Posts Tagged ‘Mark Kac’

Mathematics is an ancient discipline.  For as long as we can reliably reach into the past, we find its development intimately connected with the development of the whole of our civilization.  For as long as we have a record of man’s curiosity and his quest for understanding, we find mathematics cultivated and cherished, practiced and taught.  Throughout the ages it has stood as an ultimate in rational thought and as a monument to man’s desire to probe the workings of his own mind.
     —    Mark Kac
On This Day In:
2013 Adequate Explanation
2012 Superior Discovery
2011 Welcome Home And Thank You!!
Two Heritages

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I prefer concrete things and I don’t like to learn more about abstract stuff than I absolutely have to.
     —    Mark Kac
On This Day In:
2013 Prudence
2012 Reason Against Reasons
2011 The 1% Rule Of Large Groups
2010 Going, Going, On…
Expect Mike
Wasted Again?
You Did?
Reflecting Plenty
Old Math
Mental Images
Here’s Lookin’ At You, Kid
Nothing Feared Today
I Had Other Plans
Encourage Greatness

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There are two kinds of geniuses, the “ordinary” and the “magicians.”  An ordinary genius is a fellow that you and I would be just as good as, if we were only many times better.   There is no mystery as to how his mind works.  Once we understand what they have done, we feel certain that we, too, could have done it.  It is different with the magicians.  They are, to use mathematical jargon, in the orthogonal complement of where we are and the working of their minds is for all intents and purposes incomprehensible.  Even after we understand what they have done, the process by which they have done it is completely dark.  They seldom, if ever, have students because they cannot be emulated and it must be terribly frustrating for a brilliant young mind to cope with the mysterious ways in which the magician’s mind works.
    —    Mark Kac
Quoted by:  James Gleick;  in the Prologue to his book:  “Genius
On This Day In:
2013 To The Last Link
2012 Slept In Again
2011 Home Again, Naturally
2009 Thoughts after a long day of OT…

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