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Math Quotes for When Things Just Aren’t Adding Up

I remember sitting in my high school math class asking, “Why is math important in life?” I also contemplated when I would ever need to know how to solve an algebraic equation. Clearly, I was not the only one! If you are a math professional then you have probably tried to find a way to motivate your students. Hopefully, these math quotes will help!

Below you’ll find math quotes that are funny and motivational for students who would rather be in a creative arts class, and quotes from people who love math…shudder! Enjoy the few dad jokes about math too!

Quotes about math as an art form

1. “Mathematics is, in its way, the poetry of logical ideas.” Albert Einstein

2. “Mathematics is the music of reason.” – James Joseph Sylvester

3. “Mathematics is the most beautiful and most powerful creation of the human spirit.” – Stefan Banach

4. “Film is one of the three universal languages, the other two: mathematics and music.” – Frank Capra   

5. “It is impossible to be a mathematician without being a poet in soul.” Sofia Kovalevskaya

6. “To me, mathematics, computer science, and the arts are insanely related. They’re all creative expressions.” – Sebastian Thrun

7. “In mathematics, the art of proposing a question must be held of higher value than solving it.” – George Cantor   

8. “A mathematician who is not also something of a poet will never be a complete mathematician.”— Karl Weierstrass

9. “Why do children dread mathematics? Because of the wrong approach. Because it is looked at as a subject.” — Shakuntala Devi

10. The pure mathematician, like the musician, is a free creator of his world of ordered beauty.”— Bertrand Russell

Math quotes about the mysteries of life

11. “Without mathematics, there’s nothing you can do. Everything around you is mathematics. Everything around you is numbers.” – Shakuntala Devi

12. “Life is a math equation. In order to gain the most, you have to know how to convert negatives into positives.” – Anonymous

13. “Mathematics may not teach us to add love or subtract hate, but it gives us hope that every problem has a solution.” –Anonymous

14. “Mathematics is not about numbers, equations, computations, or algorithms: it is about understanding.” – William Paul Thurston

15. “It’s fine to work on any problem, so long as it generates interesting mathematics along the way – even if you don’t solve it at the end of the day.” – Andrew Wiles

16. “Mathematics as an expression of the human mind reflects the active will, the contemplative reason, and the desire for aesthetic perfection. Its basic elements are logic and intuition, analysis and construction, generality and individuality.”— Richard Courant
If you’re enjoying these quotes, make sure to read our collection of logic quotes about the power of decision making.

17. “Mathematics compares the most diverse phenomena and discovers the secret analogies that unite them.”— Joseph Fourier

18. “Go down deep enough into anything and you will find mathematics.”— Dean Schlicter

19. “Mathematics is not a careful march down a well-cleared highway, but a journey into a strange wilderness, where the explorers often get lost. Rigor should be a signal to the historians that the maps have been made, and the real explorers have gone elsewhere.”— W.S. Anglin

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20. “Mathematics is a place where you can do things which you can’t do in the real world.”— Marcus du Sautoy

21. “If people do not believe that mathematics is simple, it is only because they do not realize how complicated life is.”— John von Neumann

Also check out these Katherine Johnson quotes and sayings from NASA’s human computer.

Funny math quotes

22. “If you stop at general math, then you will only make general money.” –Snoop Dogg

23. “Dear Math, please grow up and solve your own problems. I’m tired of solving them for you.”— Anonymous

24. “Somehow it’s o.k. for people to chuckle about not being good at math. Yet if I said ‘I never learned to read,” they’d say I was an illiterate dolt.”Neil Degrasse Tyson

25. “The only way to learn mathematics is to do mathematics.” – Paul Halmos

26. “Arithmetic is being able to count up to twenty without taking off your shoes.” – Mickey Mouse

27. “The essence of mathematics lies in its freedom.”— Georg Cantor

28. “That awkward moment when you finish a math problem and your answer isn’t even one of the choices.”— Ritu Ghatourey

29. “Math is fun. It teaches you life and death information like when you’re cold, you should go to a corner since it’s 90 degrees there.”— Anonymous

30. “Decimals have a point.” – Unknown

Mathematics quotes about youth, beauty, and romance

31. “Mathematics has beauty and romance. It’s not a boring place to be, the mathematical world. It’s an extraordinary place; it’s worth spending time there.” – Marcus du Sautoy

32. “It is the perennial youthfulness of mathematics itself which marks it off with a disconcerting immortality from the other sciences.” – E.T. Bell

33. “Mathematics is the result of mysterious powers which no one understands, and which the unconscious recognition of beauty must play an important part. Out of an infinity of designs, a mathematician chooses one pattern for beauty’s sake and pulls it down to earth.”— Marston Morse

34. “Wherever there is a number, there is beauty.”— Proclus

35. “Mathematics is like love; a simple idea, but it can get complicated.”— Anonymous

36. “Mathematics is a hard thing to love. It has the unfortunate habit, like a rude dog, of turning its most unfavorable side towards you when you first make contact with it.”— David Whiteland

Math quotes on its importance

37. “We will always have STEM with us. Some things will drop out of the public eye and go away, but there will always be science, engineering, and technology. And there will always, always be mathematics.”— Katherine Johnson

38. “What is mathematics? It is only a systematic effort of solving puzzles posed by nature.”— Shakuntala Devi

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39. “There should be no such thing as boring mathematics.”— Edsger W. Dijkstra

40. “Mathematics allows for no hypocrisy and no vagueness.” Stendhal

41. “I’ve always enjoyed mathematics. It is the most precise and concise way of expressing an idea.”— N.R. Narayana Murthy

42. “It is clear that the chief end of mathematical study must be to make the students think.”— John Wesley Young

43. “I’ve always been interested in using mathematics to make the world work better.”— Alvin E. Roth

If you’re enjoying these quotes, make sure to read our collection of education quotes about learning and success.

Witty math quotes

44. “Pure mathematicians just love to try unsolved problems — they love a challenge.”— Andrew Wiles

45. “Sometimes the questions are complicated and the answers are simple.”— Dr. Seuss

46. “Mathematics consists of proving the most obvious thing in the least obvious way.”— George Póly

47. “There are two ways to do great mathematics. The first is to be smarter than everybody else. The second way is to be stupider than everybody else — but persistent.”— Raoul Bott

48. “A mathematician is a blind man in a dark room looking for a black cat which isn’t there.” – Charles Darwin

49. “Algebraic symbols are used when you do not know what you are talking about.” – Philippe Schnoebelen

50. “The only place where people can 64 watermelons and no one wonders why.” – Unknown

51. “Mathematics is the language with which God has written the universe.” – Galileo Galilei

52. “The important thing to remember about mathematics is not to be frightened.” – Richard Dawkins

More math quotes and sayings

53. “As far as the laws of mathematics refer to reality, they are not certain, and as far as they are certain, they do not refer to reality.” – Albert Einstein

54. “God used beautiful mathematics in creating the world.” – Paul Dirac

55. “Mathematics rightly viewed possesses not only truth but supreme beauty.” – Bertrand Russell

56. “Mathematics expresses values that reflect the cosmos, including orderliness, balance, harmony, logic, and abstract beauty.” – Deepak Chopra

57. “Life is good for only two things, discovering mathematics and teaching mathematics.” – Simeon Denis Poisson

58. “Mathematics is the science which uses easy words for hard ideas.” – Edward Kasner

59. “The study of mathematics, like the Nile, begins in minuteness but ends in magnificence.” – Charles Caleb Colton

60. “The longer mathematics lives the more abstract – and therefore, possibly also the more practical – it becomes.” – Eric Temple Bell

Brilliant math quotes for STEM students

61. “Mathematics knows no races or geographic boundaries; for mathematics, the cultural world is one country.” — David Hilbert

62. “‘Obvious’ is the most dangerous word in mathematics.” – Eric Temple Bell

63.Nature is written in mathematical language.” – Galileo Galilei.

64. “I have hardly ever known a mathematician who was capable of reasoning.” – Plato.

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65. “The definition of a good mathematical problem is the mathematics it generates rather than the problem itself.” – Andrew Wiles.

66.If I were again beginning my studies, I would follow the advice of Plato and start with mathematics.” – Galileo Galilei.

67. “In mathematics, you don’t understand things. You just get used to them.” – John von Neumann.

68. “Pure mathematics is the world’s best game.” – Richard J. Trudeau.

69. “There is no branch of mathematics, however abstract, which may not some day be applied to phenomena of the real world.” – Nikolai Lobachevsky.

70. “No human investigation can be called real science if it cannot be demonstrated mathematically.” – Leonardo Da Vinci

Math Quotes From Mathematicians, Philosophers and Famous Scholars

71. “Mathematics is a game played according to certain simple rules with meaningless marks on paper.” – David Hilbert

72. “One of the endlessly alluring aspects of mathematics is that its thorniest paradoxes have a way of blooming into beautiful theories.” – Philip J Davis

73. “Mathematics is the gate and key to science.” – Roger Bacon

74. “You don’t have to be a mathematician to have a feel for numbers.” – John Forbes Nash, Jr

75. “The mathematician has reached the highest rung on the ladder of human thought.” – Havelock Ellis.

76. “I hope that seeing the excitement of solving this problem will make mathematicians realize that there are lots and lots of other problems in mathematics which are going to be just as challenging in the future.” – Andrew Wiles.

77. “If there is a fifty-fifty chance that something can go wrong, then nine times out of ten it will.” – Paul Harvey

78. “I’m sorry to say that the subject I most disliked was mathematics. I have thought about it. I think the reason was that mathematics leaves no room for argument. If you made a mistake, that was all there was to it.” – Malcolm X

79. “With me, everything turns into mathematics.” – Rene Descartes

80. “The person who wishes to attain human perfection should study logic first, next mathematics, then physics, and, lastly, metaphysics.” – Maimonides

Which of these math quotes resonated with you best?

Did any of these math quotes inspire you to practice math? If not, maybe you giggled at a few of them. I promise, you will need to do algebra at one point or another and will be scrambling how to find the variable of “x”.

I was replacing some flooring in the house and lamenting about what we were going to do a corner when my math nerd, computer scientist of a husband whipped out a piece and did some crazy geometry move to cut an exact piece…I don’t know what he did, but I swear it was magic! Pay attention in class, you might find yourself needing to use an obscure math skill someday!

What’s your biggest takeaway from these math quotes and sayings? Do you have any other favorite quotes to add? Tell us in the comment section below.

Danielle Dahl, Lead Contributor
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