# Mathematics - Quotes

Medicine makes people ill,** mathematics** make them sad and theology makes them sinful.

If a `religion` is defined to be a system of ideas that contains unprovable statements, then Gödel taught us that** mathematics** is not only a religion, it is the only religion that can prove itself to be one.

It is always the case, with** mathematics**, that a little direct experience of thinking over things on your own can provide a much deeper understanding than merely reading about them.

Physicists have come to realize that** mathematics**, when used with sufficient care, is a proven pathway to truth.

Outside observers often assume that the more complicated a piece of** mathematics** is, the more mathematicians admire it. Nothing could be further from the truth. Mathematicians admire elegance and simplicity above all else, and the ultimate goal in solving a problem is to find the method that does the job in the most efficient manner.

In many cases,** mathematics** is an escape from reality. The mathematician finds his own monastic niche and happiness in pursuits that are disconnected from external affairs. Some practice it as if using a drug.

In the company of friends, writers can discuss their books, economists the state of the economy, lawyers their latest cases, and businessmen their latest acquisitions, but mathematicians cannot discuss their** mathematics** at all. And the more profound their work, the less understandable it is.

**Mathematics **is not a deductive science - that`s a cliche. When you try to prove a theorem, you don`t just list the hypotheses, and then start to reason. What you do is trial and error, experimentation, guesswork.

Life is good for only two things, discovering** mathematics** and teaching** mathematics**.

I like** mathematics** because it is not human and has nothing particular to do with this planet or with the whole accidental universe - because, like Spinoza`s God, it won`t love us in return.

One of the chief triumphs of modern** mathematics** consists in having discovered what** mathematics** really is.

There are two ways to do great** mathematics**. The first is to be smarter than everybody else. The second way is to be stupider than everybody else - but persistent.

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**.