Mathematics Is a Language
The notion that Mathematics is a language is held by many mathematicians and is being expressed on frequent occasions. Below, I am going to collect quotes I occasionally come across that uphold that point.
R. L. E. Schwarzenberger, The Language of Geometry, in A Mathematical Spectrum Miscellany, Applied Probability Trust, 2000, p. 112:
My own attitude, which I share with many of my colleagues, is simply that mathematics is a language. Like English, or Latin, or Chinese, there are certain concepts for which mathematics is particularly well suited: it would be as foolish to attempt to write a love poem in the language of mathematics as to prove the Fundamental Theorem of Algebra using the English language.
Yu. Manin, Mathematics as profession and vocation, in Mathematics: Frontiers and Perspectives, (V. Arnold et al, ed), AMS, 200, p. 154:
The basis of all human culture is language, and mathematics is a special kind of linguistic activity.
A. Adler, Mathematics and Creativity, in The World Treasury of Physics, Astronomy and Mathematics, (T. Ferris, ed), Little, Brown and Co, 1991, p. 435:
Mathematics is pure language - the language of science. It is unique among languages in its ability to provide precise expression for every thought or concept that can be formulated in its terms. (In a spoken language, there exist words, like "happiness", that defy definition.) It is also an art - the most intellectual and classical of the arts.
J.-P. Changeux, A. Connes, Conversations on Mind, Matter and Mathematics, Princeton University Press, 1995, p. 10:
Changeux: Mathematical language is plainly an authentic language. But is it therefore the only authentic language?
Connes: It is unquestionably the only universal language.
Language of Mathematics, Language of Science and Plain Language
- Mathematics as a Language
- Evolution of Algebraic Symbolism
- Ambiguities in Plain Language
- Linguistic Terminology
- Life Sciences Terminology
- Language of Physics and Chemistry
- Deliberate Ambiguities
- Math Lingo vs. Plain English
- Mathematics Is a Language
Copyright © 1996-2018 Alexander Bogomolny