Quotations for the week: Rényi

Two short quotations from Alfréd Rényi, which together give a rather charming picture of the mathematical lifestyle.

If I feel unhappy, I do mathematics to become happy. If I am happy, I do mathematics to keep happy.

Quoted in P Turán, “The Work of Alfréd Rényi”, Matematikai Lapok 21 (1970) 199-210.

A mathematician is a machine for turning coffee into theorems.

(Widely attributed to Paul Erdős, but apparently due to Rényi.)

It’s Monday morning and I feel gloomy. Pass the coffee, please.


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