# Ralph P. Boas Jr.

American mathematician

**Ralph Philip Boas Jr.** (August 8, 1912 – July 25, 1992) was an American mathematician, noteworthy for his expository writing in mathematics.

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## Quotes

edit- The predecessors of Newton and Leibnitz knew perfectly well how to determine tangents and areas, but they had to approach each problem from first principles. The great contribution of Newton and Leibnitz was precisely to make the procedures for finding tangents, areas, etc. into a calculus, that is, a systematic way of calculating—a collection of algorithms, to use the currently fashionable word.
- (1971). "Calculus as an Experimental Science".
*The American Mathematical Monthly***78**(6): 664–667. DOI:10.2307/2316582.

- (1971). "Calculus as an Experimental Science".

- Suppose you want to teach the "cat" concept to a very young child. Do you explain that a cat is a relatively small, primarily carnivorous mammal with retractible claws, a distinctive sonic output, etc.? I'll bet not. You probably show the kid a lot of different cats, saying "kitty" each time, until it gets the idea. To put it more generally, generalizations are best made by abstraction from experience. They should come one at a time; too many at once overload the circuits.
- (1981). "Can We Make Mathematics Intelligible?".
*The American Mathematical Monthly***88**(10): 727–731. DOI:10.2307/2321471.

- (1981). "Can We Make Mathematics Intelligible?".

## Quotes about Boas

edit- The fact that N Bourbaki was not a real person and represented a group of mathematicians was known to very few, for example, Ralph Boas, but the world of mathematics had come to believe in his existence. In an article for the
*Encyclopaedia Britannica*, Boas revealed the truth; he was severely reprimanded in a letter to him "From my ashram in the Himalayas", beginning with "You miserable worm, how dare you say that I do not exist?" and signed 'Nicolas Bourbaki'!- as quoted by C. S. Yogananda in: (June 2015)"Review of
*The Artist and the Mathematician: The Story of Nicolas Bourbaki, the Genius Mathematician Who Never Existed*by Amir D. Aczel".*Resonance*: 556–559.

- as quoted by C. S. Yogananda in: (June 2015)"Review of