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According to....

Do you ever find yourself searching for the right phrase to express something...knowing that it has perhaps been expressed much better by someone else? Or, do you want to back up your position on whatever by citing a well-known authority (though some will question whether ot not mathematicians fit the category of "well-known")?

When looking for that perfect quotation, the web site I always turn to is Furman University's Mathematical Quotation Server, the equivalent of a 83-page book of quotations specific to mathematics. It allows you to do searches on either key words or names of mathematicians. Or, you can view the quotes sorted by a particular mathematician. And finally, you can just sit back and read the random quotes that are returned. I should note that the weekly quotations shared on the MATHNEXUS web site intentionally are not taken from Woodard's web site (but there may be some overlap). Thus, you now have access to the best of two worlds.

You can even make up a new game, using this site. For example, who said the following things (each a different person):

  • "Anyone who cannot cope with mathematics is not fully human. At best he is a tolerable subhuman who has learned to wear shoes, bathe, and not make messes in the house."
  • "I advise my students to listen carefully the moment they decide to take no more mathematics courses. They might be able to hear the sound of closing doors."
  • "Mathematics is indeed dangerous in that it absorbs students to such a degree that it dulls their senses to everything else."
  • "If I feel unhappy, I do mathematics to become happy. If I am happy, I do mathematics to keep happy."
How did you do? You can check your answers using Woodard's web site.