A New Year’s Resolution … revisited

G. H. Hardy

” A mathematician, like a painter or poet, is a maker of patterns. If his patterns are more permanent than theirs, it is because they are made with ideas.” – G. H. Hardy

Well, it’s that time of year again.  The time of year millions of people resolve to change who they are, what they look like or what they do.  And, as it turns out, mathematicians are no different from anyone else.  Sometime in the 1940′s,G.H. Hardy sent the following list of New Year’s resolutions to a friend.

  1. To prove the Riemann Hypothesis
  2. To make a brilliant play in a crucial cricket match
  3. To prove the nonexistence of God
  4. To be the first man atop Mount Everest
  5. To be proclaimed the first president of the U.S.S.R., Great Britain, and Germany
  6. To murder Mussolini

Unfortunately, just like us mere mortals, G.H. Hardy never fulfilled any of his resolutions – what a shame, a proof of the Riemann Hypothesis would have been a great one.  Oh well.  At least he can inspire us to think big!