Mathematics is the cheapest science. Unlike physics or chemistry, it does not require any expensive equipment. All one needs for mathematics is a pencil and paper.

If there is a problem you can't solve, then there is an easier problem you can't solve: find it.

Even fairly good students, when they have obtained the solution of the problem and written down neatly the argument, shut their books and look for something else. Doing so, they miss an important and instructive phase of the work. ... A good teacher should understand and impress on his students the view that no problem whatever is completely exhausted.

Beauty in mathematics is seeing the truth without effort.

It is better to solve one problem five different ways, than to solve five problems one way.

Solving problems is a practical skill like, let us say, swimming. We acquire any practical skill by imitation and practice. Trying to swim, you imitate what other people do with their hands and feet to keep their heads above water, and, finally, you learn to swim by practicing swimming. Trying to solve problems, you have to observe and to imitate what other people do when solving problems, and, finally, you learn to do problems by doing them.

Hilbert once had a student in mathematics who stopped coming to his lectures, and he was finally told the young man had gone off to become a poet. Hilbert is reported to have remarked: 'I never thought he had enough imagination to be a mathematician.'

It may be more important in the mathematics class how you teach than what you teach.

In order to solve this differential equation you look at it until a solution occurs to you.

The world is anxious to admire that apex and culmination of modern mathematics: a theorem so perfectly general that no particular application of it is feasible.

The principle is so perfectly general that no particular application of it is possible.

There are many questions which fools can ask that wise men cannot answer.

The elegance of a mathematical theorem is directly proportional to the number of independent ideas one can see in the theorem and inversely proportional to the effort it takes to see them.

One of the first and foremost duties of the teacher is not to give his students the impression that mathematical problems have little connection with each other, and no connection at all with anything else. We have a natural opportunity to investigate the connections of a problem when looking back at its solution.

I am too good for philosophy and not good enough for physics. Mathematics is in between.

The result of the mathematician's creative work is demonstrative reasoning, a proof; but the proof is discovered by plausible reasoning, by guessing.

Mathematics has two faces: it is the rigorous science of Euclid, but it is also something else. Mathematics presented in the Euclidean way appears as a systematic, deductive science; but mathematics in the making appears as an experimental, inductive science. Both aspects are as old as the science of mathematics itself.

The first and foremost duty of the high school in teaching mathematics is to emphasize methodical work in problem solving...The teacher who wishes to serve equally all his students, future users and nonusers of mathematics, should teach problem solving so that it is about one-third mathematics and two-thirds common sense.

A mathematician who can only generalise is like a monkey who can only climb up a tree, and a mathematician who can only specialise is like a monkey who can only climb down a tree. In fact neither the up monkey nor the down monkey is a viable creature. A real monkey must find food and escape his enemies and so must be able to incessantly climb up and down. A real mathematician must be able to generalise and specialise.

Mathematics is being lazy. Mathematics is letting the principles do the work for you so that you do not have to do the work for yourself

If the proof starts from axioms, distinguishes several cases, and takes thirteen lines in the text book ... it may give the youngsters the impression that mathematics consists in proving the most obvious things in the least obvious way.

Mathematics is not a spectator sport!

In order to translate a sentence from English into French two things are necessary. First, we must understand thoroughly the English sentence. Second, we must be familiar with the forms of expression peculiar to the French language. The situation is very similar when we attempt to express in mathematical symbols a condition proposed in words. First, we must understand thoroughly the condition. Second, we must be familiar with the forms of mathematical expression.

Geometry is the science of correct reasoning on incorrect figures.

The cookbook gives a detailed description of ingredients and procedures but no proofs for its prescriptions or reasons for its recipes; the proof of the pudding is in the eating. ... Mathematics cannot be tested in exactly the same manner as a pudding; if all sorts of reasoning are debarred, a course of calculus may easily become an incoherent inventory of indigestible information.

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