Tuesday, May 10, 2016

How is a mathematician like a nun?

"At that time engineers of all types were  pathetically ignorant of mathematics," [Thornton] Fry maintained, "so that anybody who could compute or quote a theory—even if he quoted it wrong—was admired by them. A mathematician was something like a nun; he was automatically admirable. He was different than other  people."
Jon Gertner, The Idea Factory: Bell Labs and the Great Age of American Innovation (New York: Penguin, 2012), p. 122

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