“It is the simple hypotheses of which one must be most wary; because these are the ones that have the most chances of passing unnoticed.” — Poincare.
Henri Poincaré is one of my favorite mathematicians, and one of the leaders in the development of what we now think of as the theories of Relativity.
He was quite different than the (often deeply wrong) stereotype of a mathematician.
- Poincaré admitted to not being particularly good at simple arithmetic and basic calculations.
- He was a prolific writer of not only mathematics, but of popular and philosophical work.
- He strongly preferred general theorems over special cases.
- He was not a “specialist” but was a generalist who hammered away at a huge range of science and mathematics.
He’s an example of one of the things that drew me into mathematics in the first place (that also applies to the strength sports and the arts): there is something for everyone to love and excel at.
Now go lift something heavy,