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Sunday, September 18, 2016

"...a fundamentally creative act"

Sunday reflection:

"Early encounters with math can be misleading. The subject seems to be about learning rules -- how and when to apply ancient tricks to arrive at an answer. Four cookies remain in the cookie jar; the ball moves at 12.5 feet per second. Really, though, to be a mathematician is to experiment. Mathematical research is a fundamentally creative act. Lore has it that when David Hilbert, arguably the most influential mathematician of fin de siecle Europe, heard that a colleague had left to pursue fiction, he quipped: 'He did not have enough imagination for mathematics."

-- Gareth Cook in NY Times (2015)

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