I had first learned of Srinivasa Ramanujan during my junior year of college when I was flipping through the pages of my number theory book, reading the various biographies of the text's featured mathematicians. I stumbled upon Atle Selberg's profile, which mentioned that he was inspired to study mathematics after reading the work of Ramanujan, an early 20th-century Indian mathematician. From there, I read the remarkable story about Ramanujan's upbringing, how he was born into poverty and, despite having no formal training in rigorous mathematics, produced some of the most profound results pertaining to number theory. I learned that although he was poor, Ramanujan benefited from his network of friends - a group of Brahmin intellectuals who recognized his mathematical talents and encouraged him to seek help by writing to three of the world's leading mathematicians of the day - H.F. Baker, E.W. Hobson, and G.H. Hardy. While Baker and Hobson dismissed Ramanujan's work, Hardy decided to bring Ramanujan to Cambridge and subsequently worked with him over the next six years, until his untimely death at the age of 32.

This wasn't the first time I encountered Hardy's work, I believe I first saw mention of his name when I was taking AP Biology in high school via the Hardy-Weinberg principle regarding the inter-generation distribution of genotypes in a population. We weren't required to know the principle in detail - we just had to memorize some basic facts regarding what subject area it covered and why the principle was important. It wasn't until I had read Hardy's *A Mathematician's Apology* 7 years later that I connected his name with what I had learned as a junior in biology class (although, I would imagine, based on Hardy's writings that he would be disappointed to see his name connected to a practical application in biology).

Around the time I had been applying for jobs after college, I came across a book called *The Man who Knew Infinity*, which is a biography of both Ramanujan and Hardy, their respective upbringings, and their time collaborating with each other at Cambridge. I had placed it on my list of books that I would like to read and finally got around to it earlier this month during the 4th of July weekend and finished it earlier this morning. I'd say it's my favorite biography - not only did it cover the lives of Ramanujan and Hardy, but it also covered the socioeconomic and political atmosphere during the early 20th century in both the British Raj and the British Isles.

What strikes me the most is that there were so many times in Ramanujan's life where he was destined for failure - he failed out of college not only once but twice - not because he wasn't smart enough to pass the examinations, but because he was so focused on mathematics at the time that he neglected his other subjects. There were numerous occasions where he nearly starved to death, and resources were always an issue - he had only a handful of books from which to extrapolate his discoveries, one of which being Loney's *Plane Trigonometry*, and another being George Carr's *Synopsis of Pure Mathematics*, a study guide for the mathematical Tripos examination at Cambridge. Hardy speculated that if it weren't for his early death and haphazard upbringing, Ramanujan could have been the greatest mathematician who ever lived. It's stories like these that are not only inspiring but also make you thankful for your circumstances. It makes you question whether or not you're doing the best with what you've got or if you're just throwing it all away.