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French Mathematician Quotes
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In general, nothing measurable can be measured except by fractions expressing the result of the measurement, unless the measure be contained an exact number of times in the thing to be measured.
Joseph Louis Lagrange
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Chaos cuts with two edges. We have seen how it is impossible to retrieve past history from current observations. We will now show that it is impossible to predict future states from the current observations.
Ivar Ekeland
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[Mathematics] is the work of the human mind, which is destined rather to study than to know, to seek the truth rather than to find it.
Évariste Galois
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In repeating an argument that I have learned, I could readily have discovered it myself: or rather, even if this is an illusion, if I were not clever enough to have created it myself, I rediscover it myself, to the extent that I repeat it.
Henri Poincaré
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I had become interested in economics, an interest that was transformed into a lifetime dedication when I met with the mathematical theory of general economic equilibrium.
Gérard Debreu
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If we know anything we know it by mathematics; but those people have no concern for the true and legitimate science of things! they cling to trivialities!
Pierre Gassendi
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Residues arise … naturally in several branches of analysis …. Their consideration provides simple and easy-to-use methods, which are applicable to a large number of diverse questions, and some new results ….
Augustin-Louis Cauchy
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Kepler... thought it but reasonable, that as the sea has its whales and monsters, the air should have them likewise. These monsters are Comets...
Pierre Louis Maupertuis
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Mathematicks therefore is a Science which teaches or contemplates whatever is capable of Measure or Number as such. When it relates to Number, it is called Arithmetick; but when to measure, as Length, Breadth, Depth, Degrees of Velocity in Motion, Intenseness or Remissness of Sounds, Augmentation or Diminution of Quality, 6tc. it is called Geometry.
Jacques Ozanam
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The engineer should receive a complete mathematical education, but for what should it serve him? To see the different aspects of things and to see them quickly; he has no time to hunt mice.
Siméon Denis Poisson
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A very extensive class of phenomena exists, not produced by mechanical forces, but resulting simply from the presence and accumulation of heat. This part of natural philosophy cannot be connected with dynamical theories, it has principles peculiar to itself, and is founded on a method similar to that of other exact sciences.
Joseph Fourier
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I have always thought that morality in politics was something essential, just like feelings and affinities.
Laurent Schwartz
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When a branch of mathematics ceases to interest any but the specialists, it is very near its death, or at any rate dangerously close to paralysis, from which it can be rescued only by being plunged back into the vivifying source of the science.
André Weil
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And thus in all cases it will be found, that although Chance produces irregularities, still the Odds will be infinitely great, that in process of Time, those Irregularities will bear no proportion to the recurrency of that Order which naturally results from Original Design.
Abraham de Moivre
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Those periods of history when phenomena previously thought to be due to totally diverse causes have been reduced to a single principle were almost always accompanied by the discovery of many new facts, because a new approach in the conception of causes suggests a multitude of new experiments to try and explanations to verify.
André-Marie Ampère
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On foundations we believe in the reality of mathematics, but of course when philosophers attack us with their paradoxes we rush to hide behind formalism and say: "Mathematics is just a combination of meaningless symbols..."
Jean Dieudonné
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The mathematics have been in all ages the implacable adversaries of scientific romances.
François Arago
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We have found a beautiful and most general proposition, namely, that every integer is either a square, or the sum of two, three or at most four squares. This theorem depends on some of the most recondite mysteries of number, and is not possible to present its proof on the margin of this page.
Pierre de Fermat
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This is what it behoves us to know: as Frenchmen, for the advantage of France; as friends of all humanity, by that just and generous sentiment which makes us feel interest in the dignity, the peace, the independence, the happiness of all nations, on whatever spot of the globe nature may have placed their country.
Charles Dupin
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Papers should include more side remarks, open questions, and such. Very often, these are more interesting than the theorems actually proved. Alas, most people are afraid to admit that they don't know the answer to some question, and as a consequence they refrain from mentioning the question, even if it is a very natural one. What a pity! As for myself, I enjoy saying 'I do not know'.
Jean-Pierre Serre
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