J. E. Littlewood

1885 - 1977

A Quote by J. E. Littlewood on learning

A linguist would be shocked to learn that if a set is not closed this does not mean that it is open, or again that "E is dense in E" does not mean the same thing as "E is dense in itself".

J. E. Littlewood (1885 - 1977)

Source: A Mathematician's Miscellany, Methuen Co. Ltd., 1953.

Contributed by: Zaady

A Quote by J. E. Littlewood on habits and needs

A precisian professor had the habit of saying: "... quartic polynomial ax^4+bx^3+cx^2+dx+e , where e need not be the base of the natural logarithms."

J. E. Littlewood (1885 - 1977)

Source: A Mathematician's Miscellany, Methuen Co. Ltd., 1953.

Contributed by: Zaady

A Quote by J. E. Littlewood on failure, needs, people, potential, reason, and teaching

I constantly meet people who are doubtful, generally without due reason, about their potential capacity [as mathematicians]. The first test is whether you got anything out of geometry. To have disliked or failed to get on with other [mathematical] subjects need mean nothing; much drill and drudgery is unavoidable before they can get started, and bad teaching can make them unintelligible even to a born mathematician.

J. E. Littlewood (1885 - 1977)

Source: A Mathematician's Miscellany, Methuen and Co. ltd., 1953.

Contributed by: Zaady

A Quote by J. E. Littlewood on friendship, proof, wishes, and wonder

I read in the proof sheets of Hardy on Ramanujan: "As someone said, each of the positive integers was one of his personal friends." My reaction was, "I wonder who said that; I wish I had." In the next proof-sheets I read (what now stands), "It was Littlewood who said..."

J. E. Littlewood (1885 - 1977)

Source: A Mathematician's Miscellany, Methuen Co. Ltd, 1953.

Contributed by: Zaady

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