
Recent Posts
 A song for Pi Day
 EMS Popular Lecture: Maths and Sport
 Maths makes your brain light up… but why?
 RSS event: statistics and the referendum
 Two forthcoming IMA seminars
 Wit and heuristics in crosswords and mathematics
 Chain reaction forces
 RSS seminar: statistics making an impact
 Quotation for the new year
 Links: more on the mathematics of music
Archives
 March 2014
 February 2014
 January 2014
 November 2013
 October 2013
 September 2013
 August 2013
 July 2013
 June 2013
 April 2013
 March 2013
 February 2013
 December 2012
 November 2012
 October 2012
 September 2012
 August 2012
 July 2012
 June 2012
 May 2012
 April 2012
 March 2012
 February 2012
 January 2012
 December 2011
 November 2011
 October 2011
 September 2011
Categories
Maths news and articles
Societies
Reference
Meta
Category Archives: Quotations
Quotation for the new year
For anyone who is currently contemplating their January exam revision through bleary eyes and wondering what the point of their maths degree was supposed to be, here’s a possible answer from the lawyer and philosopher Francis Bacon: In the mathematics … Continue reading
Posted in Quotations
Leave a comment
Quotation for the week: Eddington
I agree with Burns that it’s valuable “to see oursels as ithers see us”. In that spirit, here’s an unflattering statement from the physicist and scientific populariser Arthur Eddington: Proof is an idol before whom the pure mathematician tortures himself. … Continue reading
Posted in Quotations
Leave a comment
Quotation for the week: Weil
Mathematicians, and scientists more generally, sometimes seem obsessed with showing off, awarding each other prizes, and generally fretting about who’s “better” than whom. It was presumably a close view of such activity that provoked the French philosopher, activist and mystic … Continue reading
Posted in Quotations
Leave a comment
Quotation for the week: Copernicus
A famous phrase here from Copernicus’s Preface to De Revolutionibus, in which he encourages Pope Paul III not to listen to “babblers” who criticise his work without being qualified: Mathemata mathematicis scribuntur. Mathematics is written for mathematicians.
Posted in Quotations
Leave a comment
Quotation for the week: Gordan / Noether
This week’s quotation is anecdotal, but it captures a sensation many of us will recognise. The context is that Paul Gordan, an eminent German mathematician who had spent much of his life working on invariant theory, had just encountered a … Continue reading
Posted in Quotations
Leave a comment
Quotation for the week: alHaytham
Some advice this week from the mediaeval Arabic scholar Ibn AlHaytham (better known in the West as Alhazen), the founder of what became the modern theory of optics: The duty of the man who investigates the writings of scientists, if … Continue reading
Posted in Quotations
Leave a comment
Quotation for the week: Somerville
The polymath Mary Somerville was a prominent figure in mathematical and scientific circles across Europe for roughly half a century. (In particular, she produced the first translation of Laplace’s Mécanique Céleste into English, and was one of the first people … Continue reading
Posted in Quotations
Leave a comment