Constants and computations have inspired many authors. Here is a list of a few quotes.

- Old Testament (1 Kings 7:23)

And he made a molten sea, ten cubits from the one brim to the other; it was round all about ... and a line of thirty cubits did compass it round about.

- Al-Kashi (15th century)

Praise to Allah who knows the ratio of the diameter to the circumference ... and peace to Muhammad, the Chosen, the center of the circle of prophets. (In hisTreatise on the circumference of the Circle,1424 [1]. At the same time, he also computed p to an impressive 16 decimal places)

- Isaac Newton (1642-1727)

I am ashamed to tell you to how many figures I carried these calculations, having no other business at the time.(about a computation of p)

- Augustus De Morgan (1806-1871)

This mysterious 3.141592..., which comes in at every door and window, and down every chimney.

It is easier to square the circle than to get round a mathematician.

- William Shanks (1812-1882)

Whether any other Mathematician will appear, possessing sufficient leisure, patience, and facility of computation, to calculate the value ofpto a still greater extent, remains to be seen: all that the Author can say is, he takes leave of the subject for the present ...(he spent a great part of his life in huge hand calculations of constants [11])

- Charles Hermite (1822-1901)

I shall risk nothing on an attempt to prove the transcendence ofp.If others undertake this enterprise, no one will be happier than I in their success. But believe me, it will not fail to cost them some effort. (After his successful proof of the transcendence of the number e ; quoted by Maor [8])

- Simon Newcomb (1835-1909)

Ten decimal places ofpare sufficient to give the circumference of the earth to a fraction of an inch, and thirty decimal places would give the circumference of the visible universe to a quantity imperceptible to the most powerful microscope.

- James Glaisher (1848-1928)

The value ofphas engaged the attention of many mathematicians and calculators from the time of Archimedes to the present day, and has been computed from so many different formulae, that a complete account of its calculation would almost amount to a history of mathematics.(in his history of Euler's constant [5])

- Ferdinand Lindemann (1852-1939)

Ludolph's numberpcannot be the root of any algebraic equation with (real or complex) rational coefficients.(in the famous article where Lindemann gave, for the first time, the proof of the transcendence of p [7])

- Edward Charles Titchmarsh (1899-1963)

It can be of no practical use to know that Pi is irrational, but if we can know, it surely would be intolerable not to know.

- Petr Beckmann

The history of pi is a quaint little mirror of the history of man.

- Plato (428-348 B.C.)

He is unworthy of the name of man who is ignorant of the fact that the diagonal of a square is incommensurable with its side.

- Leonhard Euler (1707-1783)

... for the sake of brevity, we will always represent this number 2.718281828459... by the lettere. (in his remarkable book [4])

- Edmund Landau (1877-1938)

The letteremay now no longer be used to denote anything other than this positive universal constant.(quoted in [8])

- James Glaisher (1848-1928)

Euler's constant (...) though of far less celebrity thanpore, has still strong claims to notice ...(also in [5])

- Edward Charles Titchmarsh (1899-1963)

There are certainly people who regardÖ2as something perfectly obvious but jib atÖ[(-1)]. This is because they think they can visualise the former as something in physical space but not the latter. ActuallyÖ[(-1)]is a much simpler concept.

- George A. Gibson

At the present day it is perhaps somewhat difficult to form an adequate conception of the greatness of Napier's invention ; yet it is beyond all question that the invention of logarithms marks an epoch in the history of science.(During Napier Tercentenary Exhibition)

- Alfred van der Poorten

Apéry's incredible proof appears to be a mixture of miracles and mysteries.(On the proof of the irrationality of z(3) by Roger Apéry in 1978 [10])

- William Dunham

Like the existence of odd perfect numbers, the irrationality ofgis a fitting challenge for anyone hoping to achieve mathematical immortality.[3].

- Anonymous

Defendit numerus.(there is safety in numbers)

- William Shakespeare (1564-1616)

I am ill at these numbers. (Hamlet : Act II, Scene 2)

- René Descartes (1596-1650)

Perfect numbers like perfect men are very rare.

- Samuel Johnson

Round numbers are always false.(1750 given in [6])

- Carl Friedrich Gauss (1777-1855)

God does arithmetic.

Mathematics is the queen of sciences and arithmetic is the queen of mathematics.

- Honoré de Balzac (1799-1850)

Numbers are intellectual witnesses that belong only to mankind.

- Lao Tze (604-531 B.C.)

A good calculator does not need artificial aids.(Tao Te Ching)

- Plato (428-348 B.C.)

He who can properly define and divide is to be considered a god.

- Pierre Simon de Laplace (1749-1827)

Nature laughs at the difficulties of integration.

- Carl Friedrich Gauss (1777-1855)

You have no idea, how much poetry there is in the calculation of a table of logarithms!(to his students [9])

Euler and Ramanujan are mathematicians of the greatest importance in the history of constants. (and of course in the history of Mathematics ...)

- Pierre Simon de Laplace (1749-1827)

Read Euler, read Euler. He is the master of us all.

- François Arago (1786-1853)

Euler calculated without apparent effort, as men breathe, or as eagles sustain themselves in the wind.

- Middlemast E.W.

I can strongly recommend the applicant. He is a young man of quite exceptional capacity in mathematics and especially in work relating to numbers. He has a natural aptitude for computation and is very quick at figure work.(a recommendation by a professor of Mathematics, theyoung manis the great Ramanujan)

- Godfrey Harold Hardy (1877-1947)

... they must be true, because if they were not true, no one would have had the imagination to invent them.(about formulas that Ramanujan sent to the British mathematician Hardy [2])

- [1]
- L. Berggren, J. Borwein, P. Borwein,
*Pi : A Source Book*, Springer*,*(1997) - [2]
- J.M. Borwein and P.B. Borwein,
*Ramanujan and Pi*, Scientific American, (1988), p. 112-117 - [3]
- W. Dunham,
*Euler The Master of Us All*, The Mathematical Association of America, (1999) - [4]
- L. Euler,
*Introduction à l'analyse infinitésimale*(french traduction by Labey), Barrois, ainé, Librairie, (original 1748, traduction 1796), vol. 1 - [5]
- J.W.L. Glaisher,
*History of Euler's constant*, Messenger of Math., (1872), vol. 1, p. 25-30 - [6]
- D.E. Knuth,
*The Art of Computer Programming, Vol. II, Seminumerical Algorithms,*Addison Wesley, (1998) - [7]
- F. Lindemann,
*Ueber die Zahl*p, Mathematische Annalen*,*(1882), vol. 20, p. 213-225 - [8]
- E. Maor,
*e: The Story of a Number*, Princeton University Press, (1994) - [9]
- J. Muir,
*Of Men and Numbers*, Dover Publications, New York, (1996, first edition 1961) - [10]
- A. van der Poorten,
*A Proof that Euler Missed ..., Apéry's Proof of the Irrationality of*z(3), The Mathematical Intelligencer, (1979), vol. 1, p. 195-203 - [11]
- W. Shanks,
*Contributions to Mathematics Comprising Chiefly the Rectification of the Circle to 607 Places of Decimals*, G. Bell, London, (1853)

We took one or two quotations from the excellent site of the Furman University and collected by Mark R. Woodard. The site is entirely dedicated to mathematical quotations.