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MATH 25 - FALL 1998
QUOTES OF THE DAY


  • 25 September 1998: "Mathematics is the queen of sciences, and the theory of numbers is the queen of mathematics." --Karl Friedrich Gauss (1777-1855)
  • 28 September 1998: "God made the integers, all the rest is the work of man." --Leopold Kronecker (1823-1891)
  • 30 September 1998: "Mathematics, rightly viewed, possesses not only truth, but supreme beauty -- a beauty cold and austere, like that of sculpture, without appeal to any part of our weaker nature, without the gorgeous trappings of paintings or music, yet sublimely pure, and capable of a stern perfection such as only the greatest art can show." --Bertrand Russell (1872-1970)
  • 2 October 1998: "When I use a word, it means just what I choose it to mean -- neither more nor less." --Humpty Dumpty in Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There
  • 5 October 1998: "It is India that gave us the ingenious method of expressing all numbers by means of ten symbols, each symbol receiving a value of position as well as an absolute value; a profound and important idea which appears so simple to us now that we ignore its true merit. But its very simplicity and the great ease which it has lent to computations put our arithmetic in the first rank of useful inventions; and we shall appreciate the grandeur of the achievement the more when we remember that it escaped the genius of Archimedes and Apollonius, two of the greatest men produced by antiquity." --Pierre-Simon de Laplace (1749-1827)
  • 7 October 1998: "Without precise calculations, we could fly right through a star or bounce too close to a supernova and that'd end your trip real quick, wouldn't it?" --Han Solo in Star Wars
  • 12 October 1998:
    "Any number is fine with me
    As long as it's more...
    I'm no mathematician.
    All I know is addition.
    I find counting a bore.
    Keep the number mounting
    Your accountant does the counting."
    --Stephen Sondheim (1930- ) as sung by Madonna
  • 14 October 1998: "Why add prime numbers? Prime numbers are made to be multiplied, not added." --Lev Landau (1908-1968)
  • 16 October 1998: "At the age of eleven, I began Euclid, with my brother as my tutor. This was one of the great events of my life, as dazzling as first love. I had not imagined there was anything so delicious in the world. From that moment until I was thirty-eight, mathematics was my chief interest and my chief source of happiness." --Bertrand Russell (1872-1970)
  • 19 October 1998: "There is probably no more absorbing pursuit in all of number theory than the resolution of a number into its prime factors." --Albert H. Beiler
  • 21 October 1998: "I believe tht mathematical reality lies outside us, that our function is to discover or observe it, and that the theorems which we prove, and which we describe grandiloquently as our 'creation,' are simply the notes of our observations." --G. H. Hardy (1877-1947)
  • 23 October 1998: "It is impossible...for any number which is a power greater than the second to be written as a sum of two like powers. I have a truly marvelous demonstration of this proposition which this margin is too narrow to contain." --Pierre De Fermat (1601-1665)
  • 26 October 1998: "Do not worry about your difficulties in mathematics. I assure you that mine are greater." --Albert Einstein (1879-1955)
  • 28 October 1998: "The invention of [congruence notation] by Gauss affords a striking example of the advantage which may be derived from an appropriate notation, and marks an epoch in the development of the science of arithmetic." --G. B. Matthews (1861-1922)
  • 30 October 1998: "I confess that Fermat's Theorem as an isolated proposition has very little interest for me, because I could easily lay down a multitude of such propositions, which one could neither prove nor dispose of." --Karl Friedrich Gauss (1777-1855)
  • 2 November 1998: "I admit that mathematical science is a good thing. But excessive devotion to it is a bad thing." --Aldous Huxley (1894-1963)
  • 4 November 1998: "...She knew only that if she did or said thus-and-so, men would unerringly respond with the complimentary thus-and-so. It was like a mathematical formula and no more difficult, for mathematics was the one subject that had come easy to Scarlett in her schooldays." --from Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
  • 6 November 1998: "Practical application is found by not looking for it, and one can say that the whole progress of civilization rests on that principle." --Jacques Hadamard (1865-1963)
  • 9 November 1998: "I have found a very great number of exceedingly beautiful theorems." --Pierre de Fermat (1601-1665)
  • 11 November 1998: "Read Euler: he is our master in everything." --Pierre-Simon Laplace (1749-1827)
  • 13 November 1998: "If I feel unhappy, I do mathematics to become happy. If I am happy, I do mathematics to keep happy." --Alfréd Rényi (1921-1970)
  • 16 November 1998: "The theory of numbers is particularly liable to the accusation that some of its problems are the wrong sort of questions to ask. I do not myself think the danger is serious; either a reasonable amount of concentration leads to new ideas or methods of obvious interest, or else one just leaves the problem alone. 'Perfect numbers' certainly never did any good, but then they never did any particular harm." --John E. Littlewood (1885-1977)
  • 18 November 1998: "No one has yet discovered any warlike purpose to be served by the theory of numbers or relativity, and it seems very unlikely that anyone will do so for many years." --G. H. Hardy (1877-1947)
  • 20 November 1998: "There are problems to whose solution I would attach an infinitely greater importance than to those of mathematics, for example touching ethics, or our relation to God, or concerning our destiny and our future; but their solution lies wholly beyond us and completely outside the province of science." --Karl Friedrich Gauss (1777-1855)
  • 23 November 1998: "A good mathematical joke is better, and better mathematics, than a dozen mediocre papers" --John E. Littlewood (1885-1977)
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