Mathematicians Of The Day

16th October

On this day in 1843, William Hamilton realised how to multiply together quaternions and carved the formulae on a canal bridge in Dublin.

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Quotation of the day

From Harish-Chandra
I have often pondered over the roles of knowledge or experience, on the one hand, and imagination or intuition, on the other, in the process of discovery. I believe that there is a certain fundamental conflict between the two, and knowledge, by advocating caution, tends to inhibit the flight of imagination. Therefore, a certain naivete, unburdened by conventional wisdom, can sometimes be a positive asset.
Quoted in R Langlands, Harish-Chandra, Biographical Memoirs of Fellows of the Royal Society 31 (1985) 197 - 225.