Top Mathematicians Quotes

Browse top 62 famous quotes and sayings about Mathematicians by most favorite authors.

Favorite Mathematicians Quotes

1. "In his wretched life of less than twenty-seven years Abel accomplished so much of the highest order that one of the leading mathematicians of the Nineteenth Century (Hermite, 1822-1901) could say without exaggeration, 'Abel has left mathematicians enough to keep them busy for five hundred years.' Asked how he had done all this in the six or seven years of his working life, Abel replied, 'By studying the masters, not the pupils."
Author: Abel
2. "As far as I know, only a small minority of mathematicians, even of those with Platonist views, accept the idea that there may be mathematical facts which are true but unknowable."
Author: Abraham Robinson
3. "You know" - Hale's breath was warm against Kat's ear in the chilly ballroom- "I don't know that both of us really have to be here...." The slide changed. While hundreds of mathematicians waited with baited breath, the boy beside Kat whispered,"I could go make some calls... check on some things...""Play some blackjack?""Well, when in Rome...""Rome is tomorrow, babe," Kat reminded him.He nodded. "Right."
Author: Ally Carter
4. "Pure mathematicians just love to try unsolved problems - they love a challenge."
Author: Andrew Wiles
5. "I hope that seeing the excitement of solving this problem will make young mathematicians realize that there are lots and lots of other problems in mathematics which are going to be just as challenging in the future."
Author: Andrew Wiles
6. "The good Christian should beware of mathematicians. The danger already exists that mathematicians have made a covenant with the devil to darken the spirit and confine man in the bonds of Hell."
Author: Augustine Of Hippo
7. "So now I'm going back againI got to get her somehowAll the people we used to knowThey're an illusion to me nowSome are mathematiciansSome are carpenter's wivesDon't know how it all got startedI don't what they're doing with their livesBut me I'm still on the roadHeading for another jointWe always did feel the sameWe just saw it from a different point of viewTangled up in Blue."
Author: Bob Dylan
8. "Physicists are more like avant-garde composers, willing to bend traditional rules... Mathematicians are more like classical composers."
Author: Brian Greene
9. "Mathematicians stand on each other's shoulders."
Author: Carl Friedrich Gauss
10. "Abel has left mathematicians enough to keep them busy for 500 years."
Author: Charles Hermite
11. "How did Biot arrive at the partial differential equation? [the heat conduction equation] . . . Perhaps Laplace gave Biot the equation and left him to sink or swim for a few years in trying to derive it. That would have been merely an instance of the way great mathematicians since the very beginnings of mathematical research have effortlessly maintained their superiority over ordinary mortals."
Author: Clifford A. Truesdell
12. "The way in which mathematicians and physicists and historians talk is quite different, and what a physicist means by physical intuition and what a mathematician means by beauty or elegance are things worth thinking about."
Author: Clifford Geertz
13. "TO ALL THEambulance driversfirewatchersair-raid wardensnursescanteen workersairplane spottersrescue workersmathematiciansvicarsvergersshopgirlschorus girlslibrariansdebutantesspinstersfishermenretired sailorsservantsevacueesShakespearean actorsand mystery novelistsWHO WON THE WAR."
Author: Connie Willis
14. "Guided only by their feeling for symmetry, simplicity, and generality, and an indefinable sense of the fitness of things, creative mathematicians now, as in the past, are inspired by the art of mathematics rather than by any prospect of ultimate usefulness."
Author: E. T. Bell
15. "Many mathematicians derive part of their self-esteem by feeling themselves the proud heirs of a long tradition of rational thinking; I am afraid they idealize their cultural ancestors."
Author: Edsger Dijkstra
16. "Yet there have been and still are mathematicians and philosophers who doubt whether the whole universe, or to speak more widely, the whole of being, was only created in Euclid's geometry. They even dare to dream that two parallel lines, which according to Euclid can never meet on earth, may meet somewhere in infinity."
Author: Fyodor Dostoyevsky
17. "[I was advised] to read Jordan's 'Cours d'analyse'; and I shall never forget the astonishment with which I read that remarkable work, the first inspiration for so many mathematicians of my generation, and learnt for the first time as I read it what mathematics really meant."
Author: G.H. Hardy
18. "It may be conceded to the mathematicians that four is twice two. But two is not twice one; two is two thousand times one."
Author: G.K. Chesterton
19. "Through all this ordeal his root horror had been isolation, and there are no words to express the abyss between isolation and having one ally. It may be conceded to the mathematicians that four is twice two. But two is not twice one; two is two thousand times one. That is why, in spite of a hundred disadvantages, the world will always return to monogamy."
Author: G.K. Chesterton
20. "Poets do not go mad; but chess-players do. Mathematicians go mad, and cashiers; but creative artists very seldom. I am not, as will be seen, in any sense attacking logic: I only say that this danger does lie in logic, not in imagination."
Author: G.K. Chesterton
21. "Work/Loaf Ratio"...I have spent fourteen years perfecting... I won't bore you with a long-winded explanation of the "W/LR" save to say that it is an algebraic formula of such complex numeric subtlety that it can be understood only by mathematicians and hobos."
Author: Gary Reilly
22. "If war were arithmetic, then the mathematicians would rule the world. (Lord Petyr Baelish)"
Author: George R.R. Martin
23. "I like to move among painters, mathematicians, psychologists, people who can tell me something."
Author: George Woodcock
24. "The apex of mathematical achievement occurs when two or more fields which were thought to be entirely unrelated turn out to be closely intertwined. Mathematicians have never decided whether they should feel excited or upset by such events."
Author: Gian Carlo Rota
25. "Philosophers and psychiatrists should explain why it is that we mathematicians are in the habit of systematically erasing our footsteps. Scientists have always looked askance at this strange habit of mathematicians, which has changed little from Pythagoras to our day."
Author: Gian Carlo Rota
26. "Nothing in life now ever seems to end. Chemists tell you matter is never completely destroyed, and mathematicians tell you that if you halve each pace in crossing a room, you will never reach the opposite wall, so what an optimist I would be if I thought that this story ended here."
Author: Graham Greene
27. "Mathematicians finally developed a financial model to accurately compare apples and oranges. Any two kinds of fruit can be compared, although guavas still cause minor rounding errors."
Author: Graham Parke
28. "For other great mathematicians or philosophers, he used the epithets magnus, or clarus, or clarissimus; for Newton alone he kept the prefix summus."
Author: He
29. "It is an unfortunate fact that proofs can be very misleading. Proofs exist to establish once and for all, according to very high standards, that certain mathematical statements are irrefutable facts. What is unfortunate about this is that a proof, in spite of the fact that it is perfectly correct, does not in any way have to be enlightening. Thus, mathematicians, and mathematics students, are faced with two problems: the generation of proofs, and the generation of internal enlightenment. To understand a theorem requires enlightenment. If one has enlightenment, one knows in one's soul why a particular theorem must be true."
Author: Herbert S. Gaskill
30. "To the average mathematician who merely wants to know his work is securely based, the most appealing choice is to avoid difficulties by means of Hilbert's program. Here one regards mathematics as a formal game and one is only concerned with the question of consistency ... . The Realist position is probably the one which most mathematicians would prefer to take. It is not until he becomes aware of some of the difficulties in set theory that he would even begin to question it. If these difficulties particularly upset him, he will rush to the shelter of Formalism, while his normal position will be somewhere between the two, trying to enjoy the best of two worlds."
Author: Hilbert
31. "Mathematicians deal with large numbers sometimes, but never in their income."
Author: Isaac Asimov
32. "Mathematicians may flatter themselves that they possess new ideas which mere human language is as yet unable to express."
Author: James C. Maxwell
33. "I became a so-called science fiction writer when someone decreed that I was a science fiction writer. I did not want to be classified as one, so I wondered in what way I'd offended that I would not get credit for being a serious writer. I decided that it was because I wrote about technology, and most fine American writers know nothing about technology. I got classified as a science fiction writer simply because I wrote about Schenectady, New York. My first book, Player Piano, was about Schenectady. There are huge factories in Schenectady and nothing else. I and my associates were engineers, physicists, chemists, and mathematicians. And when I wrote about the General Electric Company and Schenectady, it seemed a fantasy of the future to critics who had never seen the place."
Author: Kurt Vonnegut
34. "[I]t is funny because economists are not real scientists, and because logicians think more clearly, but mathematicians are best."
Author: Mark Haddon
35. "Biographical history, as taught in our public schools, is still largely a history of boneheads: ridiculous kings and queens, paranoid political leaders, compulsive voyagers, ignorant generals — the flotsam and jetsam of historical currents. The men who radically altered history, the great scientists and mathematicians, are seldom mentioned, if at all."
Author: Martin Gardner
36. "A lot of boys in my poker circle are mathematicians who play on probability. I don't have that kind of brain, so I rely on instinct. But I recently found out that poker and cards in general go way back in my family gene pool."
Author: Natalie Dormer
37. "Mathematics is written for mathematicians."
Author: Nicolaus Copernicus
38. "The idea would be in my mind - and I know it sounds strange - is that the most important advances in medicine would be made not by new knowledge in molecular biology, because that's exceeding what we can even use. It'll be made by mathematicians, physicists, computer scientists, figuring out a way to get all that information together."
Author: Patrick Soon Shiong
39. "Proof then, has retreated in the face of belief. Science, once heralded as the arbiter of truth, has had its facade of objectivity punctured. Intellectuals may point to the uncertainty of Heisenberg, but generally this has more to do with the growing distrust of statistics and the knowledge that scientists in the pay of governments and multi-nationals are no more objective than their masters. Science, once the avowed enemy of religion, now sees books BT Christian physicists and Taoist mathematicians. Science sells washing powders and status symbols and comes in the form of icons of technological nostalgia."
Author: Phil Hine
40. "Democracy can't work. Mathematicians, peasants, and animals, that's all there is-- so democracy, a theory based on the assumption that mathematicians and peasants are equal, can never work. Wisdom is not additive; its maximum is that of the wisest man in a given group."
Author: Robert Heinlein
41. "Plenty of mathematicians, Hardy knew, could follow a step-by-step discursus unflaggingly—yet counted for nothing beside Ramanujan. Years later, he would contrive an informal scale of natural mathematical ability on which he assigned himself a 25 and Littlewood a 30. To David Hilbert, the most eminent mathematician of the day, he assigned an 80. To Ramanujan he gave 100."
Author: Robert Kanigel
42. "Great physicists, great mathematicians, great chemists, and publishers knew that one was always feeling one's way in the dark."
Author: Roberto Bolaño
43. "As I say, there was this movement to try to bring philosophers and mathematicians together into an organization where they would talk to each other. An organization wasn't effective unless you had a journal. That's about all I know."
Author: Stephen Cole Kleene
44. "For example, the philosophers who were interested in logic were probably rather logical for mathematicians. But the ASL got us together, so we could talk to each other and publish in the same journal."
Author: Stephen Cole Kleene
45. "All mathematicians live in two different worlds. They live in a crystalline world of perfect platonic forms. An ice palace. But they also live in the common world where things are transient, ambiguous, subject to vicissitudes. Mathematicians go backward and forward from one world to another. They're adults in the crystalline world, infants in the real one."
Author: Sylvain Cappell
46. "Credulous: having views about the world, the universe and humanity's place in it that are shared only by very unsophisticated people and the most intelligent and advanced mathematicians and physicists."
Author: Terry Pratchett
47. "All musicians are subconsciously mathematicians."
Author: Thelonious Monk
48. "Thirty-five craters on the moon are named for Jesuit scientists and mathematicians."
Author: Thomas E. Woods Jr.
49. "Lecter sits in his armchair with a big pad of butcher paper doing calculations. The pages are filled with the symbols both of astrophysics and particle physics. There are repeated efforts with the symbols of string theory. The few mathematicians who could follow him might say his equations begin brilliantly and then decline, doomed by wishful thinking. Dr. Lecter wants time to reverse — no longer should increasing entropy mark the direction of time. He wants increasing order to point the way"."
Author: Thomas Harris
50. "It was love, she thought, love that never clutch its object; but, like the love which mathematicians bear their symbols, or poets their phrases, was meant to be spread over the world and become part of human gain. The world by all means should have shared it, could Mr Bankes have said why that woman pleased him so; why the sight of her reading a fairy tale to her boy had upon him precisely the same effect as the solution of a scientific problem."
Author: Virginia Woolf

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I wasn't that over-the-top, but I got sent to the principal in first grade for talking. And my father was for a long time the president of the Board of Education. That was always a hard note to bring home."
Author: Barbara Park

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