# Re: Who were the 25 Greatest Mathematicians?

*From*: Elias Salomão Helou Neto <eshneto@xxxxxxxxx>*Date*: Tue, 09 Oct 2007 13:44:27 -0700

First of all, you were extremely arrogant:

More gross ignorance.

Did you know Gauss invented, e.g., FFT? Together with Gaussian

elimination he invented, much before the invention of digital

computers, those which are likely to be the most important algorithms

in practical use nowadays. What to say about the proof of the

fundamental theorem of algebra (he was not the first one to prove it,

but James Wood's proof was almost completely ignored and Gauss did not

know about it) and many more fundamental, I repeat, FUNDAMENTAL

contributions?

I call the following "invented evidence" as you do not mention names:

I am sure that if you were to take a poll

of people who are actually qualified to have an opinion

(i.e. working PhD research mathematicians) that many of them

would choose Grothendieck. It would be close, however.

Now, this is plain an simply not true:

It is a pretty sure sign that someone has very little to say that is

constructive when they start using profanity.

Have you ever heard of style? Even if you dislike I call it style.

And, as I see, it is reaching its objectives.

How do you know this is false? As you said it is "very bold, arrogant

and ignorant statement" for "it dismisses the possibility that others

might think differently":

I drew my conclusion

because

you stated something as fact something that I know is false. How do I

know it?

Because I have heard first hand opinions from others that Grothendieck

is

probably number one in their opinion.

Again, whose first hand opinions?

trying

to disqualify my opinion this way.

I said PhD mathematicians. I don't read anywhere where I cited you

personally.

Since I could not and did not (until now) know your background my

remarks could hardly

have been aimed at you personally. But YOU CHOSE to take them

personally simpy.

Well, you called me ignorant ("more gross ignorance"), remember? More

than that, there is no reason to believe only PhD mathematicians can

afford to have an opinion on this subject. Only an arrogant PhD

mathematician could think like that. Perhaps there is nowhere you have

written I am not qualified, but still you are wrong when you say PhD

mathematicians are the only "qualified ones".

I do know the work of some of these

you have mentioned, but I still prefer Gauss. I guess I should have

written "IMHO the only one who could ever be in the first position is

Gauss".

Agreed. But what you DID write was:

The only one who could ever be in the first position is Gauss.

This is a very bold, arrogant and ignorant statement. You posted it as

a fact,

rather than an opinion. Indeed, it dismisses the possibility that

others might

think differently and that anyone who does have a different OPINION

must be wrong.

Well, I guess we already know who is the arrogant here, but I still

think a different opinion about that subject is very likely to be

false.

May I ask how many research papers you have published?

Is "how many" the correct question? I have published two while

obtaining my Master degree and I have two more coming. Remember,

however, that I am not trying to include my name in the list, so that

would be actually an irrelevant question. I am not trying to be a

better mathematician than you are. Give this bullshit away, man! Oh, I

am sorry about the dirty word.

You, on the other hand, may end up as Aristotle saying that heavier

balls fall faster, when saying that you are sure of something without

giving precise empiric evidence. Here is real gross ignorance: trying

to make people believe in something by showing some invented evidence.

What invented evidence??? I invented no evidence.

Could you say that an imaginary poll is not an invented evidence?

Irrelevant. Most of the mathematicians who have ever lived are alive

TODAY.

They are MUCH BETTER TRAINED than the vast majority of their

predecessors.

To suggest that the bulk of this 'top 25' list should come from pre

20th Century

mathematicians ignores simple statistics. The vast majority of all

mathematics

that has ever been discovered/invented/published has come in the last

50 to 70 years.

To suggest that the best mathematicians must be among those who

invented the

much smaller body of mathematical knowledge that came before simply

isn't sensible.

Is not it sensible? Does greatest equals better trained? You are being

dumb! Even you could be, nowadays, better trained in mathematics than

Arquimedes could ever be. Does it make us greater than him? Think

about things before saying, this is ridiculously dumb as an argument!

I believe that finding solutions for second degree equations was, at

that time, much more an achievement than the bulk of what has been

written and published in the last is now. I bet you would not be able

do do it by yourself given the notation and poor communication

facilities of the time.

Unless of course you can suggest a mechanism which would make earlier

mathematicians smarter, more creative, and more creative than they are

now.

I can, and it is very simple: put things in historical perspective and

measure the influence the past achievements have nowadays.

Indeed, one can assume that prior mathematicians and today's

mathematicians

are about equally gifted, on average. Combine this with the fact that

current ones

are certainly better TRAINED and you reach the conclusion that any

list which contains

mostly dead mathematicians is highly biased rather than the opposite.

No it is not, simply because you cannot say training equals greatness.

.

**References**:**Who were the 25 Greatest Mathematicians?***From:*James Dow Allen

**Re: Who were the 25 Greatest Mathematicians?***From:*Gerry Myerson

**Re: Who were the 25 Greatest Mathematicians?***From:*Elias Salomão Helou Neto

**Re: Who were the 25 Greatest Mathematicians?***From:*Pubkeybreaker

**Re: Who were the 25 Greatest Mathematicians?***From:*Elias Salomão Helou Neto

**Re: Who were the 25 Greatest Mathematicians?***From:*Pubkeybreaker

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