71 Total Quotes

# Mathematics Quotes

Yes, we have to divide up our time like that, between our politics and our equations. But to me our equations are far more important, for politics are only a matter of present concern. A mathematical equation stands forever.

Since the mathematicians have invaded the theory of relativity, I do not understand it myself anymore.

Mathematics is the only science where one never knows what one is talking about nor whether what is said is true

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Today's scientists have substituted mathematics for experiments, and they wander off through equation after equation, and eventually build a structure which has no relation to reality.

Mathematics would certainly have not come into existence if one had known from the beginning that there was in nature no exactly straight line, no actual circle, no absolute magnitude.

It is amusing to discover, in the twentieth century, that the quarrels between two lovers, two mathematicians, two nations, two economic systems, usually assumed insoluble in a finite period should exhibit one mechanism, the semantic mechanism of identification -- the discovery of which makes universal agreement possible, in mathematics and in life.

To the extent math refers to reality, we are not certain; to the extent we are certain, math does not refer to reality.

The union of the mathematician with the poet, fervor with measure, passion with correctness, this surely is the ideal

How happy the lot of the mathematician! He is judged solely by his peers, and the standard is so high that no colleague or rival can ever win a reputation he does not deserve. No cashier writes a letter to the press complaining about the incomprehensibility of Modern Mathematics and comparing it unfavorably with the good old days when mathematicians were content to paper irregularly shaped rooms and fill bathtubs without closing the waste pipe.

May not music be described as the mathematics of the sense, mathematics as music of the reason? The musician feels mathematics, the mathematician thinks music: music the dream, mathematics the working life.

But there is another reason for the high repute of mathematics: it is mathematics that offers the exact natural sciences a certain measure of security which, without mathematics, they could not attain.

University President: Why is it that you physicists always require so much expensive equipment? Now the Department of Mathematics requires nothing but money for paper, pencils, and erasers...and the Department of Philosophy is better still. It doesn't even ask for erasers.

Mathematics takes us into the region of absolute necessity, to which not only the actual word, but every possible word, must conform.

The theory of computation has traditionally been studied almost entirely in the abstract, as a topic in pure mathematics. This is to miss the point of it. Computers are physical objects, and computations are physical processes. What computers can or cannot compute is determined by the laws of physics alone, and not by pure mathematics.

The Theory of Groups is a branch of mathematics in which one does something to something and then compares the result with the result obtained from doing the same thing to something else, or something else to the same thing.

Necessary truth is merely the subject-matter of mathematics, not the reward we get for doing mathematics. The object of mathematics is not, and cannot be, mathematical certainty. It is not even mathematical truth, certain or otherwise. It is, and must be, mathematical explanation.

Mathematics alone make us feel the limits of our intelligence. For we can always suppose in the case of an experiment that it is inexplicable because we don't happen to have all the data. In mathematics we have all the data and yet we don't understand. We always come back to the contemplation of our human wretchedness. What force is in relation to our will, the impenetrable opacity of mathematics is in relation to our intelligence.

The mere formulation of a problem is far more essential than its solution, which may be merely a matter of mathematical or experimental skills. To raise new questions, new possibilities, to regard old problems from a new angle requires creative imagination and marks real advances in science.

Equations are more important to me, because politics is for the present, but an equation is something for eternity.