In 1940 Hardy wrote a small book called A Mathematician’s Apology. I remember when I was about 12 being given a copy of this book. I think many people viewed it as a kind of manifesto or advertisement for pure mathematics. But I must say it didn’t resonate with me at all. It felt to me at once sanctimonious and austere, and I wasn’t impressed by its attempt to describe the aesthetics and pleasures of mathematics, or by the pride with which its author said that “nothing I have ever done is of the slightest practical use” (actually, he co-invented the Hardy-Weinberg law used in genetics). I doubt I would have chosen the path of a pure mathematician anyway, but Hardy’s book helped make certain of it.
Who Was Ramanujan?
Stephen Wolfram
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HEY! I’d better look up that law. A lot of us are taught it implicitly at least. And a biography. I think Anne Therese McDonald did maths with it — Rosemary Crossley said it was very elegantly written.

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