Quadratic reciprocity is the song of love in the land of prime numbers.

There's a lot of science in it, and as Slartibartfast [in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy] said: 'I am a great fan of science, but I cannot do a quadratic equation.' I've never, ever been able to do one. I remember one occasion at Warwick University, when Jack and Ian were at their wits' end because I couldn't get it. I felt totally ashamed.

Not a lot of people know this, but I'm very good at mathematics. When I was an angry teenager, I used to sit in my room and do quadratic equations to calm myself down.

I think it is said that Gauss had ten different proofs for the law of quadratic reciprocity. Any good theorem should have several proofs, the more the better. For two reasons: usually, different proofs have different strengths and weaknesses, and they generalise in different directions - they are not just repetitions of each other.

Aspiring to these wide generalizations, the analysis of quadratic functions soars to a pitch from whence it may look proudly down on the feeble and vain attempts of geometry proper to rise to its level or to emulate it in its flights.

How can you shorten the subject? That stern struggle with the multiplication table, for many people not yet ended in victory, how can you make it less? Square root, as obdurate as a hardwood stump in a pasturenothing but years of effort can extract it. You can't hurry the process. Or pass from arithmetic to algebra; you can't shoulder your way past quadratic equations or ripple through the binomial theorem. Instead, the other way; your feet are impeded in the tangled growth, your pace slackens, you sink and fall somewhere near the binomial theorem with the calculus in sight on the horizon.

It can be argued that the mathematics behind these images [of the orbit diagram for quadratic functions and the Mandelbrot set] is even prettier than the pictures themselves.

...the science of calculation also is indispensable as far as the extraction of the square and cube roots: Algebra as far as the quadratic equation and the use of logarithms are often of value in ordinary cases: but all beyond these is but a luxury; a delicious luxury indeed; but not be in indulged in by one who is to have a profession to follow for his subsistence.

All over China, parents tell their children to stop complaining and to finish their quadratic equations and trigonometric functions because there are sixty-five million American kids going to bed with no math at all.

What grinds me the most is that weâ€™re sending kids out into the world who donâ€™t know how to balance a checkbook, donâ€™t know how to apply for a loan, donâ€™t even know how to properly fill out a job application, but because they know the quadratic formula we consider them prepared for the world?

Life is not an orderly progression, self-contained like a musical scale or a quadratic equation... If one is to record one's life truthfully, one must aim at getting into the record of it something of the disorderly discontinuity which makes it so absurd, unpredictable, bearable.

This specter of the female politician, who abandons her family to neglect for the sake of passing bills in parliament, is just as complete an illusion of the masculine brain, as the other specter whom Sydney Smith laid by a joke,--the woman who would forsake an infant for a quadratic equation.

I then began to study arithmetical questions without any great apparent result, and without suspecting that they could have the least connexion with my previous researches. Disgusted at my want of success, I went away to spend a few days at the seaside, and thought of entirely different things. One day, as I was walking on the cliff, the idea came to me, again with the same characteristics of conciseness, suddenness, and immediate certainty, that arithmetical transformations of indefinite ternary quadratic forms are identical with those of non-Euclidian geometry.

Follow AzQuotes on Facebook, Twitter and Google+. Every day we present the best quotes! Improve yourself, find your inspiration, share with friends

or simply: