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[128] On Mathematics, Commencement Lecture at the University of Costa Rica

  • Loring W. Tu
Chapter
Part of the Contemporary Mathematicians book series (CM)

Dear Mr. Minister, Dear Mr. Rector, Ladies and Gentlemen:

I consider it a great honour to have been invited to deliver this commencement address in the far away, beautiful and peaceful land of Costa Rica; the homeland of my life long friend and erstwhile college roommate Rudolfo Gurdian.

I stand before you as a card carrying “Mathematician” and as such am in the very unusual position of having this large, distinguished, and captive audience to whom I can extol the beauty and the accomplishments of my subject. I say unusual, because the very word “mathematics” strikes terror in the hearts of most human beings. In fact, it is for this reason that I sometimes — say when an attractive young lady settles next to me on a long plane ride — claim to be a physicist, or an ex-engineer. But when eventually the truth emerges the reaction is nearly universally the following: “Oh I am afraid that mathematics was my worst subject!” Then: “You must be very bright!” and finally, after a pause: “I wish...

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© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Loring W. Tu
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of MathematicsTufts UniversityMedfordUSA

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