Godfrey Harold Hardy


Godfrey Harold Hardy

Godfrey Harold Hardy was born in Cranleigh, England in 1877. His parents did not have high education but his mother was a teacher and his father was an art master.

His parents felt he was intelligent as a child, coming the top of his class in all subjects. Shy as a child, and throughout life, Hardy was uncomfortable when he accepted prizes for his achievements. Hardy was not "into" math as a child as many mathematicians are, however, he knew he could academically beat others in the subject.

Hardy was educated at Winchester College beginning in 1890. There he won a scholarship to Trinity College in 1896. He almost changed subjects to History, but instead he changed the professor he studied under. This man showed Hardy the meaning of mathematics.

Hardy wrote papers on the convergence of series and integrals. He established a pure mathematics course in 1908. Hardy, an honest man, claimed that only four or five of his papers were really significant.

Hardy began collaborating with J.E. Littlewood in 1911. He moved to Oxford to work in geometry in 1919, leaving Littlewood at Cambridge. Hardy states that his best collaborations with Littlewood occured during this time. He returned to Cambridge in 1931 to sit as Sadleirian Chair.

Hardy worked on topics that included Diophantine analysis, summation of divergant series, Fournier series, and the distribution of primes. Hardy also worked on genetic traints (which became important in blood group distribution).

Hardy had a heart attack in 1939 at age 62. After that, he wrote the book A mathematical apology in 1940. The book was a description of how a mathematician thinks and the pleasure of mathematics.

Hardy attempted suicide in 1947 but barely survived the attempt. He died later that year.

Hardy received the folowing honours from the Society:

Sites About G.H. Hardy


G.H. Hardy The Encylopedia Britannica briefly looks at the life of G.H. Hardy.
G.H. Hardy St. Andrew's Site on Hardy. Excellent information and references.

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Last updated April 26, 2000 by Annamae Lang and Nancy Yan