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Home > Dictionary of Science Quotations > Scientist Names Index C > Levi L. Conant Quotes

Levi L. Conant
(3 Mar 1857 - 11 Oct 1916)

American mathematician who spent most of his career teaching at Worcester Polytechnic Institute. His field was trigonometry, but his best-known work was the first systematic comparative analysis of numeral systems of North America in The Number Concept: Its Origin and Development (1896).

Science Quotes by Levi L. Conant (1 quote)

Mathematics is the language of languages, the best school for sharpening thought and expression, is applicable to all processes in nature; and Germany needs mathematical gymnasia. Mathematics is God’s form of speech, and simplifies all things organic and inorganic. As knowledge becomes real, complete and great it approximates mathematical forms. It mediates between the worlds of mind and of matter.
— Levi L. Conant
Summarizing the ideas presented by Christian Heinrich Dillmann in Die Mathematik die Fackelträgerin einer neuen Zeit (1889). From book review, 'Recent Literature on Arithmetic and Arithmetical Teaching', in Granville Stanley Hall (ed.), The Pedagogical Seminary (1892), 2, 168. Dillmann’s book title translates as “Mathematics the Torchbearer of a New Era”. (However, Conant concluded that it was a “loosely-written, vague and incoherent book, which belies every anticipation awakened by its attractive title.”)
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Carl Sagan Thumbnail In science it often happens that scientists say, 'You know that's a really good argument; my position is mistaken,' and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion. (1987) -- Carl Sagan
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