G. H. Hardy  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Godfrey Harold Hardy (February 7, 1877December 1, 1947) was a prominent British mathematician, known for his achievements in number theory and mathematical analysis. Non-mathematicians know him for two things: A Mathematician's Apology, his essay from 1941 on the aesthetics of mathematics (ISBN 0521427061) with some personal content — which may be the layman's best insight into the mind of a working mathematician; and his relationship as mentor from 1914 on of the Indian mathematician Srinivasa Ramanujan, whose extraordinary albeit untutored brilliance he immediately recognized. Two less similar mathematicians could hardly be imagined than Hardy, a precise and rigorous atheist, and Ramanujan, an intuitive, mystical Hindu, but they became close friends and colleagues. In an interview by Paul Erdos, when Hardy was asked what his greatest contribution to mathematics was, Hardy unhesitatingly replied that it was the discovery of Ramanujan.

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