Frasi di Richard Wesley Hamming

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Richard Wesley Hamming

Data di nascita: 11. Febbraio 1915
Data di morte: 7. Gennaio 1998

Pubblicità

Richard Wesley Hamming è stato un matematico statunitense, famoso per l'ideazione del Codice di Hamming.

Dopo il dottorato conseguito all'Università dell'Illinois nel 1942, Hamming fu professore all'Università di Louisville fino all'inizio della Seconda guerra mondiale. Nel 1945 fece parte del Progetto Manhattan, programmando uno dei calcolatori digitali per calcolare le soluzioni delle equazioni fornite dai fisici del progetto.

Nel 1968 ricevette il Premio Turing.

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Frasi Richard Wesley Hamming

„Great scientists tolerate ambiguity very well.“

— Richard Hamming
Context: Most people like to believe something is or is not true. Great scientists tolerate ambiguity very well. They believe the theory enough to go ahead; they doubt it enough to notice the errors and faults so they can step forward and create the new replacement theory. If you believe too much you'll never notice the flaws; if you doubt too much you won't get started. It requires a lovely balance.

„The newer aspects of many fields start with the admission of uncertainty.“

— Richard Hamming
Context: Probability plays a central role in many fields, from quantum mechanics to information theory, and even older fields use probability now that the presence of "noise" is officially admitted. The newer aspects of many fields start with the admission of uncertainty.

Pubblicità

„In science if you know what you are doing you should not be doing it.
In engineering if you do not know what you are doing you should not be doing it.“

— Richard Hamming
Context: In science if you know what you are doing you should not be doing it. In engineering if you do not know what you are doing you should not be doing it. Of course, you seldom, if ever, see either pure state.<!-- (1997), p. 5

„There is no unique, correct answer in most cases. It is a matter of taste“

— Richard Hamming
Context: There is no unique, correct answer in most cases. It is a matter of taste, depending on the circumstances... and the particular age you live in.... Gradually, you will develop your own taste, and along the way you may occasionally recognize that your taste may be the best one! It is the same as an art course.

„No vision, not much of a future.“

— Richard Hamming
Context: In a lifetime of many, many independent choices, small and large, a career with a vision will get you a distance proportional to n, while no vision will get you only the distance √n.... the accuracy of the vision matters less than you suppose, getting anywhere is better than drifting, there are potentially many paths to greatness for you... No vision, not much of a future.

„Until we understand languages of communication involving humans as they are then it is unlikely many of our software problems will vanish.“

— Richard Hamming
Context: The fundamentals of language are not understood to this day.... Until we understand languages of communication involving humans as they are then it is unlikely many of our software problems will vanish.

„We do not always know what we are talking about.“

— Richard Hamming
Context: We do not always know what we are talking about.... Troubles... can be made to arise whenever what is being said includes itself—a self-referral situation.

„They are not fixed for all eternity.“

— Richard Hamming
Context: The assumptions and definitions of mathematics and science come from our intuition, which is based ultimately on experience. They then get shaped by further experience in using them and are occasionally revised. They are not fixed for all eternity.

Pubblicità

„Rigor is not a yes-no property of a proof... it is a vague standard of careful treatment that is currently acceptable to a particular group.“

— Richard Hamming
Context: When you yourself are responsible for some new application in mathematics... then your reputation... and possibly even human lives, may depend on the results you predict. It is then the need for mathematical rigor will become painfully obvious to you.... Mathematical rigor is the clarification of the reasoning used in mathematics.... a closer examination of the numerous "hidden assumptions" is made.... Over the years there has been a gradually rising standard of rigor; proofs that satisfied the best mathematicians of one generation have been found inadequate by the next generation. Rigor is not a yes-no property of a proof... it is a vague standard of careful treatment that is currently acceptable to a particular group.

„Without continuous mathematics, the study of discrete mathematics soon becomes trivial and very limited. ...The two topics“

— Richard Hamming
Context: Increasingly... the application of mathematics to the real world involves discrete mathematics... the nature of the discrete is often most clearly revealed through the continuous models of both calculus and probability. Without continuous mathematics, the study of discrete mathematics soon becomes trivial and very limited.... The two topics, discrete and continuous mathematics, are both ill served by being rigidly separated.

„It is the same as an art course.“

— Richard Hamming
Context: There is no unique, correct answer in most cases. It is a matter of taste, depending on the circumstances... and the particular age you live in.... Gradually, you will develop your own taste, and along the way you may occasionally recognize that your taste may be the best one! It is the same as an art course.

„There is simply too much known to continue the older approach of giving detailed results.“

— Richard Hamming
Context: We intend to teach the doing of mathematics. The applications of these methods produce the results of mathematics (which usually is only what is taught)... There is also a deliberate policy to force you to think abstractly... it is only through abstraction that any reasonable amount of useful mathematics can be covered. There is simply too much known to continue the older approach of giving detailed results.

Pubblicità

„It is easy to measure your mastery of the results via a conventional examination; it is less easy to measure your mastery of doing mathematics“

— Richard Hamming
Context: It is easy to measure your mastery of the results via a conventional examination; it is less easy to measure your mastery of doing mathematics, of creating new (to you) results, and of your ability to surmount the almost infinite details to see the general situation.

„Science is supposed to be cumulative, not almost endless duplication of the same kind of things.“

— Richard Hamming
Context: Indeed, one of my major complaints about the computer field is that whereas Newton could say, "If I have seen a little farther than others, it is because I have stood on the shoulders of giants," I am forced to say, "Today we stand on each other's feet." Perhaps the central problem we face in all of computer science is how we are to get to the situation where we build on top of the work of others rather than redoing so much of it in a trivially different way. Science is supposed to be cumulative, not almost endless duplication of the same kind of things.

„In the face of almost infinite useful knowledge, we have adopted the strategy of "information regeneration rather than information retrieval." ...most importantly, you should be able to generate the result you need even if no one has ever done it before you“

— Richard Hamming
Context: In the face of almost infinite useful knowledge, we have adopted the strategy of "information regeneration rather than information retrieval."... most importantly, you should be able to generate the result you need even if no one has ever done it before you—you will not be dependent on the past to have done everything you will ever need in mathematics.

„Euclid's postulates came from the Pythagorean theorem, not the other way around.“

— Richard Hamming
Context: The idea that theorems follow from the postulates does not correspond to simple observation. If the Pythagorean theorem were found to not follow from the postulates, we would again search for a way to alter the postulates until it was true. Euclid's postulates came from the Pythagorean theorem, not the other way around.

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