While perusing the internet or possibly the Twitter today (I forget), I stumbled on a rather hilarious list of quotes made by Dr. R. C. Vaughan of Pennsylvania State University during his spring 2012 Analytic Number Theory class.
Dr. Vaughan – whose professional website can be found here – is a number theorist and has had well over 100 papers published since 1970. He also has an Erdős number of 1! Very cool. Clearly, he seems to be a man who knows a little something about Number Theory.
For the record, I have never met Dr. Vaughan, nor have I read any of his works1. Regardless, the list of quotes make me want to sit in on one of his lectures, because he seems like a rather hilarious instructor. And anyone that can present math with a bit of humour is awesome in my books.
Anyway, I have no idea who recorded all of these quotes but I thought I would share them with you nonetheless. I found myself giggling to some, and laughing out loud to others. My favourites include:
- Statisticians would throw up their arms, but that’s their problem.
- I’m going to assume that your know everything there is to know about the Gamma Function.
- This 2 may not be quite 2.
- …”centered”… that’s the American spelling. I must be infected.
- That’s why I became a professor; I wanted to waste my whole life.
- In America, if someone’s a lousy professor, you want to make them a professor as soon as possible so they’re only teaching grad students.
- Pronouncing Dutch names is worse than pronouncing anything else
And my personal favourite:
- “Clearly” – It’s a good word to use when it’s complicated and you don’t want to explain it.
I think I’m going to remember this particular quote every time I read or use the word clearly in an article.
1 At least not that I’m aware.