American Mathematician Quotes
Mathematics deals mainly with realities and stern facts, and it arms those whose life work is beset with physical difficulties. Hence it appeals especially to the leaders of the common people, and it performs a fundamental function in the education of those who aim to excel in overcoming material difficulties.
Mathematics, springing from the soil of basic human experience with numbers and data and space and motion, builds up a far-flung architectural structure composed of theorems which reveal insights into the reasons behind appearances and of concepts which relate totally disparate concrete ideas.
The dictum that everything that people do is "cultural" licenses the idea that every cultural critic can meaningfully analyze even the most intricate accomplishments of art and science... It is distinctly weird to listen to pronouncements on the nature of mathematics from the lips of someone who cannot tell you what a complex number is!
Just as a lass may walk through the grass and, seeing no snakes, believe that there are no snakes, so also a student, may pass through elementary calculus and, seeing only elementary functions may for integrals, believe that each elementary function necessarily has an elementary function for an integral.
[The George E. P. Box paper Fitting empirical data (1960) is] a mature exposition of an important branch of statistics, to which the author has made great contributions. One feature of particular interest is practical discussion of genuinely nonlinear fitting problems and their solution with the help of tact and a special, publicly available, IBM-704 program. Another is insightful comments on the role of prior distributions in statistics.
We see an ever-increasing move toward inter and trans- disciplinary attacks upon problems in the real world... The system scientist has a central role to play in this new order, and that role is to first of all understand ways and means of how to encode the natural world into "good" formal structures.