Quotes


David Jeffrey

"An old saying is that `Drink is the curse of the working classes'. Oscar Wilde improved that to `Work is the curse of the drinking classes'. I say that `Recursing is the work of the thinking classes'."


Peter Hughes, Dynacon

"Mathematics is sorta like sex. It's fun, but don't do it in public."

"The Americans were using the old medieval units."

"Am I finished this thing? I hope so, I'm tired of hearing myself."


Stephen Watt

"Obviously, epiphany is asymmetric in a crowd."


Andre´ Boivin (quoting someone else at a conference talk) "I won't give you any background information or any motivation for the following. Let us just consider the following definition."
Tom Lennon at the Hellmuth Prize ceromony, accepting his Prize.

``What I do, basically, is to read old books and other documents, think about them, and add my own books and other documents to the pile.''

``I'm with Max Beerbohm, who said `How I wish I could keep up with all the leaders of modern thought, as they pass by into oblivion.'''


William S. Fyfe at the Hellmuth Prize ceremony, accepting his Prize.

``I learned from Edward Teller (of the Bomb) that every professor speaks for a microcentury, and you can never get more than a million lectures from any.''

``I had an automatic grant---imagine! But it was a five year contract, renewable---not a bad system!''

I'm going to move into Tom [Lennon]'s area and quote from a French philospher: Montaigne. ``The most universal quality is diversity''.''

``One should always remember that carnivorous animals will never attack [someone] smoking tobacco.''


Mair Zamir ``That's not funny, it's amazing what a doughnut can do!''


Ivan Saika-Voivod ``Pizza---the faculty/student surfactant!''
Sir Roger Penrose. Taken from his lectures here at Western, 17 March 1998.

"I don't think that being a mathematician has much of a natural selection advantage."

"I was really rather alarmed to discover that this experiment seems to be doable."

"I don't know what any of these words mean, but I'm allowed to talk about them, because I'm a mathematician, and mathematicians are allowed to talk about what they don't understand, as long as they confine themselves to the relationships between them."

"It's not always easy to tell the difference between understanding and brute force computation."

"It seems to me unreasonable to draw any line between mathematical understanding and human understanding."

"A toy model is something that a physicist thinks of when there isn't anything better to do."

"I'm going to show you a transparency that has the whole of physics on it."

"It may not be a terribly clear picture, but it's not a terribly clear theory."

"Of course, nowadays people believe Schroedinger's equations rather than Schroedinger. I'm going to do the opposite, I'm going to believe Schroedinger."

"...because it's really rather relevant, even though a digression."

"...not that it adds too much, but it's kind of fun."


Victor Elias

"If you teach something long enough, then you learn how to use it."

"If I let the width shrink down, then the height will shrink up."

"...and the Hand of God comes in and turns it into hadrons."


Louise C. Martin "If it looks like a math professor, and it quacks like a math professor, then it probably is a math professor."


Lalu Mansinha "A little bit of geophysics won't hurt you."

"Orthogonal wavelets give me creeps because of all those sharp corners."


Allan MacIsaac "You look at these [pictures] and the first thing you don't say is `these have the same energies'".

"I kind of like math, when it works out."


Tom Schopflocher "I'm going to throw a theorem at you now. I'm not going to prove it---but I know how.


Susan McDonald Historical fiction gives me hives.

The Three Stooges, Hamlet, James Bond---they're ``guy things''. So is Catcher in the Rye. Definitely.

Jane Austen is (just) a good thing.


Chris Essex : "When you stop trying to take over the world, you're finished."

"One must have high standards but not high expectations."

"To solve the problem of obsolescence, stick to the irrelevant."


Sherry Judah "[I can tell you] that " They upgraded my pc to Windows 95 and now nothing works."


Flora Osborn "Annihilate the underdog!"

"Old age ain't for sissies."


Ursula Franklin (Taken from her Elizabeth Laird Memorial Lecture, Nov 5, 1996, Physics Dept. UWO) "Science, as science, is a way of separating knowledge from experience."

"If we do not question the nature of science, then we will not transcend."

"Scientists are citizens with a toolbox."

"The scientists are as important to Science as musicians are to Music."

"We forget how much we owe to lack of understanding" (in reference to useful bad publicity generated by a politician's mistake)

"There's a lot of science that a large number of small steps, as opposed to a small number of large steps, can do."

"You can't let anyone steal from you your scientific imagination."