Mathematicians

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Occupations related to mathematics.

A mathematician is a person whose primary area of study and research is the field of mathematics.

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  • Quapropter bono christiano, sive mathematici, sive quilibet impie divinantium... cavendi sunt, ne consortio daemoniorum irretiant.
    • Translation: Therefore, a good Christian should beware that mathematicians, and any others who prophesy impiously... may be entangled in the companionship of demons.
    • St. Augustine, De Genesi ad Litteram
    • Augustine uses "mathematicians" in this context to refer mainly to astrologers and occultists using numerology.
  • A mathematician is a machine for turning coffee into theorems.
  • Die Mathematiker sind eine Art Franzosen; redet man zu ihnen, so übersetzen sie es in ihre Sprache, und dann ist es alsobald ganz etwas anders.
    • Translation: Mathematicians are [like] a sort of Frenchmen; if you talk to them, they translate it into their own language, and then it is immediately something quite different.
    • Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Maximen und Reflexionen, 2006 (Helmut Koopmann, ed.) ISBN 3423343788
  • The mathematician's best work is art, a high perfect art, as daring as the most secret dreams of imagination, clear and limpid. Mathematical genius and artistic genius touch one another.
    • Gösta Mittag-Leffler
    • Quoted in N. Rose Mathematical Maxims and Minims, Raleigh NC:Rome Press Inc., 1988.
  • Mathematicians seem to have no difficulty in creating new concepts faster than the old ones become well understood.
    • Edward Norton Lorenz (1991) "A scientist by choice". Speech by acceptance of the Kyoto Prize in 1991.
  • I have hardly ever known a mathematician who was capable of reasoning.
    • Plato, from Benjamin Jowett's interpretive vernacular translation (1871) of Plato's Republic, Book VII, 531-e. Plato actually has Socrates say that few mathematicians are dialecticians (διαλεκτικοί) (Jowett, Plato's Republic: The Greek Text, Vol. I "Text", 1894), by which he refers to step by step reasoning based on mutual agreement, (G. M. A. Grube, Plato's Republic (1974), Book VII, note 13). It is an accurate observation on the primitive mathematics of his day.

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