##### Allen, Woody

Standard mathematics has recently been rendered obsolete by
the discovery that for years we have been writing the numeral five
backward. This has led to reevaluation of counting as a method of
getting from one to ten. Students are taught advanced concepts of
Boolean algebra, and formerly unsolvable equations are dealt with
by threats of reprisals.

In Howard Eves' Return to
Mathematical Circles, Boston: Prindle, Weber, and Schmidt, 1988.

##### Aiken, Conrad

[At a musical
concert:]

... the music's pure
algebra of
enchantment.

##### Adler, Alfred

In the company of
friends, writers can
discuss their books,
economists the state
of the economy,
lawyers their latest
cases, and
businessmen their
latest acquisitions,
but mathematicians
cannot discuss their
mathematics at all.
And the more
profound their work,
the less
understandable it
is.

"Reflections:
mathematics and
creativity," New
Yorker, 47(1972),
no. 53, 39 - 45.

##### Adler, Alfred

The mathematical life of a mathematician is short. Work rarely improves after the age of twenty-five or thirty. If little has been accomplished by then, little will ever be accomplished.

"Mathematics and Creativity." The New Yorker Magazine, February 19, 1972.

##### Adler, Alfred

Each generation has its few great mathematicians, and mathematics would not even notice the absence of the others. They are useful as teachers, and their research harms no one, but it is of no importance at all. A mathematician is great or he is nothing.

"Mathematics and Creativity." The New Yorker Magazine, February 19, 1972.

##### Adams, John (1735 - 1826)

I must study politics and war that my sons may have liberty to study mathematics and philosophy. My sons ought to study mathematics and philosophy, geography, natural history, naval architecture, navigation, commerce and agriculture in order to give their children a right to study painting, poetry, music, architecture, statuary, tapestry, and porcelain.

Letter to Abigail Adams, May 12, 1780.

##### Adams, Douglas (1952 - 2001)

Numbers written on restaurant bills within the confines of restaurants do not follow the same mathematical laws as numbers written on any other pieces of paper in any other parts of the Universe.

This single statement took the scientific world by storm. It completely revolutionized it. So many mathematical conferences got held in such good restaurants that many of the finest minds of a generation died of obesity and heart failure and the science of math was put back by years.

Life, the Universe and Everything. New York: Harmony Books, 1982.

##### Adams, Douglas (1952 - 2001)

The first nonabsolute number is the number of people for whom the table is reserved. This will vary during the course of the first three telephone calls to the restaurant, and then bear no apparent relation to the number of people who actually turn up, or to the number of people who subsequently join them after the show/match/party/gig, or to the number of people who leave when they see who else has turned up.

The second nonabsolute number is the given time of arrival, which is now known to be one of the most bizarre of mathematical concepts, a recipriversexcluson, a number whose existence can only be defined as being anything other than itself. In other words, the given time of arrival is the one moment of time at which it is impossible that any member of the party will arrive. Recipriversexclusons now play a vital part in many branches of math, including statistics and accountancy and also form the basic equations used to engineer the Somebody Else's Problem field.

The third and most mysterious piece of nonabsoluteness of all lies in the relationship between the number of items on the bill, the cost of each item, the number of people at the table and what they are each prepared to pay for. (The number of people who have actually brought any money is only a subphenomenon of this field.)

Life, the Universe and Everything. New York: Harmony Books, 1982.

##### Adams, Douglas (1952 - 2001)

Bistromathics itself is simply a revolutionary new way of understanding the behavior of numbers. Just as Einstein observed that space was not an absolute but depended on the observer's movement in space, and that time was not an absolute, but depended on the observer's movement in time, so it is now realized that numbers are not absolute, but depend on the observer's movement in restaurants.

Life, the Universe and Everything. New York: Harmony Books, 1982.

##### Abel, Niels H. (1802 - 1829)

[About Gauss's
mathematical writing
style]

He is
like the fox, who
effaces his tracks
in the sand with his
tail.

In G. F. Simmons,
Calculus Gems, New
York: McGraw Hill,
Inc., 1992, p. 177.