‘Do not worry about your difficulties in mathematics, I assure you
that mine are greater.’ (Albert Einstein, 1879–1955)

‘The laws of mathematics are not merely human inventions or
creations. They simply “are”; they exist quite independently of the human intellect.
The most that any(one) … can do is to find that they are there and to take
cognizance of them.’ (Maurits Escher, 1898–1972)

‘One cannot escape the feeling that these mathematical formulas
have an independent existence and an intelligence of their own, that they are
wiser than we are, wiser even than their discoverers.’ (Heinrich Hertz,
1857–94)

‘Mathematics is the art of giving the same name to different
things.’ (Henri PoincarĂ©, 1854–1912)

‘Beauty is the first test: there is no permanent place in the
world for ugly mathematics.’ (G. H. Hardy, 1877–1947)

‘The chief forms of beauty are order and symmetry and
definiteness, which the mathematical sciences demonstrate in a special degree.’
(Aristotle, 384–322 BC)

‘I used to love mathematics for its own sake, and I still do,
because it allows for no hypocrisy and no vagueness …’ (Stendhal, 1783–1842)

‘Mathematics may be defined as the subject in which we never know
what we are talking about, nor whether what we are saying is true.’ (Bertrand
Russell, 1872–1970)

I quite like Leon Lederman's comment on mathematicians:

ReplyDelete... the physicists defer only to the mathematicians, and the mathematicians defer only to God (although you may be hard pressed to find a mathematician that modest)

(Lederman, 1993, p13)

In which case I am definitely a very modest mathematician. As a Christian, I would hope that deferring to God would be a fundamental principle for how I live my life.

ReplyDelete