I like using quotations of great mathematicians as a source of inspiration for young students. I think even a short sentence could have a great influence on forming their research interests and point of views in future. Just as an example look at the following sentences of Hugh Woodin and his student Joel Hamkins. Can you see any sign of inspiration?

Quoted from BBC documentary movie "To Infinity and Beyond":

  • Prof. Doron Zeilberger (Rutgers University): Infinity may or may not exist. God may or may not exist. But in mathematics there should not be any place for neither infinity nor God!
  • Prof. Hugh Woodin (Harvard University): I am so sorry for those who deny existence of infinity. It is a beautiful subject. I can say the stars don't exist and stay inside and always look down but I don't see the beauty of the stars!

Quoted from Hamkins' paper "The Set Theoretic Multiverse":

  • Prof. Joel David Hamkins (City University of New York): Set theory appears to have discovered an entire cosmos of set-theoretic universes, revealing a category-theoretic nature for the subject, in which the universes are connected by the forcing relation or by large cardinal embeddings in complex commutative diagrams, like constellations filling a dark night sky.

Question. Is there a book/website which includes a collection of interesting quotations of mathematicians? It would be very interesting if it is classified by mathematical fields. e.g. Sentences about set theory, logic, algebra, analysis, probablity, etc.


Peter Cameron has a nice collection of quotes related to mathematics (old version) sorted by subject (as requested) or rather keywords, like Infinity, Axioms, Numbers but also some general sections. Not all of them are from mathematicians, but many are. He also links to some outher resources.

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    $\begingroup$ Very Helpful. Thanks. That is what I am searching for. $\endgroup$
    – user230
    Mar 24 '14 at 1:50
  • $\begingroup$ Save people a step: that page claims it is no longer maintained, and the up-to-date version can be found here ....great answer! $\endgroup$
    – Tutor
    Jun 25 '14 at 2:51
  • $\begingroup$ @Tutor Thanks! I edited it in. Not sure if this is new, or if I missed it then (I am afraid it is the latter). $\endgroup$
    – quid
    Jun 25 '14 at 11:50

Back in 1995, Theoni Pappas wrote this wonderful little book of mathematical quotes that I really liked at the time. I know that today probably most of these are on the web, but I find something to be said for having a tangible book on a shelf: http://www.amazon.com/Music-Reason-Experience-Mathematics-Quotations/dp/1884550045


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