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Home > Dictionary of Science Quotations > Scientist Names Index E > Paul Erdös Quotes

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Paul Erdös
(26 Mar 1913 - 20 Sep 1996)

Hungarian mathematician.

Science Quotes by Paul Erdös (5 quotes)

[On why are numbers beautiful?] It’s like asking why is Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony beautiful. If you don’t see why, someone can’t tell you. I know numbers are beautiful. If they aren’t beautiful, nothing is.
— Paul Erdös
As quoted in Paul Hoffman, The Man who Loves Only Numbers (1998), 44.
Science quotes on:  |  Ask (420)  |  Asking (74)  |  Beautiful (271)  |  Beethoven (14)  |  Beethoven_Ludwig (8)  |  Know (1538)  |  Mathematical Beauty (19)  |  Nothing (1000)  |  Number (710)  |  See (1094)  |  Symphony (10)  |  Tell (344)  |  Why (491)

Another roof, another proof.
[His motto, as an itinerant between mathematical friends’ houses at which he collaborated.]
— Paul Erdös
Quoted by Béla Bollobás, 'The Life and Work of Paul Erdos', in Shiing-Shen Chern and Friedrich Hirzebruch, Wolf Prize in Mathematics (2000), 293.
Science quotes on:  |  Collaboration (16)  |  Friend (180)  |  House (143)  |  Proof (304)  |  Roof (14)

Every human activity, good or bad, except mathematics, must come to an end.
— Paul Erdös
Quoted as a favorite saying of Paul Erdös, by Béla Bollobás, 'The Life and Work of Paul Erdos', in Shiing-Shen Chern and Friedrich Hirzebruch (eds.) Wolf Prize in Mathematics (2000), Vol. 1, 292.
Science quotes on:  |  Activity (218)  |  Bad (185)  |  End (603)  |  Good (906)  |  Human (1512)  |  Mathematics (1395)  |  Must (1525)

Here I am: My brain is open.
[As an itinerant scholar, this was greeting he often gave, ready to collaborate, upon arrival at the home of any mathematician colleague.]
— Paul Erdös
Quoted by Béla Bollobás, 'The Life and Work of Paul Erdos", in Shiing-Shen Chern and Friedrich Hirzebruch, Wolf Prize in Mathematics (2000), 293.
Science quotes on:  |  Arrival (15)  |  Brain (281)  |  Collaboration (16)  |  Colleague (51)  |  Greeting (10)  |  Home (184)  |  Open (277)  |  Scholar (52)

Mathematics is not yet ready for such problems.
— Paul Erdös
Given, without citation, as the comment by Paul Erdös on the intractability of the 3x + 1 problem, by Jeffrey C. Lagarias in 'The 3x + 1 Problem and Its Generalizations', The American Mathematical Monthly, (Jan 1985), 92, No. 1, 3. Collected in Jeffrey C. Lagarias, The Ultimate Challenge: The 3x+1 Problem (2010), 31.
Science quotes on:  |  Mathematics (1395)  |  Problem (731)  |  Ready (43)

See also:

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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