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- Mathematicians are extremely lucky, they are paid for doing what they would by nature have to do anyway. One should not have a non-teaching fellowship too long, there comes a time when one must make a contribution to society. Great mathematics is achieved by solving difficult problems not by fabricating elaborate theories in search of a problem.
- Harold Davenport, Bryan John Birch, Heini Halberstam (1977), The collected works of Harold Davenport. p. xviii
Quotes about Harold Davenport
- Conway made a fortuitous match for a Ph.D. adviser in Harold Davenport, considered the leader of the internationally respected British school of number theory. And while politically and socially speaking Conway was a radical, Davenport was a conservative. “All changes are for the worse,” he'd say. And looking back upon his career and his charges, he said: “I had 2 very good students. Baker”—Alan Baker, later a Fields Medalist—“to whom I would give a problem and he would return with a very good solution. And Conway, to whom I would give a problem and he would return with a very good solution to another problem.”
- Siobhan Roberts (14 July 2015). Genius At Play: The Curious Mind of John Horton Conway. Bloomsbury Publishing. p. 60. ISBN 978-1-62040-594-9.