A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

Recent entries:
“I was sad, then I saw food” (5/28)
“Lawyers talk how doctors write” (5/28)
“Find someone who makes you feel the same way music does” (5/28)
Entry forthcoming—B.P. (5/28)
“Why is NASCAR a white dominated sport?"/"They’re all racists.” (5/28)
More new entries...

A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z


Entry from November 11, 2015
“Mathematics is the cheapest science”

Hungarian mathematician George Pólya (1887-1985) was asked—it is not known when—why there were so many great Hungarian mathematicians. He replied:

“Generally speaking, mathematics is the cheapest science. Unlike physics or chemistry, it does not require any expensive equipment. All one needs for mathemtics is a pencil and paper.”

“Mathematics is the second-cheapest department at any college” is a related joke.


Wikipedia: George Pólya
George Pólya /ˈpoʊl.jə/ (Hungarian: Pólya György, pronounced [ˈpoːjɒ ˈɟørɟ]; December 13, 1887 – September 7, 1985) was a Hungarian mathematician. He was a professor of mathematics from 1914 to 1940 at ETH Zürich and from 1940 to 1953 at Stanford University. He made fundamental contributions to combinatorics, number theory, numerical analysis and probability theory. He is also noted for his work in heuristics and mathematics education.

Google Books
Impact of Science on Society
United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization
Volumes 16-17
1968
Pg. 38:
Mr. Le Lionnais has pointed out that mathematics is the cheapest science.

Google Books
Mathematics Magazine
Volume 60
1987
Pg. 267:
When I asked Pólya what accounted for the development of so many oustanding Hungarian mathematicians from the period around the turn of the century, he gae the following reasons:

Generally speaking, mathematics is the cheapest science. Unlike physics or chemistry, it does not require any expensive equipment. All one needs for mathemtics is a pencil and paper.(Hungary never enjoyed the status of a wealthy country.)

Facebook
Chemistry in Society
May 22, 2014 ·
“ Mathematics is the cheapest
science. Unlike physics or
chemistry, it does not require any
expensive equipment. All one
needs for mathematics is a pencil
and paper.
George Pólya

Twitter
That_Zim_Guy
‏@MosiOaTunya
“Mathematics is the cheapest science. Unlike physics or chemistry, all one needs for mathematics is a pencil and paper.”
― George Pólya
4:02 PM - 14 Nov 2014

Facebook
Educational Quotations
February 9, 2015
“Mathematics is the cheapest science. Unlike physics or chemistry, it does not require any expensive equipment. All one needs for mathematics is a pencil and paper.”
― George Pólya

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityEducation/Schools • Wednesday, November 11, 2015 • Permalink