Mathematicians ahead of their time?

It is said that in every field there’s that person who was years ahead of their time. For instance, Paul Morphy (born 1837) is said to have retired from chess because he found no one to match his technique that very much resembled modern chess theory.

So, who was the Paul Morphy of mathematics?


My top vote would be for Ramanujan. With severely limited resources, he was able to formulate deep number-theoretic identities that the top mathematicians in the field at the time hadn’t the imagination to conceive, let alone the slightest clue to prove. A close second would be Evariste Galois–dead at the age of 20, he had already established the foundations of what is now an entire algebraic theory named after him. The world will never know what mathematics he could have discovered had he lived.

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