The human story does not always unfold like a mathematical calculation on the principle that two and two make four. Sometimes in life they make five or minus three; and sometimes the blackboard topples down in the middle of the sum and leaves the class in disorder and the pedagogue with a black eye.
– |

# Tag Archives: mathematics

# Henry David Thoreau – Difficult problem solved through simplicity

I do believe in simplicity. When the mathematician would solve a difficult problem he first frees the equation from all encumbrances, and reduces it to its simplest terms.
– |

# Charles Babbage – Right answers from wrong figures

On two occasions I have been asked — “Pray, Mr. Babbage, if you put into the machine wrong figures, will the right answers come out?” In one case a member of the Upper, and in the other a member of the Lower, House put this question. I am not able rightly to apprehend the kind of confusion of ideas that could provoke such a question.
– |

# Omar Khayy?m – Algebras are geometric facts

Whoever thinks algebra is a trick in obtaining unknowns has thought it in vain. No attention should be paid to the fact that algebra and geometry are different in appearance. Algebras are geometric facts which are proved.
– |

# Galileo Galilei – The universe is a great book written in math

Philosophy is written in this grand book — I mean the universe — which stands continually open to our gaze, but it cannot be understood unless one first learns to comprehend the language and interpret the characters in which it is written. It is written in the language of mathematics, and its characters are triangles, circles, and other geometrical figures, without which it is humanly impossible to understand a single word of it; without these, one is wandering about in a dark labyrinth.
– |

# Richard Feynman – Math and the beauty of nature

To those who do not know mathematics it is difficult to get across a real feeling as to the beauty, the deepest beauty of nature. . . . If you want to learn about nature, to appreciate nature, it is necessary to understand the language that she speaks in.
– |

# Bertrand Russell – Algebra at first mystifies the child

In the beginning of algebra, even the most intelligent child finds, as a rule, very great difficulty. The use of letters is a mystery, which seems to have no purpose except mystification. It is almost impossible, at first, not to think that every letter stands for some particular number, if only the teacher would reveal what number it stands for.
– |

# Aristotle – Order, symetry, and limitation

The mathematical sciences particularly exhibit order, symmetry, and limitation; and these are the greatest forms of the beautiful.
– |

# Stephen Hawking – Our brains just aren’t equipped to visualize 11 dimensions

Evolution has ensured that our brains just aren’t equipped to visualize 11 dimensions directly. However, from a purely mathematical point of view it’s just as easy to think in 11 dimensions, as it is to think in three or four.
– |