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George Pólya 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. He has been described as one of The Martians.
George Polya Quotes
Mathematics consists of proving the most obvious thing in the least obvious way.
Observe also (what modern writers almost forgot, but some older writers, such as Euler and Laplace, clearly perceived) that the role of inductive evidence in mathematical investigation is similar to its role in physical research.
If you can't solve a problem, then there is an easier problem you can solve: find it.
A great discovery solves a great problem, but there is a grain of discovery in the solution of any problem. Your problem may be modest, but if it challenges your curiosity and brings into play your inventive faculties, and if you solve it by your own means, you may experience the tension and enjoy the triumph of discovery.
He was the only student that ever scared me (in reference to John von Neumann).
The first rule of discovery is to have brains and good luck. The second rule of discovery is to sit tight and wait till you get a bright idea.
Mathematics is being lazy. Mathematics is letting the principles do the work for you so that you do not have to do the work for yourself.
The elegance of a mathematical theorem is directly proportional to the number of independent ideas one can see in the theorem and inversely proportional to the effort it takes to see them.
Beauty in mathematics is seeing the truth without effort.
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.