Spirit of Ramanujan STEM Talent Initiative

Ken Ono
Emory University

Project Summary

The Spirit of Ramanujan (SOR) STEM Talent Initiative is an international search for gifted young STEM students that aims to locate and nurture undiscovered talent.

SOR strives to find and nurture gifted young engineers, mathematicians, and scientists who lack traditional institutional support. Through financial grants, the initiative helps them develop their skills, realize their potential, and achieve their goals. By matching these emerging talents with leaders in STEM fields, SOR provides life-changing experiences to participants. Such opportunities—working with world-class mentors and engaging in exciting research projects—would otherwise be unavailable to these undiscovered geniuses.

Honoring the legacy of Srinivasa Ramanujan, Ken Ono founded SOR in 2016, together with IFC Films and Pressman Film (producers of the motion picture The Man Who Knew Infinity). Over the course of two years, SOR awarded 16 mathematics students worldwide with grants to support research and study. The initiative and Ken Ono received earned media coverage in major outlets, including summer 2018 issue of National Geographic devoted to genius in science.

This new three-year grant (2018–2020) builds on the two-year pilot, expanding the program to include all STEM fields. Each year, the Templeton–Ramanujan Fellowships gives individuals monetary grants up to $5,000. These grants subsidize participation in mentorship and research activities.

The widespread awareness generated by the Hollywood film The Man Who Knew Infinity and the use of technology to reach extraordinarily gifted people, combined with a series of opportunities to further their intellectual development, make this project unique.

Project Details

Project Duration

1 August 201831 July 2021

Core Funding Area

Genetics and Genius

Region of Activity

North America

TWCF Number

0323

Amount Awarded

$550,000

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