Mathematicians Of The Day

12th September

On this day in 1859, Urbain Le Verrier presented a paper to the Academy of Sciences in which he attributed the advance of the perihelion of Mercury to an undiscovered planet, which he called Vulcan, closer to the Sun than Mercury or to a second asteroid belt so close to the Sun as to be invisible.

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Quotation of the day

From Maxime Bôcher
I like to look at mathematics almost more as an art than as a science; for the activity of the mathematician, constantly creating as he is, guided although not controlled by the external world of senses, bears a resemblance, not fanciful I believe, but real, to the activities of the artist, of a painter, let us say. Just as one cannot become a painter without a certain amount of skill, so one cannot become a mathematician without the power to reason accurately up to a certain point. Yet these qualities, fundamental though they are, do not make a painter or mathematician worthy of the name, nor indeed are they the most important factors in the case. Other qualities of a far more subtle sort, chief among which in both cases is imagination, go to the making of a good artist or of a good mathematician.
Bulletin of the American Mathematical Society 11 1904, 133.