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Rachael's Maths Quotes

"The displacement from King's College Chapel to the Cockcroft Lecture Theatre is a vector. It's a vector from the sublime to the ridiculous."
-Dr Stewart

"That squiggly splodge is the Greek letter xi, spelt X-I, pronounced any way you like."
-Dr Stewart

"This is the general linear group - as far as I know it wasn't General Linear who discovered it..."
-Dr Saxl

"And in here should go the Fundamental Theorem of Algebra, which I have forgotten. ... I haven't forgotten it, I've forgotten to put it in."
-Dr Saxl

"Associative it is."
-Dr Saxl

"It's called the Distributive Law - maybe because you, um, distribute the lambdas about a bit ... um, maybe not."
-Dr Hudson

"As small as an infinite set can reasonably be."
-Dr Carne

"A famous code-breaker was Professor Wallace, in the Civil War. Being an Oxford man, he broke codes for BOTH sides..."
-Dr Carne

"The next section is called Combinatorial Analysis - or, more briefly, how to count"
-Prof Kelly

"Audience participation! Thank you! Even if it is from a Scot."
-Dr Cowley

"Now I know all of you are of exceptionally good will and would never dream of hacking into the system. But there are people called CompScis? and engineers..."
-Dr Stewart

"Now something marvellous is going to appear."
-Dr Stewart

"This is a random variable. It is neither random nor a variable."
-Prof Kelly

"There is no x. It has gone. It is as dead as the proverbial parrot."
-Dr Cowley

"The only sane way to do particular integrals is to guess them."
-Dr Stewart

"The only way I can remember which is concave and convex is to draw a little cave-man."
-Prof Kelly

"Now I'm going to talk about conservative fields. This has nothing to do with William Hague. It's useful."
-Dr Cowley

"I'll start off in 2D, and wave my hands to get to 3D."
-Dr Cowley

"Note that we exist."
-Dr Stewart

"I'll just carry on blindless."
-Prof Kelly

"They won't let you take a water pistol on an aeroplane, because they're worried you'll fill it with ammonia and demand to go to Essex."
-Dr Cowley

"There is no substitute for this [i.e. practice]. If you're a pianist, you do your scales. If you play for Manchester United - soon to play for Arsenal - you do press-ups. Yes? And you have no GCSE's."
-Dr Cowley

"And remember that suprema do not leap across boundaries in any embarrassing way."
-Dr Garling

"And now I shout "yippee," because this is a constant."
-Dr Cowley

"That concludes all we're going to do on the annihilator - except that I want to do a bit more on the annihilator."
-Prof Glass

"Sines and coses..." {voice goes up a couple of octaves} "WIGGLE UP AND DOWN!"
-Dr Cowley

"Has Dr Stewart done mass density with you yet?" (silence) "Those in favour of mass density? Those against?"
-Dr Cowley

"I don't want you to leave with the impression that Dynamics is what I've just taught you."
-Dr Stewart

"And from this we can derive Glauss' Fu ... Gauss' Flux Theorem."
-Dr Cowley

"We still converge to c0, but we go flip-flop flip-flop flip-flop, scissor action."
-Dr Git

"Once you've seen an equilateral triangle with 90-degree angles, anything goes, in a sense."
-Prof Gowers

"Is this in the Maths A-level tripos?"
-Dr Git

"Right, let's run this baby! Sorry, that's so not PC, please don't report it."
-Dr Git

"There must be some reason why this formula is so beautiful, but I'm afraid I don't know it, so I'll just hack out some calculations."
-Prof Gowers

"I don't know either. You think I'm some sort of god who knows everything."
-Dr Corti

"People used to do calculations with vector spaces before they knew what a vector space was. Some people are still at that stage. My colleagues in the Fluid Dynamics department, for example."
-Dr Corti

"A mathematician only needs a pencil, paper and wastepaper basket to work. A social scientist only needs a pencil and paper."
-Prof Gowers

"I know some of you found analysis a hard subject when you first met it. I know that because I marked the analysis questions on the 1A paper."
-Dr Johnstone

"Fourier's theorem was actually proved by Dirichlet a year after he died. A year after Fourier died, that is."
-Dr Shellard

"Dirac was undoubtedly the greatest mathematical physicist of the 20th century. I'm allowed to say that, because Stephen Hawking said it."
-Dr Shellard

"This is the Heaviside function. You can remember this function easily, because if it were a density, the left is the light side and the right is the heavy side."
-Dr Shellard

"Can you think of a fluid-mechanical reason why you can blow out a candle but you can't suck out a candle?"
Prof Huppert

"Close the door, we've got to get stuck to it."
-Dr Git

"Press F8 to compile, and then F9 to ruin the program."
-Online CATAM manual

"There's an old saying in engineering - if you have two solutions to a problem, you will get an even better solution if you add them together."
-Prof Huppert

"We just close our eyes, jump right in, and find the eigenvector by sheer brute luck."
-Dr Git

"Joy would be unconfined if connectedness and path-connectedness were the same; but guess what, they're not."
-Dr Croft

"And now let's return to the jolly old topologist's sine curve."
-Dr Croft

"We're not doing any complex analysis here, just complexified real analysis."
-Andy Mennim

"And that's the answer, modulo any errors in my arithmetic."
-Dr Thomas

"Read Gauss' Disquitiones Arithmeticae. It's been translated into English, so I'm not asking you to tax your GCSE Classical Studies - although the Latin is surprisingly readable."
-Dr Thomas

"There's a useful convention which says 2 pi is equal to 1."
-Dr Croft

"The maximum modulus principle - may I call it MMP to its friends?"
-Dr Croft



Ah, I chuckle. But not too loudly, as I'm at work. You got infintely more EmmanuelCollege lecturers than I did, and I'm glad to see that Corti and Git supplied a good number of good quotes. --CH
Some of those Corti and Git quotes were actually from supervisions, but I think we did also have lectures with them. --Rachael


CategoryQuotes, LecturerQuotes


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