About the use of language: it is impossible to sharpen a pencil with a blunt axe. It is equally vain to try to do it with ten blunt axes instead. Edsger Dijkstra
Edsger Wybe Dijkstra ( Dutch: 11 May 1930 – 6 August 2002) was a Dutch systems scientist, programmer, software engineer, science essayist, and pioneer in computing science. A theoretical physicist by training, he worked as a programmer at the Mathematisch Centrum (Amsterdam) from 1952 to 1962. A university professor for much of his life, Dijkstra held the Schlumberger Centennial Chair in Computer Sciences at the University of Texas at Austin from 1984 until his retirement in 1999. He was a professor of mathematics at the Eindhoven University of Technology (1962–1984) and a research fellow at the Burroughs Corporation (1973–1984).
It is fascinating to me that a mathematician could make such a profound statement about language. Of course once you know he is a mathematician you realize he deals with the very a very exact language, math.
Calculators can only calculate – they cannot do mathematics. John A. Van de Walle
Dr. John A. Van de Walle was a well-known mathematics educator and the author of Elementary and Middle School Mathematics: Teaching Developmentally, a book that continues to be a popular text and resource for teaching grades K-8 mathematics.
John A. Van de Walle graduated cum laude from Bellarmine College in 1965 with a degree in mathematics, earned his master’s degree in mathematics at St. Louis University in 1967, and earned his doctoral degree in mathematics education from Ohio State University in 1972. He spent most of his career-29 years-at Virginia Commonwealth University where he taught mathematics education to preservice and in-service teachers. He retired in 2002 as a professor emeritus, but he continued to write and work with teachers to promote mathematics education.
Dr. Van de Walle also served as a consultant to various school systems in the United States and Canada. He was an active member of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics and served on its board of directors from 1998 to 2001. He once said, “It is fun to figure out the puzzle of how children go about making sense of mathematics and then how to help teachers help kids.”
Dr. Van de Walle died at home on December 2, 2006.
From the movie a Beautiful Mind, A biopic of the meteoric rise of John Forbes Nash Jr., a math prodigy able to solve problems that baffled the greatest of minds. And how he overcame years of suffering through schizophrenia to win the Nobel Prize. Played by Russell Crowe.
Robert Nash on his Nobel Prize acceptance: Thank you. I’ve always believed in numbers and the equations and logics that lead to reason.
But after a lifetime of such pursuits, I ask,
“What truly is logic?”
“Who decides reason?”
My quest has taken me through the physical, the metaphysical, the delusional — and back.
And I have made the most important discovery of my career, the most important discovery of my life: It is only in the mysterious equations of love that any logic or reasons can be found.
I’m only here tonight because of you [wife, Alicia].
You are the reason I am.
You are all my reasons.
The Youtube Clip
What is truly great is it is a true story.
A side by side picture of the real Nash and Crowe.
I must study politics and war that my sons may have liberty to study mathematics and philosophy. John Adams in a letter to his wife, dated 1780