The fact is there are few more popular subjects than mathematics. ... For what is useful above all is technique, and mathematical technique is taught mainly through pure mathematics.”. If his patterns are more permanent than theirs, it is because they are made with ideas. Hardy, A Mathematician's Apology Archimedes will be remembered when Aeschylus is forgotten, because languages die and mathematical ideas do not. This may be true; indeed it is probable, since the sensational triumphs of Einstein, that stellar astronomy and atomic physics are the only sciences which stand higher in popular estimation.”, “The geometer offers to the physicist a whole set of maps from which to choose. A man who sets out to justify his existence and his activities has to distinguish two different questions. It is a far finer gambit than any chess gambit: a chess player may offer the sacrifice of a pawn or even a piece, but a mathematician offers the game.”, “It is the dull and elementary parts of applied mathematics, as it is the dull and elementary parts of pure mathematics, that work for good or ill. Time may change all this. Appearances suggest the contrary, but there are easy explanations. Good work is no done by "humble" men. If his patterns are more permanent than theirs, it is because they are made with ideas.”. If his patterns are more permanent than theirs, it is because they are made with ideas.”. My answers will be, for the most part, such as are expected from a mathematician: I think that it is worthwhile, that there is ample justification. Pure mathematics is on the whole distinctly more useful than applied. We can naturally find much more striking illustrations. Bradman is a whole class above any batsman who has ever lived: if Archimedes, Newton and Gauss remain in the Hobbs class, I have to admit the possibility of a class above them, which I find difficult to imagine. Refresh and try again. We may consider, for example, the career of a man who was certainly one of the world's three greatest mathematicians. [...] The mathematician's patterns, like the painter's or the poet's must be beautiful; the ideas like the colours or the words, must fit together in a harmonious way. … One can be horrified, or disgusted, but one can’t be bored. But I should say at once that my defense of mathematics will be a defense of myself, and that my apology is bound to be to some extent egotistical. My answers will be, for the most part, such as are expected from a mathematician: I think that it is worthwhile, that there is ample justification. No other subject has such clear-cut or unanimously accepted standards, and the men who are remembered are almost always the men who merit it. Beauty is the first test: there is no permanent place in the world for ugly mathematics." “A mathematician, like a painter or poet, is a maker of patterns. Hardy Description : A Mathematician's Apology is the famous essay by British mathematician G. H. Hardy. It is a far finer gambit than any chess play: a chess player may offer the sacrifice of a pawn or even a piece, but a mathematician offers the game.”, “Real mathematics must be justified as art if it can be justified at all.”, “Archimedes will be remembered when Aeschylus is forgotten, because languages die and mathematical ideas do not. ... For what is useful above all is technique, and mathematical technique is taught mainly through pure mathematics.”, “I still say to myself when I am depressed, and find myself forced to listen to pompous and tiresome people, 'Well, I have done one thing you could never have done, and that is to have collaborated with both Littlewood and Ramanujan on something like equal terms.”, “A MAN who sets out to justify his existence and his activities has to distinguish two different questions. Just a moment while we sign you in to your Goodreads account. … A mathematician may still be competent enough at sixty, but it is useless to expect him to have original ideas.”, “There is no scorn more profound, or on the whole more justifiable, than that of the men who make for the men who explain.”, “What is the proper justification of a mathematician’s life? Hardy, A Mathematician's Apology. … Galois died at twenty-one, Abel at twenty-seven, Ramanujan at thirty-three, Riemann at forty. will always be ineffective himself and a discouragement to others. The Babylonian and Assyrian civilizations have perished; Hammurabi, Sargon and Nebuchadnezzar are empty names; yet Babylonian mathematics is still interesting, and the Babylonian scale of 60 is still used in Astronomy. But on the whole the history of science is fair, and this is particularly true in mathematics. Some egotism of this sort is inevitable, and I do not feel that it really needs justification. If a man is in any sense a real mathematician, then it is a hundred to one that his mathematics will be far better than anything else he can do, and that it would be silly if he surrendered any decent opportunity of exercising his one talent in order to do undistinguished work in other fields.
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