Thoughtful Thursday: Thinking about Math

Did you know that April was Math Awareness month? So we at GCP are turning our thoughts to mathematics. We pay tribute to Benjamin Banneker, present some math quotes, and, as April is still Poetry Month as well, present a math based Langston Hughes poem. Enjoy.

Benjamin Banneker (1731-1806) was a largely self-educated mathematician, astronomer, compiler of almanacs, inventor and writer. He was born on November 9, 1731, in Ellicott’s Mills, Maryland. A free black who owned a farm near Baltimore, Banneker was largely self-educated in astronomy by watching the stars and in mathematics by reading borrowed textbooks. He constructed a wooden clock in his early twenties, despite having seen only one other timepiece in his life. His knowledge of astronomy helped him author a commercially successful series of almanacs. He corresponded with Thomas Jefferson on the topics of slavery and racial equality. He firmly believed, and was quoted as saying, “The colour of the skin is in no way connected with strength of the mind or intellectual powers.”

Math Quotes

“Some mathematician, I believe, has said that true pleasure lies not in the discovery of truth, but in the search for it.” Tolstoy

“Perfect numbers like perfect men are very rare.” Rene Descartes

“Mathematics is like love, a simple idea, but it can get complicated.” Anonymous

“Do not worry too much about your difficulties in mathematics, I can assure you that mine are still greater.”–Albert Einstein

“Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I’m not sure about the former.” Albert Einstein

“Truth is ever to be found in the simplicity, and not in the multiplicity and confusion of things.” Issac Newton

“A person who never made a mistake never tried anything new.” Albert Einstein

Problems

2 and 2 are 4.
4 and 4 are 8.

But what would happen
If the last 4 was late?

And how would it be
If one 2 was me?

Or if the first 4 was you
Divided by 2?

Langston Hughes

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1 Comment

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One response to “Thoughtful Thursday: Thinking about Math

  1. George Van Amson

    Arithmetic

    Arithmetic is where numbers fly like pigeons in and out of your
    head.
    Arithmet ic tell you how many you lose or win if you know how
    many you had before you lost or won.
    Arithmetic is seven eleven all good children go to heaven — or five
    six bundle of sticks.
    Arithmetic is numbers you squeeze from your head to your hand
    to your pencil to your paper till you get the answer.
    Arithmetic is where the answer is right and everything is nice and
    you can look out of the window and see the blue sky — or the
    answer is wrong and you have to start all over and try again
    and see how it comes out this time.
    If you take a number and double it and double it again and then
    double it a few more times, the number gets bigger and bigger
    and goes higher and higher and only arithmetic can tell you
    what the number is when you decide to quit doubling.
    Arithmetic is where you have to multiply — and you carry the
    multiplication table in your head and hope you won’t lose it.
    If you have two animal crackers, one good and one bad, and you
    eat one and a striped zebra with streaks all over him eats the
    other, how many animal crackers will you have if somebody
    offers you five six seven and you say No no no and you say
    Nay nay nay and you say Nix nix nix?
    If you ask your mother for one fried egg for breakfast and she
    gives you two fried eggs and you eat both of them, who is
    better in arithmetic, you or your mother?

    Carl Sandburg

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