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Hardy, Littlewood and polymath

Hardy, Littlewood and polymath

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Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMathematics, Substance and Surmise
Subtitle of host publicationViews on the Meaning and Ontology of Mathematics
EditorsErnest Davis, Philip J. Davis
Place of PublicationSwitzerland
Pages9-23
Number of pages15
DOIs
StatePublished - 2015

Abstract

In the early twenty-first century the polymath experiments saw some of the most distinguished mathematicians in the world work together on significant research problems, writing down what they were doing on a blog for all to see as they went along. They drew widespread attentions as they offered an unusual opportunity to see mathematics in progress. In this paper we contrast polymath with a famous collaboration from the early twentieth century, that of the Cambridge mathematicians G H Hardy and J E Littlewood. We look at collaborations, and the institutions and structures that enable them, as a contribution to understanding how collaboration enables mathematical advance.

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