Quotes About Math

Quotes tagged as "math" (showing 1-30 of 343)
Mark Haddon
“Prime numbers are what is left when you have taken all the patterns away. I think prime numbers are like life. They are very logical but you could never work out the rules, even if you spent all your time thinking about them.”
Mark Haddon, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

J.K. Rowling
“Do you mean ter tell me," he growled at the Dursleys, "that this boy—this boy!—knows nothin' abou'—about ANYTHING?"
Harry thought this was going a bit far. He had been to school, after all, and his marks weren't bad.
"I know some things," he said. "I can, you know, do math and stuff.”
J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

Sarah   Williams
“[The Old Astronomer to His Pupil]

Reach me down my Tycho Brahe, I would know him when we meet,
When I share my later science, sitting humbly at his feet;
He may know the law of all things, yet be ignorant of how
We are working to completion, working on from then to now.

Pray remember that I leave you all my theory complete,
Lacking only certain data for your adding, as is meet,
And remember men will scorn it, 'tis original and true,
And the obloquy of newness may fall bitterly on you.

But, my pupil, as my pupil you have learned the worth of scorn,
You have laughed with me at pity, we have joyed to be forlorn,
What for us are all distractions of men's fellowship and smiles;
What for us the Goddess Pleasure with her meretricious smiles.

You may tell that German College that their honor comes too late,
But they must not waste repentance on the grizzly savant's fate.
Though my soul may set in darkness, it will rise in perfect light;
I have loved the stars too fondly to be fearful of the night.

What, my boy, you are not weeping? You should save your eyes for sight;
You will need them, mine observer, yet for many another night.
I leave none but you, my pupil, unto whom my plans are known.
You 'have none but me,' you murmur, and I 'leave you quite alone'?

Well then, kiss me, -- since my mother left her blessing on my brow,
There has been a something wanting in my nature until now;
I can dimly comprehend it, -- that I might have been more kind,
Might have cherished you more wisely, as the one I leave behind.

I 'have never failed in kindness'? No, we lived too high for strife,--
Calmest coldness was the error which has crept into our life;
But your spirit is untainted, I can dedicate you still
To the service of our science: you will further it? you will!

There are certain calculations I should like to make with you,
To be sure that your deductions will be logical and true;
And remember, 'Patience, Patience,' is the watchword of a sage,
Not to-day nor yet to-morrow can complete a perfect age.

I have sown, like Tycho Brahe, that a greater man may reap;
But if none should do my reaping, 'twill disturb me in my sleep
So be careful and be faithful, though, like me, you leave no name;
See, my boy, that nothing turn you to the mere pursuit of fame.

I must say Good-bye, my pupil, for I cannot longer speak;
Draw the curtain back for Venus, ere my vision grows too weak:
It is strange the pearly planet should look red as fiery Mars,--
God will mercifully guide me on my way amongst the stars.”
Sarah Williams, Twilight Hours: A Legacy of Verse

A.A. Milne
“But Piglet is so small that he slips into a pocket, where it is very comfortable to feel him when you are not quite sure whether twice seven is twelve or twenty-two.”
A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh

Patrick Rothfuss
“Elodin proved a difficult man to find. He had an office in Hollows, but never seemed to use it. When I visited Ledgers and Lists, I discovered he only taught one class: Unlikely Maths. However, this was less than helpful in tracking him down, as according to the ledger, the time of the class was 'now' and the location was 'everywhere.”
Patrick Rothfuss, The Name of the Wind

Veronica Roth
“Lynn, she saved half our faction from this stuff," says Marlene, tapping the bandage on her arm from where the Dauntless traitors shot her. "Well, half of half of our faction."
"In some circles they call that a quarter, Mar," Lynn says.”
Veronica Roth, Insurgent

Deepak Chopra
“Mathematics expresses values that reflect the cosmos, including orderliness, balance, harmony, logic, and abstract beauty.”
Deepak Chopra

John von Neumann
“If people do not believe that mathematics is simple, it is only because they do not realize how complicated life is.”
John von Neumann

Galileo Galilei
“Philosophy [nature] is written in that great book which ever is before our eyes -- I mean the universe -- but we cannot understand it if we do not first learn the language and grasp the symbols in which it is written. The book is written in mathematical language, and the symbols are triangles, circles and other geometrical figures, without whose help it is impossible to comprehend a single word of it; without which one wanders in vain through a dark labyrinth.”
Galileo Galilei

Augusten Burroughs
“Just as I had long suspected, a person didn't really need math for anything anyway. Maybe some people did. Some limited people.”
Augusten Burroughs, Possible Side Effects

Roman Payne
“The ‘Muse’ is not an artistic mystery, but a mathematical equation. The gift are those ideas you think of as you drift to sleep. The giver is that one you think of when you first awake.”
Roman Payne

Rick Riordan
“I've got a few ideas," (Amy) admitted. "But I don't know where we're going in the long term. I mean - have you ever thought about what this ultimate treasure could be?"
"Something cool." (Dan)
"Oh, that's real helpful. I mean, what could make somebody the most powerful Cahill in history? And why thirty-nine clues?"
Dan shrugged. "Thirty-nine is a sweet number. It's thirteen times three. It's also the sum of five prime numbers in a row - 3,5,7,11,13. And if you add the first three powers of three, 3 to the first, 3 to the second, and s to the third, you get thirty-nine."
Amy stared at him. "How did you know that?"
"What do you mean? It's obvious.”
Rick Riordan, The Maze of Bones

Richard Dawkins
“It has become almost a cliché to remark that nobody boasts of ignorance of literature, but it is socially acceptable to boast ignorance of science and proudly claim incompetence in mathematics.”
Richard Dawkins

Jenny Downham
“Statement: A girl and a boy jump into a river. The boy swims over to the girl and says, "God, it's cold."
Question: What's the probability they will kiss?”
Jenny Downham, You Against Me

Paul  Lockhart
“It is the story that matters not just the ending.”
Paul Lockhart, A Mathematician's Lament: How School Cheats Us Out of Our Most Fascinating and Imaginative Art Form

John Green
“There are infinite numbers between 0 and 1. There's .1 and .12 and .112 and an infinite collection of others. Of course, there is a bigger infinite set of numbers between 0 and 2, or between 0 and a million. Some infinities are bigger than other infinities... I cannot tell you how grateful I am for our little infinity. You gave me forever within the numbered days, and I'm grateful.”
John Green, The Fault in Our Stars

Paul Erdős
“[When asked why are numbers beautiful?]

It’s like asking why is Ludwig van Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony beautiful. If you don't see why, someone can't tell you. I know numbers are beautiful. If they aren't beautiful, nothing is.”
Paul Erdős

Abraham Verghese
“Pray tell us, what's your favorite number?"...
"Shiva jumped up to the board, uninvited, and wrote 10,213,223"...
"And pray, why would this number interest us?"
"It is the only number that describes itself when you read it, 'One zero, two ones, three twos, two threes'.”
Abraham Verghese, Cutting for Stone
tags: math

Abbi Glines
“Calculus was not math. It was a fucking science experiment gone wrong.”
Abbi Glines, Just for Now

René Descartes
“But in my opinion, all things in nature occur mathematically.”
René Descartes

Augustine of Hippo
“The good Christian should beware of mathematicians. The danger already exists that mathematicians have made a covenant with the devil to darken the spirit and confine man in the bonds of Hell.”
Augustine of Hippo

Neal Stephenson
“He walked straight out of college into the waiting arms of the Navy.

They gave him an intelligence test. The first question on the math part had to do with boats on a river: Port Smith is 100 miles upstream of Port Jones. The river flows at 5 miles per hour. The boat goes through water at 10 miles per hour. How long does it take to go from Port Smith to Port Jones? How long to come back?

Lawrence immediately saw that it was a trick question. You would have to be some kind of idiot to make the facile assumption that the current would add or subtract 5 miles per hour to or from the speed of the boat. Clearly, 5 miles per hour was nothing more than the average speed. The current would be faster in the middle of the river and slower at the banks. More complicated variations could be expected at bends in the river. Basically it was a question of hydrodynamics, which could be tackled using certain well-known systems of differential equations. Lawrence dove into the problem, rapidly (or so he thought) covering both sides of ten sheets of paper with calculations. Along the way, he realized that one of his assumptions, in combination with the simplified Navier Stokes equations, had led him into an exploration of a particularly interesting family of partial differential equations. Before he knew it, he had proved a new theorem. If that didn't prove his intelligence, what would?

Then the time bell rang and the papers were collected. Lawrence managed to hang onto his scratch paper. He took it back to his dorm, typed it up, and mailed it to one of the more approachable math professors at Princeton, who promptly arranged for it to be published in a Parisian mathematics journal.

Lawrence received two free, freshly printed copies of the journal a few months later, in San Diego, California, during mail call on board a large ship called the U.S.S. Nevada. The ship had a band, and the Navy had given Lawrence the job of playing the glockenspiel in it, because their testing procedures had proven that he was not intelligent enough to do anything else.”
Neal Stephenson, Cryptonomicon

Bertrand Russell
“There was a footpath leading across fields to New Southgate, and I used to go there alone to watch the sunset and contemplate suicide. I did not, however, commit suicide, because I wished to know more of mathematics.”
Bertrand Russell

Paul Erdős
“A mathematician is a device for turning coffee into theorems”
Paul Erdős
tags: math

Jacqueline Carey
“I can see patterns in events, and behaviors; in mathematics, I follow slower”
Jacqueline Carey, Kushiel's Chosen

“When things get too complicated, it sometimes makes sense to stop and wonder: Have I asked the right question?”
Enrico Bombieri

Werner Heisenberg
“I think that modern physics has definitely decided in favor of Plato. In fact the smallest units of matter are not physical objects in the ordinary sense; they are forms, ideas which can be expressed unambiguously only in mathematical language.”
Werner Heisenberg

Paul Erdős
“I'll tell you once,
and I'll tell you again.
There's always a prime
between n and 2n.”
Paul Erdős, Topics in the Theory of Numbers
tags: math

Johannes Kepler
“Geometry has two great treasures; one is the Theorem of Pythagoras; the other, the division of a line into extreme and mean ratio. The first we may compare to a measure of gold; the second we may name a precious jewel.”
Johannes Kepler

Sariah Wilson
“Here's the thing. Math and I broke up two years ago, and now whenever we get together it's just weird and awkward for both of us.”
Sariah Wilson, The Ugly Stepsister Strikes Back

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