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Department ofMathematics and Computer Science


Faculty member Gerald Alexanderson publishes book on G.H. Hardy

A specialist in number theory or classical analysis will almost certainly consider G.H. Hardy as the pre-eminent mathematician of the first half of the 20th century. Hardy was colorful, to put it mildly. Alternately an Oxford don and a Cambridge don, he was brilliant, witty, and moved easily through a circle of literary figures, philosophers, historians, and British eccentrics in general. 

Alexanderson has produced, with two colleagues from other institutions, a collection of essays by and about Hardy, published jointly by the Mathematical Association of America and the Cambridge University Press.  

Although Alexanderson did not know Hardy personally, his advisor and good friend at Stanford, George Polya, started a collaboration with Hardy in 1920, and Alexander feels he has known Hardy since childhood. Alexanderson may be the only living figure outside Cambridge with such a close tie to Hardy.

A soon-to-be-released film, “The Man Who Knew Infinity,” explores the collaboration between Hardy and another famous mathematician, Srinivasa Ramanujan.