Mathematical Quotations

Published by patrick honner on

This is a fun collection of mathematical quotations compiled by a professor at Trent University:

The list includes some classics, such as the following famous remark from John von Neumann:

 “In mathematics, you never understand things; you just get used to them.

I also like this quote, attributed to Hungarian mathematician Raoul Bott:

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

To add a favorite recent quote of mine to the list, a teacher was discussing how she used the idea of friendly numbers to help her quickly calculate in her head.  But while explaining the process, she warned us to be careful:  “Remember, what’s friendly to me may not be friendly to you!“.

patrick honner

Math teacher in Brooklyn, New York


Gaurav Tiwari · September 13, 2011 at 9:50 am

That’s a nice collection. Terence Tao has some classic and humorous mathematical quotes on his webpage:

    MrHonner · September 13, 2011 at 3:48 pm

    Another terrific compendium of quotes! Thanks for sharing.

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