Srinivasa Ramanujan (1887 – 1920) was a mathematician and autodidact who, with almost no formal training in pure mathematics, made extraordinary contributions to mathematical analysis, number theory, infinite series, and continued fractions. Living in India with no access to the larger mathematical community, which was centered in Europe at the time, Ramanujan developed his own research in isolation. As a result, he sometimes rediscovered known theorems in addition to producing new work. One of his rediscoveries was Euler's identity, which is slightly suggestive of the function of mathematics in Lovecraft's work.
Ramanujan was said to be a natural genius by the English mathematician G. H. Hardy, in the same league as Euler and Gauss. He died at the age of 32. A contemporary of Lovecraft, he's a candidate for having discovered the Mythos through mathematics, and leading others to do the same. His habit of writing down formulas in loose-leaf notebooks, without derivations, is right out of Gothic CoC. A “lost notebook” from his last year was discovered in 1976, and as of 2012 the consequences are still being explored:
It was on his deathbed in 1920 that he described mysterious functions that mimicked theta functions, or modular forms, in a letter to Hardy. Like trigonometric functions such as sine and cosine, theta functions have a repeating pattern, but the pattern is much more complex and subtle than a simple sine curve. Theta functions are also "super-symmetric," meaning that if a specific type of mathematical function called a Moebius transformation is applied to the functions, they turn into themselves. Because they are so symmetric these theta functions are useful in many types of mathematics and physics, including string theory.
Ramanujan believed that 17 new functions he discovered were "mock modular forms" that looked like theta functions when written out as an infinite sum (their coefficients get large in the same way), but weren't super-symmetric. Ramanujan, a devout Hindu, thought these patterns were revealed to him by the goddess Namagiri.
Ramanujan died before he could prove his hunch. But more than 90 years later, Ono and his team proved that these functions indeed mimicked modular forms, […]1