Hardy-Littlewood Collaboration

One of the most successful collaborations in history of mathematics and science has been between two great mathematicians Hardy and Littlewood. They had set the following rules 

  • Axiom 1: It didn’t matter whether what they wrote to each other was right or wrong.
  • Axiom 2: There was no obligation to reply, or even to read, any letter one sent to the other.
  • Axiom 3: They should not try to think about the same things.
  • Axiom 4: To avoid any quarrels, all papers would be under joint name, regardless of whether one of them had contributed nothing to the work.

Here is what I can say about collaborations: It is almost always beneficial even if one has disproportionately contributed. On the other hand it can become frustrating when one of the collaborators does not do things in a timely manner.


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