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American Mathematician Quotes
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We thought that the generalization of the notion of space had ended with topoi, but we were mistaken. We probably know less about space now than we pretended to know fifty years ago. As mathematics progresses, our understanding of it regresses.
Gian-Carlo Rota
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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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But in the present century, thanks in good part to the influence of Hilbert, we have come to see that the unproved postulates with which we start are purely arbitrary. They must be consistent, they had better lead to something interesting.
Julian Coolidge
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A growing number of respectable scientists are defecting from the evolutionist camp.....moreover, for the most part these "experts" have abandoned Darwinism, not on the basis of religious faith or biblical persuasions, but on strictly scientific grounds, and in some instances, regretfully.
Wolfgang Smith
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The great mathematicians have acted on the principle "Devinez avant de d6montrer," and it is certainly true that almost all important discoveries are made in this fashion.
Edward Kasner
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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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They used Akbar's principles to formulate a version of Islam that could peacefully co-exist with other religions (or so they claimed). An Emperor's Bequest to Islam, their joint 1,300-page doorstopper, spent twenty weeks on the New York Times bestseller list in hardcover alone. The fact that they remained practicing Muslims (albeit the liberal, wine-guzzling kind) put their message in high international demand.
Manil Suri
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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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A formal manipulator in mathematics often experiences the discomforting feeling that his pencil surpasses him in intelligence.
Howard Eves
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Such evidence is not the only kind which produces belief; though positivism maintains that it is the only kind which ought to produce so high a degree of confidence as all minds have or can be made to have through their agreements.
Chauncey Wright
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A mathematical science is any body of propositions which is capable of an abstract formulation and arrangement in such a way that every proposition of the set after a certain one is a formal logical consequence of some or all the preceding propositions. Mathematics consists of all such mathematical sciences.
John Wesley Young
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Probably no branch of mathematics has experienced a more surprising growth than has... topology... Considered as a most specialized and abstract subject in the early 1920's, it is today [1938] an indispensable equipment for the investigation of modern mathematical theories.
Raymond Louis Wilder
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If "poetry is unfallen speech," then geometry is undebased thought, and if "architecture is frozen music" then it is also the crystallized science of form.
David Eugene Smith
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Some people think that mathematics is a serious business that must always be cold and dry; but we think mathematics is fun, and we aren't ashamed to admit the fact. Why should a strict boundary line be drawn between work and play? Concrete mathematics is full of appealing patterns; the manipulations are not always easy, but the answers can be astonishingly attractive.
Ronald Graham
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Innumeracy and pseudoscience are often associated, in part because of the ease with which mathematical certainty can be invoked, to bludgeon the innumerate into a dumb acquiescence.
John Allen Paulos
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Looking at numbers as groups of rocks may seem unusual, but actually it's as old as math itself. The word "calculate" reflects that legacy - it comes from the Latin word calculus, meaning a pebble used for counting. To enjoy working with numbers you don't have to be Einstein (German for "one stone"), but it might help to have rocks in your head.
Steven Strogatz
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Mathematics as we know it and as it has come to shape modern science could never have come into being without some disregard for the dangers of the infinite.
David Bressoud
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To many, mathematics is a collection of theorems. For me, mathematics is a collection of examples; a theorem is a statement about a collection of examples and the purpose of proving theorems is to classify and explain the examples...
John B. Conway
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Where did you intend to go when you applied for your passport? [...] Did you get into any of the countries we now call Iron Curtain countries?
Richard Friederich Arens
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The full beauty of the subject of generating functions emerges only from tuning in on both channels: the discrete and the continuous.
Herbert Wilf
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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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I have often pondered over the roles of knowledge or experience, on the one hand, and imagination or intuition, on the other, in the process of discovery. I believe that there is a certain fundamental conflict between the two, and knowledge, by advocating caution, tends to inhibit the flight of imagination. Therefore, a certain naiveté, unburdened by conventional wisdom, can sometimes be a positive asset.
Harish-Chandra
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If the sun were created expressly to light and heat the earth, what a waste of energy!
Forest Ray Moulton
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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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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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