Monday, December 19, 2011

A Salute to Topology

How well we all recall  what the Swan of Avon wrote about the topologist:

How noble in reason !
How infinite in faculty!
In form, in moving, how express and admirable !
In action, how like an angel !
In apprehension, how like a god !
-- Hamlet, Prince of Denmark

(Actually the Bard, with a humanistic bias characteristic of his day, included geometers and arithmeticians and even physicists in this general encomium.)


It is said that, at some point in his mathematical career, Pythagoras proclaimed himself a god.
He was right to do so.
-- David Berlinski, Infinite Ascent (2005)

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