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American Mathematician Quotes
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I think we need more math majors who don't become mathematicians. More math major doctors, more math major high school teachers, more math major CEOs, more math major senators. But we won't get there unless we dump the stereotype that math is only worthwhile for kid geniuses.
Jordan Ellenberg
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Misinforming people by use of statistical material might be called statistical manipulation; in a word (though not a very good one), statisticulation.
Darrell Huff
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Beauty is very integrated with rarity.... Beauty is connected so much with innovation and priority.... [In mathematics], it has to be something special to make it beautiful. If it's just ordinary, it's not beautiful.
Stephen Smale
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A mathematician experiments, amasses information, makes a conjecture, finds out that it does not work, gets confused and then tries to recover. A good mathematician eventually does so — and proves a theorem.
Steven G. Krantz
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Equations are the lifeblood of applied mathematics and science.
Thomas L. Saaty
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The notion that the intellect can create meaningful postulational systems at its whim is a deceptive half-truth. Only under the discipline of responsibility to the organic whole, only guided by intrinsic necessity, can the free mind achieve results of scientific value.
Herbert Robbins
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Mathematics is the codified body of all logical thought.
George David Birkhoff
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What is mathematics? It has so many different aspects that the difficulties in trying to give a definition are similar to those encountered in trying to determine whether some living organisms are animal or vegetable.
Louis J. Mordell
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As a professor of mathematics I am practically required by the ethics of the profession to be absent-minded, unmethodical, and inconsistent in many ways fatal to bibliographical excellence.
Louis Charles Karpinski
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Mathematics is the science of order and mathematicians seek to identify instances of order and to formulate and understand concepts that enable us to perceive order in complicated situations.
Shlomo Sternberg
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Proofs really aren't there to convince you that something is true — they're there to show why it is true.
Andrew M. Gleason
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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.
George Abram Miller
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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.
Saunders Mac Lane
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It is all too easy to notice the statistical sea that supports our thoughts and actions. If that sea loses its buoyancy, it may take a long time to regain the lost support.
William Kruskal
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Consider the Pitiful Plight Of a runner who wasn't too bright, But sprinted so fast He vanished at last By red-shifting himself out of sight.
Ralph P. Boas Jr.
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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!
Norman Levitt
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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.
Ralph Palmer Agnew
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[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.
Leonard Jimmie Savage
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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.
John Casti
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Every physicist knows exactly what the first and the second law mean, but... no two physicists agree about them.
Clifford Truesdell
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There are mathematicians, and then there's the rest of the world, and not much interaction between the two.
William Thurston
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We lay down a fundamental principle of generalization by abstraction: The existence of analogies between central features of various theories implies the existence of a general theory which underlies the particular theories and unifies them with respect to those central features.
E. H. Moore
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Yes, but when I discovered it, it stayed discovered.
Lawrence Shepp
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The conclusion seems inescapable: that formal logic has to be taken over by the mathematicians. The fact is that there does not exist an adequate logic at the present time, and unless the mathematicians create one, no one else is likely to do so.
Oswald Veblen
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He who discovers a fact or makes known a new law or adds a novel beauty to truth in any way makes every one of us his debtor. How beautiful upon the highway are the feet of him who comes bringing in his hands the gift of a new truth to mankind.
Robert Daniel Carmichael
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Flannery O'Connor
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