Zitate von Paul Erdős

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Paul Erdős

Geburtstag: 26. März 1913
Todesdatum: 20. September 1996

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Paul Erdős [ˈɛrdøːʃ] war einer der bedeutendsten Mathematiker des 20. Jahrhunderts. Paul Erdős arbeitete mit Hunderten von Kollegen auf den Gebieten Kombinatorik, Graphentheorie und Zahlentheorie zusammen. Erdős ist im Zusammenhang mit der Erdős-Zahl bekannt. Von ihm stammt außerdem die Idee zu dem BUCH, in dem Gott die perfekten Beweise für mathematische Sätze aufbewahrt. Ein Versuch, diesem Buch nahezukommen, stellt Das BUCH der Beweise dar, das 1998 mit seiner Einwilligung veröffentlicht wurde.

Zitate Paul Erdős

„Ein Mathematiker ist eine Maschine, die Kaffee in Theoreme umwandelt.“

— Paul Erdős
selbstironisch in Bezug auf seinen Kaffeekonsum; zitiert in DIE ZEIT, 05/2008 S. 31, Jahr der Mathematik, zeit. de; sowie in Marcus Du Sautoy: "Die Musik der Primzahlen: Auf den Spuren des größten Rätsels der Mathematik", C. H. Beck 2004, ISBN 9783406523205, S. 204 Google Books

„And the aim is to keep the SF's score low.“

— Paul Erdős
Context: SF means Supreme Fascist — this would show that God is bad. I don't claim that this is correct, or that God exists, but it is just sort of half a joke. … As a joke I said, "What is the purpose of Life?" "Proof and conjecture, and keep the SF's score low." Now, the game with the SF is defined as follows: If you do something bad the SF gets at least two points. If you don't do something good which you could have done, the SF gets at least one point. And if nothing — if you are okay, then no one gets any point. And the aim is to keep the SF's score low. [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1qeWugmiGt4 Paul Erdős - SF means Supreme Fascist]

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„I don't claim that this is correct, or that God exists, but it is just sort of half a joke.“

— Paul Erdős
Context: SF means Supreme Fascist — this would show that God is bad. I don't claim that this is correct, or that God exists, but it is just sort of half a joke. … As a joke I said, "What is the purpose of Life?" "Proof and conjecture, and keep the SF's score low." Now, the game with the SF is defined as follows: If you do something bad the SF gets at least two points. If you don't do something good which you could have done, the SF gets at least one point. And if nothing — if you are okay, then no one gets any point. And the aim is to keep the SF's score low. [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1qeWugmiGt4 Paul Erdős - SF means Supreme Fascist]

„Proof and conjecture, and keep the SF's score low.“

— Paul Erdős
Context: SF means Supreme Fascist — this would show that God is bad. I don't claim that this is correct, or that God exists, but it is just sort of half a joke. … As a joke I said, "What is the purpose of Life?" "Proof and conjecture, and keep the SF's score low." Now, the game with the SF is defined as follows: If you do something bad the SF gets at least two points. If you don't do something good which you could have done, the SF gets at least one point. And if nothing — if you are okay, then no one gets any point. And the aim is to keep the SF's score low. [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1qeWugmiGt4 Paul Erdős - SF means Supreme Fascist]

„A mathematician is a machine for turning coffee into theorems.“

— Paul Erdős
Widely attributed to Erdős, this actually originates with Alfréd Rényi, according to My Brain Is Open : The Mathematical Journeys of Paul Erdos (1998) by Bruce Schechter, p. 155 Variant: A mathematician is a device for turning coffee into theorems.

„God may not play dice with the universe, but something strange is going on with the prime numbers.“

— Paul Erdős
Referencing Albert Einstein's famous remark that "God does not play dice with the universe", this is attributed to Erdős in "Mathematics : Homage to an Itinerant Master" by D. Mackenzie, in Science 275:759 (1997), but has also been stated to be a comment originating in a talk given by Carl Pomerance on the Erdős-Kac theorem, in San Diego in January 1997, a few months after Erdős's death. Confirmation of this by Pomerance is reported in a [http://empslocal.ex.ac.uk/people/staff/mrwatkin//kac-pomerance.txt statement posted to the School of Engineering, Computer Science & Mathematics, University of Exeter], where he states it was a paraphrase of something he imagined Erdős and Mark Kac might have said, and presented in a slide-show, which subsequently became reported in a newspaper as a genuine quote of Erdős the next day. In his slide show he had them both reply to Einstein's assertion: "Maybe so, but something is going on with the primes."

„Another roof, another proof.“

— Paul Erdős
His motto, as he roamed about the world, as the guest of other mathematicians, as quoted in A Tribute to Paul Erdős (1990) edited by Alan Baker, Béla Bollobás, A. Hajnal, Preface, p. ix

„I'm not competent to judge. But no doubt he was a great man.“

— Paul Erdős
Response to a question by an agent of the US Immigration and Naturalization Service in 1954 as to what he thought of Karl Marx, often cited as an indication of his detachment from political sensibilities and the situations of the McCarthy era. He was afterwards denied a return visa for re-entering the US until 1959, after attending the International Congress of Mathematicians in Amsterdam; as quoted in The Man Who Loved Only Numbers : The Story of Paul Erdős and the Search for Mathematical Truth (1998) by Paul Hoffman, p. 128

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„Finally I am becoming stupider no more.“

— Paul Erdős
A suggestion for his own epitaph, as quoted in Variety in Religion and Science: Daily Reflections (2005) by Varadaraja Raman, p. 256

„Some French socialist said that private property was theft … I say that private property is a nuisance.“

— Paul Erdős
Referring to a famous statement by the French anarchist Pierre-Joseph Proudhon that "Property is theft!", as quoted in The Man Who Loved Only Numbers (1998) by Paul Hoffman, p. 7

„Television is something the Russians invented to destroy American education.“

— Paul Erdős
As quoted in Comic Sections : The Book of Mathematical Jokes, Humour, Wit, and Wisdom (1993) by Des MacHale

„The SF created us to enjoy our suffering. … The sooner we die, the sooner we defy His plans.“

— Paul Erdős
SF was an abbreviation for "Supreme Fascist" — the term Erdős often used to refer to God, as quoted in The Man Who Loved Only Numbers : The Story of Paul Erdős and the Search for Mathematical Truth (1998) by Paul Hoffman, p. 4

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„If numbers aren't beautiful, I don't know what is.“

— Paul Erdős
Frequent remark, as quoted in My Brain Is Open : The Mathematical Journeys of Paul Erdos (1998) by Bruce Schechter, p. 14

„My brain is open!“

— Paul Erdős
A standard greeting he would make when he was not contemplating some mathematical problem, as quoted in My Brain Is Open : The Mathematical Journeys of Paul Erdos (1998) by Bruce Schechter, p. 10

„This one's from the Book!“

— Paul Erdős
Said in regard to any particularly beautiful or elegant proof, referring to a mythical "book" in which God wrote the proofs for all theorems, as quoted in Philosophy of Mathematics (2008) by John Francis, p. 51

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