From chapter 3 of the third edition of The Virtue of Heresy:
The tidal wave caused jointly by Max Planck’s 1900 quantum hypothesis and Einstein’s relativity swept the scientific world, and by 1930, physics was standing on its head. As professor of mathematics at the University of Leningrad, Alexander Friedmann enthusiastically promoted these ideas, and his students took them and ran.
One young man in particular would go on to become world-renowned on the stages of mathematics, nuclear physics, genetics, and cosmology, and without him this story could not be told.
Georgy Antonovich Gamov was born in Odessa, Ukraine, in 1904. He showed an exceptional gift for mathematics and science, and in due course found himself in the mathematics classes of Alexander Friedmann, who was then at the height of his fame. Before the adventurous Friedmann’s premature death of typhus fever in 1925, he spent long hours discussing his ideas of the cosmos with Gamov, and these naturally included the notion of an expanding Universe. Gamov, strangely enough, was not convinced. Not yet!