# Mathematicians

From Wikiquote

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

## Contents

## Sourced[edit]

- 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.
- Popularly attributed to Paul Erdős, who was quoting Alfréd Rényi (Bruce Schechter,
*My Brain Is Open: The Mathematical Journeys of Paul Erdős*, 1998, New York: Simon & Schuster, ISBN 0684846357)

- Popularly attributed to Paul Erdős, who was quoting Alfréd Rényi (Bruce Schechter,

- 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.

- Plato, from Benjamin Jowett's interpretive vernacular translation (1871) of

## Unsourced[edit]

- A mathematician is a blind man in a dark room looking for a black cat which isn't there.
- Uncertain, often misattributed to Charles Darwin

- A topologist is one who doesn't know the difference between a doughnut and a coffee cup.

- You know we all became mathematicians for the same reason: we were lazy.

- The mathematician has reached the highest rung on the ladder of human thought.

- There are two kinds of mistakes. There are fatal mistakes that destroy a theory; but there are also contingent ones, which are useful in testing the stability of a theory.

- Give us something to take home!

- Some of you may have had occasion to run into mathematicians and to wonder therefore: How they got that way

- It is impossible to be a mathematician without being a poet in soul.

- Think Explore Solve Lookback.

- lottery: Taxation for the mathematically inept.