Authors
Topics
Lists
Pictures
Resources
More about Gian-Carlo Rota
Gian-Carlo Rota Quotes
31 Sourced Quotes
Source
Report...
The pendulum of mathematics swings back and forth towards abstraction and away from it with a timing that remains to be estimated.
Gian-Carlo Rota
Source
Report...
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
Source
Report...
The Talmud and the Tao are trainers of scientific minds. A variety of talents is required if the scientific community is to thrive....
Gian-Carlo Rota
Source
Report...
The progress of mathematics can be viewed as progress from the infinite to the finite.
Gian-Carlo Rota
Source
Report...
The lack of real contact between mathematics and biology is either a tragedy, a scandal or a challenge, it is hard to decide which.
Gian-Carlo Rota
Source
Report...
THE COMPUTER IS JUST AN INSTRUMENT for doing faster what we already know how to do slower. All pretensions to computer intelligence and paradise-tomorrow promises should be toned down before the public turns away in disgust. And if that should happen, our civilization might not survive.
Gian-Carlo Rota
Source
Report...
Very little mathematics has direct applications - though fortunately most of it has plenty of indirect ones.
Gian-Carlo Rota
Source
Report...
Quantum mechanics is the imaginary square root of probability theory.
Gian-Carlo Rota
Source
Report...
Group theory, like lattice theory, is the whipping boy of mathematicians in need of concealing their feelings of insecurity.
Gian-Carlo Rota
Source
Report...
We take offense at those truths that threaten any of the myths we profess to believe in. Taking offense is an effective way we have of shutting off some unpleasant truth. It works. It enables us to restore a hold on our dearest myths, to last until the next offending myth comes along.
Gian-Carlo Rota
Source
Report...
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.
Gian-Carlo Rota
Source
Report...
A good teacher does not teach facts, he or she teaches enthusiasm, open-mindedness and values...
Gian-Carlo Rota
Source
Report...
Biologists seldom have the mathematical view that is required to spot problems in the mathematics of biology that are staring at them. A biologist will never see anything deeper than binomial coefficients. It is not that the problems aren't there; rather, biologists don't have the view that comes with a solid education in mathematics.
Gian-Carlo Rota
Source
Report...
Of all escapes from reality, mathematics is the most successful ever.
Gian-Carlo Rota
Source
Report...
Conditional probability tends to be viewed as one technique for calculating probabilities. Actually, there is more to it than meets the eye: it has an interpretation which is ordinarily passed over in silence. Philosophers take notice.
Gian-Carlo Rota
Source
Report...
Our faith in Mathematics is not likely to wane if we openly acknowledge that the personalities of even the greatest mathematicians may be as flawed as those of anyone else.
Gian-Carlo Rota
Source
Report...
Mathematics is the study of analogies between analogies. All science is. Scientists want to show that things that don't look alike are really the same. That is one of their innermost Freudian motivations. In fact, that is what we mean by understanding.
Gian-Carlo Rota
Source
Report...
Not only is every mathematical problem solved, but eventually every mathematical problem is proved trivial. The quest for ultimate triviality is characteristic of the mathematical enterprise.
Gian-Carlo Rota
Source
Report...
Books on paradoxes in statistics are similar to mystery books. They have a faithful readership, and they follow a rigorous sequence in their presentation, like Greek tragedies.
Gian-Carlo Rota
Source
Report...
Mathematics is a cruel profession. Solving a mathematical problem is for most mathematicians an arduous and lengthy process which may take years, even a lifetime. The final conquest of the truth comes, if ever, inevitably tinged with disillusion, soured by the realization of the ultimate irrelevance of all intellectual endeavor.
Gian-Carlo Rota
Source
Report...
Mathematical logic deals not with the truth but only with the game of truth.
Gian-Carlo Rota
Source
Report...
The snobbish symbol-dropping found nowadays in philosophical papers raises eyebrows among mathematicians, like someone paying his grocery bill with Monopoly money.
Gian-Carlo Rota
Source
Report...
The distance between probability and statistical mechanics is diminishing, and soon we won't be able to tell which is which. We will be rid of the handwaving arguments with which mathematically illiterate physicists have been pestering us.
Gian-Carlo Rota
Source
Report...
There is nothing deadlier for a mathematician than to be placed in a beautiful office and instructed to lay golden eggs.
Gian-Carlo Rota
Source
Report...
Every field has its taboos. In algebraic geometry the taboos are (1) writing a draft that can be followed by anyone but two or three of one's closest friends, (2) claiming that a result has applications, (3) mentioning the word 'combinatorial,' and (4) claiming that algebraic geometry existed before Grothendieck (only some handwaving references to 'the Italians' are allowed provided they are not supported by specific references).
Gian-Carlo Rota
1
2
Quote of the day
We do not need magic to transform our world. We carry all the power we need inside ourselves already. We have the power to imagine better.
J. K. Rowling
Gian-Carlo Rota
Creative Commons
Born:
April 27, 1932
Died:
April 18, 1999
(aged 66)
Bio:
Gian-Carlo Rota was an Italian-born American mathematician and philosopher.
Known for:
Indiscrete thoughts (1997)
Gian-Carlo Rota on combinatorics (1995)
Ordinary Differential Equations (1962)
Introduction to Geometric Probability (1997)
Finite operator calculus (1975)
Gian-Carlo Rota on Wikipedia
Suggest an edit or a new quote
American Mathematician Quotes
Mathematician Quotes
20th-century Mathematician Quotes
Related People
Nicholas Metropolis
American Physicist
Stanislaw Ulam
Polish Mathematician
Garrett Birkhoff
American Mathematician
Jacob T. Schwartz
American Computer scientist
Featured Authors
Lists
Predictions that didn't happen
If it's on the Internet it must be true
Remarkable Last Words (or Near-Last Words)
Picture Quotes
Confucius
Philip James Bailey
Eleanor Roosevelt
Letitia Elizabeth Landon
Popular Topics
life
love
nature
time
god
power
human
mind
work
art
heart
thought
men
day
×
Lib Quotes