mistakes and eliminating speech pauses, etc). The conversation was transcribed by Kritashri Sukanya and Ananya Guha.

Prof. Ken Ono is the Asa Griggs Chandler Professor of Mathematics at Emory Univesity in the USA. He is a well known number theorist and is recognised through out the world for his work related to the mathematics of Ramanujan. He has held numerous positions earlier and also serves on the editorial boards of numerous reputed journals specialising in number theory. Recently his work on mock theta functions was selected by Discover magazine as the second best scientific work of the year (2014).

Perfect number is an ancient object of study. A positive integer $$n$$ is said to be perfect if $$n$$ is equal to twice the sum of its divisors. For example, $$6=1+2+3+6=12$$. Hence, $$6$$ is a perfect number. The concept of prime number is first introduced...