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On Liking Mathematics*

  • C. A. Coulson (a1)

Extract

The inspiration for this address comes from Little Tim—or should I call him Tiny Tim? And this is odd because I don’t really know his name. He belonged to the D-stream of a school, and he sat on the front row of the class to which I was speaking. I have no idea now what I was talking about: but I do know that to all intents and purposes Little Tim was unmoved by any of my eloquence. His round little face was immobile, and nothing that I could do seemed able to disturb its obvious complacency. And then—I do not know what caused it all to happen, and I like to think it was not because he had noticed that my shoelace was undone or my front eollar-stud missing—the trace of a smile began to appear upon his lips. It broadened to a horizontal line across his round and homely face; and then the vision faded. Little Tim returned once again to his former state.

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*

Presidential Address to the Mathematical Association at the Annual General Meeting at Cambridge, April 9, 1969.

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page 228 note * H. C. Beaven, of Balliol, a first-class mathematician and teacher.

page 228 note Later to be Minister of Education in the first Israeli Government.

page 229 note * So little is this situation recognized that almost immediately after this lecture was given at least two national newspapers did me the honour of putting this last sentence in their “Quote of the Day” as being something rather remarkable!

* Presidential Address to the Mathematical Association at the Annual General Meeting at Cambridge, April 9, 1969.

On Liking Mathematics*

  • C. A. Coulson (a1)

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