The only way to learn mathematics is to do mathematics.

The best way to learn is to do; the worst way to teach is to talk.

The only way to learn mathematics is to do mathematics. That tenet is the foundation of the do-it-yourself, Socratic, or Texas method, ...

Don't just read it; fight it! Ask your own questions, look for your own examples, discover your own proofs. Is the hypothesis necessary? Is the converse true? Where does the proof use the hypothesis?

...the source of all great mathematics is the special case, the concrete example. It is frequent in mathematics that every instance of a concept of seemingly generality is, in essence, the same as a small and concrete special case.

Mathematics is not a deductive science-that's a cliché. 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, experiment and guesswork.

A smooth lecture... may be pleasant; a good teacher challenges, asks, irritates and maintains high standards - all that is generally not pleasant.

The beginner should not be discouraged if he finds he does not have the prerequisites for reading the prerequisites.

A good stack of examples, as large as possible, is indispensable for a thorough understanding of any concept,and when I want to learn something new, I make it my first job to build one.

Applied mathematics will always need pure mathematics just as anteaters will always need ants.

Feller was an ebullient man, who would rather be wrong than undecided.

You are allowed to lie a little, but you must never mislead.

When a student comes and asks, "Should I become a mathematician?" the answer should be no. If you have to ask, you shouldn't even ask.

[Mathematics] is security. Certainty. Truth. Beauty. Insight. Structure. Architecture. I see mathematics, the part of human knowledge that I call mathematics, as one thing-one great, glorious thing. Whether it is differential topology, or functional analysis, or homological algebra, it is all one thing. ... They are intimately interconnected, they are all facets of the same thing. That interconnection, that architecture, is secure truth and is beauty. That's what mathematics is to me.

It is the duty of all teachers, and of teachers of mathematics in particular, to expose their students to problems much more than to facts.

What's the best part of being a mathematician? I'm not a religious man, but it's almost like being in touch with God when you're thinking about mathematics. God is keeping secrets from us, and it's fun to try to learn some of the secrets.

The heart of mathematics is its problems.

It saddens me that educated people don't even know that my subject exists.

Mathematics is not a deductive science, that's a cliché ... What you do is trial and error, experimentation, guesswork.

To be a scholar of mathematics you must be born with talent, insight, concentration, taste, luck, drive and the ability to visualize and guess.

The library is the mathematician's laboratory.

I remember one occasion when I tried to add a little seasoning to a review, but I wasn't allowed to. The paper was by Dorothy Maharam, and it was a perfectly sound contribution to abstract measure theory. The domains of the underlying measures were not sets but elements of more general Boolean algebras, and their range consisted not of positive numbers but of certain abstract equivalence classes. My proposed first sentence was: "The author discusses valueless measures in pointless spaces."

Many teachers are concerned about the amount of material they must cover in a course. One cynic suggested a formula: since, he said, students on the average remember only about 40% of what you tell them, the thing to do is to cram into each course 250% of what you hope will stick.

... the student skit at Christmas contained a plaintive line: "Give us Master's exams that our faculty can pass, or give us a faculty that can pass our Master's exams."

If the NSF had never existed, if the government had never funded American mathematics, we would have half as many mathematicians as we now have, and I don't see anything wrong with that.

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