Math is more than just numbers and equations—it’s a way of thinking that helps us understand the world. From budgeting and programming to exploring outer space, math is everywhere. Even if it seems tricky at times, there’s something magical about the way math connects ideas and helps us make sense of our world. So whether you’re a budding mathematician or just someone curious about how it shapes our lives, these fascinating math quotes show just how important (and fun) math can be!

Math Quotes for Kids and Adults

1. All the math you need in the stock market you get in the fourth grade. — Peter Lynch

2. I could have gone to medical school, I said. Except for all the math and stuff. — MaryJanice Davidson

3. Math is perfect (in principle), but mathematicians are not (because they are humans), hence the mathematics that (human) mathematicians do is influenced by the weltanschauung of the people around them. — Doron Zeilberger

4. But perhaps that’s always the way with math problems, and we just have to find new ones to capture our attention. — Andrew Wiles

5. Budgeting is a math exercise, number crunching. — John Kotter

6. [Arithmetic] is one of the oldest branches, perhaps the very oldest branch, of human knowledge; and yet some of its most abstruse secrets lie close to its tritest truths. — Henry John Stephen Smith

7. Developing programming skills tends to improve your overall capability for logical thinking, which underlies many skills in math as well. — Gregory Perry

8. I know that when I write, I’m writing for people who can handle high-school math, read at the Grade 12 level, and appreciate subtle humor as opposed to the toilet-bowl kind. I guess that makes the lower cutoff about 17-18 years old. — Sean Punch

9. In sum, in what matter so ever there is place for “addition” and “subtraction,” there also is place for “reason”; and where these have no place, there “reason” has nothing to do at all. — Thomas Hobbes

10. I will not vote against the truths of the multiplication table. — James A. Garfield

11. He who refuses to do arithmetic is doomed to talk nonsense. — John McCarthy

12. To enjoy working with numbers you don’t have to be Einstein (German for “one stone”), but it might help to have rocks in your head. — Steven Strogatz

13. Multiplication is vexation, Division is as bad; The Rule of Three doth puzzle me, And Practice drives me mad. — Anonymous

14. Keep computations to the lowest level of the multiplication table. — David Hilbert

15. What would life be without arithmetic, but a scene of horrors? — Sydney Smith

16. “She can’t do Subtraction,” said the White Queen. “Can you do Division? Divide a loaf by a knife—what’s the answer to that?” “I suppose—” Alice was beginning, but the Red Queen answered for her. “Bread-and-butter, of course.” — Lewis Carroll

17. The most important thing we can do is inspire young minds and to advance the kind of science, math and technology education that will help youngsters take us to the next phase of space travel. — John Glenn

18. At this time [1937] the most difficult problem with the computing machine was multiplication. — Konrad Zuse

19. But the best problem I ever found, I found in my local public library. I was just browsing through the section of math books and I found this one book, which was all about one particular problem—Fermat’s Last Theorem. — Andrew Wiles

20. I compare arithmetic with a tree that unfolds upwards in a multitude of techniques and theorems while the root drives into the depths. — Gottlob Frege

21. We middle-aged folk have the education of life, truly; we know the multiplication table of anxieties and sorrows, the subtraction table of loss, the division table of responsibility. — Margaret Deland

22. What is fanaticism today is the fashionable creed tomorrow, and trite as the multiplication table a week after. — Wendell Phillips

23. Politics is human beings; it’s addition rather than subtraction. — Donald Rumsfeld

24. There is no national science, just as there is no national multiplication table; what is national is no longer science. — Anton Chekhov

25. Arithmetic is numbers you squeeze from your head to your hand to your pencil to your paper till you get the answer. — Carl Sandburg

26. Only Numbers. Pure math. You have to accustom yourself to thinking that way. — Anthony Doerr

27. To understand the theory of chance thoroughly requires a great knowledge of numbers, and a pretty competent one of Algebra. — John Arbuthnot

28. A man has one hundred dollars and you leave him with two dollars, that’s subtraction. — Mae West

29. Developing programming skills tends to improve your overall capability for logical thinking, which underlies many skills in math as well. — Gregory Perry

30. I do not believe there is anything useful which men can know with exactitude that they cannot know by arithmetic and algebra. — Nicolas Malebranche

31. You haven’t heard of probability math? You, and tomorrow you become Chairman of the Board of Widdershinss and heir to riches untold? Then first we will talk, and then we will eat. — Terry Pratchett

32. A child of the new generation Refused to learn multiplication. He said “Don’t conclude That I’m stupid or rude; I am simply without motivation.” — Joel Henry Hildebrand

33. See how the Ganga flows by and what a nice building! I like this place. This is the ideal kind of place for a Math. (in Belur, West Bengal). — Swami Vivekananda

34. I went off to college planning to major in math or philosophy—of course, both those ideas are really the same idea. — Frank Wilczek

35. When in doubt for an argument, turn to statistics. They sound wise and very few people will do the arithmetic necessary to contradict you. — Philander Chase Johnson

36. Rewards in Math are plenty But this obstacle looms big: How can you shine in calculus If you won’t learn any trig? — Ralph P. Boas, Jr.

37. Physics and geometry are one family. Together and holding hands they roam to the limits of outer space. … Surprisingly, Math has earned its rightful place for man and in the sky; fondling flowers with a smile—just wish nothing is said! — Shiing-Shen Chern

38. Don’t hesitate to be as revolutionary as science. Don’t hesitate to be as reactionary as the multiplication table. — Calvin Coolidge

39. Although I was first drawn to math and science by the certainty they promised, today I find the unanswered questions and the unexpected connections at least as attractive. — Lisa Randall

40. Arithmetic and geometry, those wings on which the astronomer soars as high as heaven. — Robert Boyle

41. There’s no real making amends in this world, any more nor you can mend a wrong subtraction by doing your addition right. — George Eliot

42. There is no division nor subtraction in the heart-arithmetic of a good mother. There are only addition and multiplication. — Bess Streeter Aldrich

43. The world looks like a multiplication table, or a mathematical equation, which, turn it how you will, balances itself. — Ralph Waldo Emerson

44. For future reference: do not underestimate the seductive power of math. — Rachel Hartman

45. You cannot ask us to take sides against arithmetic. — Winston Churchill

46. You cannot think that any man, with a man’s soul in his body, could devote his life to the drudgery of addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division for the mere pleasure of the thing. — Benjamin Peirce

47. Just as I had long suspected, a person didn’t really need math for anything anyway. Maybe some people did. Some limited people. — Augusten Burroughs

48. There are no more fortunate and happy people than those who live according to the correct, eternal laws of the multiplication table. — Yevgeny Zamyatin

49. As a boy, I had sighed over the mysteries of multiplication; addition had added materially to my distress, and subtraction taken away much of my repose. — Thomas Haynes Bayly

50. Arithmetic, like the sea, is an undulation without any possible end. — Victor Hugo

51. I cannot imagine myself perceiving non-Euclidean space! Math. Look at the reflection of the room in a polished doorknob, and imagine yourself one of the actors in what you see going on there. — Arthur Eddington

52. I became more and more convinced that even nature could be understood as a relatively simple mathematical structure. — Albert Einstein

53. In physics, your solution should convince a reasonable person. In math, you have to convince a person who’s trying to make trouble. Ultimately, in physics, you’re hoping to convince Nature. And I’ve found Nature to be pretty reasonable. — Frank Wilczek

54. I can’t pretend to understand probability math. But if the universe is so ordered, so—immutable—that the future can be told by a handful of numbers, then why need we go on living? — Terry Pratchett

55. No man acquires property without acquiring with it a little arithmetic also. — Ralph Waldo Emerson

56. Math never gets into the story. … Everyone else gets the credit. — Tony F. Chan

57. All day, you are only dealing with numbers. You add them, multiply them, and if you are careful, you will always have a solution. There’s a sequence there. — Barack Obama

58. I failed math twice, never fully grasping probability theory. I mean, first off, who cares if you pick a black ball or a white ball out of the bag? And second, if you’re bent over about the color, don’t leave it to chance. Look in the damn bag and pick the color you want. — Janet Evanovich

59. Learning improves in school environments where there are comprehensive music and arts programs. They increase the ability of young people to do math. They increase the ability of young people to read. And most important of all, they’re a lot of fun. — Bill Clinton

60. Arithmetic has a very great and elevating effect, compelling the soul to reason about abstract number, and rebelling against the introduction of visible or tangible objects into the argument. — Plato

61. Phyllis explained to him … “Don’t you find it so beautiful, math? Like an endless sheet of gold chains, each link locked into the one before it, the theorems and functions, one thing making the next inevitable. It’s music, hanging there in the middle of space, meaning nothing but itself, and so moving.” — John Updike

62. “The regularity of the rate at which the streptolysin disappears suggests that an equation may be found.” “Then why did you not make the equation?” “Well—I don’t know. I wasn’t enough of a mathematician.” “Then you should not have published till you knew your math!” — Sinclair Lewis

63. You can count the dead, but you can’t count the cost. We’ve got no math for Heaven. — Colum McCann

64. The Bulls came up with this whole theory you can play seven minutes a game when I’m practicing two hours a day. … I didn’t agree with that math. I wanted to play. I wanted to make the playoffs. — Michael Jordan

65. It seems to me that if statesmen had a little more arithmetic, or were accustomed to calculation, wars would be much less frequent. — Benjamin Franklin

66. We should all have access to the mathematical knowledge and tools needed to protect us from arbitrary decisions made by the powerful few in an increasingly math-driven world. Where there is no mathematics, there is no freedom. — Edward Frenkel

67. Recall of memory is a creative process. What the brain stores is … only a core memory. Upon recall, this memory is then elaborated upon and reconstructed, with subtractions, additions, elaborations, and distortions. — Eric Kandel

68. One of the mysteries is how the human mind can hear a piece of music, a symphony from the beginning to the end, before beginning; or see a sculpture finished all the way round, when it doesn’t exist. Now these faculties are the sort faculties which are needed in sciences, math, and medicine and all kind of things. — Barbara Hepworth

69. Dad claims that library science is the foundation of all sciences just as math is the key—and we will survive or founder, depending on how well the librarians do their jobs. Librarians didn’t look glamorous to me but maybe Dad had hit on a not very obvious truth. — Robert A. Heinlein

70. Arithmetic is a kind of knowledge in which the best natures should be trained, and which must not be given up. — Plato

71. There was nothing to be said about addition and subtraction: they were so simple as to force themselves upon one at first sight. Multiplication spoilt things. There was a certain rule of signs which declared that minus multiplied by minus made plus. How I toiled over that wretched paradox! — Jean Henri Fabre

72. From somewhere, back in my youth, heard Prof say, “Manuel, when faced with a problem you do not understand, do any part of it you do understand, then look at it again.” He had been teaching me something he himself did not understand very well—something in math—but had taught me something far more important, a basic principle. — Robert A. Heinlein

73. The Fourth Dimension is just a hypothetical math concept. Or else it’s time, or something. Just a lot of sci-fi crud. — William Sleator

74. I now knew how I’d solved that math problem in Ashmore’s class. Everything, every thought that came to us came from heaven through our guardian angel, our genius, when we were at peace in our hearts and in balance in our brains. — Victor Villaseñor

75. All that passes for knowledge can be arranged in a hierarchy of degrees of certainty, with arithmetic and the facts of perception at the top. — Bertrand Russell

76. Remember that algebra, with all its deep and intricate problems, is nothing but a development of the four fundamental operations of arithmetic. Everyone who understands the meaning of addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division holds the key to all algebraic problems. — Richard von Mises

77. Nonmathematical people sometimes ask me, “You know math, huh? Tell me something I’ve always wondered, What is infinity divided by infinity?” I can only reply, “The words you just uttered do not make sense. That was not a mathematical sentence. You spoke of ‘infinity’ as if it were a number. It’s not. You may as well ask, ‘What is truth divided by beauty?’ I have no clue. I only know how to divide numbers. ‘Infinity,’ ‘truth,’ ‘beauty’—those are not numbers.” — John Derbyshire

78. It’s amazing to me that not only can we put a probe around Saturn and get images of its moons, but our math and physics are so freaking accurate we can say, “Hey, you know what? On this date at this time if we turn Cassini that way we’ll see a moon over 2 million kilometers away pass in front of another one nearly 3 million kilometers away.” — Phil Plait

79. Algebra is generous, she often gives more than is asked of her. — Jean le Rond d’Alembert

80. In the arithmetic of love, one plus one equals everything, and two minus one equals nothing. — Mignon McLaughlin

81. The worst class of sum worked in the every-day world is cyphered by the diseased arithmeticians who are always in the rule of Subtraction as to the merits and successes of others, and never in Addition as to their own. — Charles Dickens

82. That is the inescapable math of tragedy and the multiplication of grief. Too many good people die a little when they lose someone they love. One death begets two or twenty or one hundred. It’s the same all over the world. — Ben Sherwood

83. There was a young fellow from Trinity, Who took the square root of infinity. But the number of digits, Gave him the fidgets; He dropped Math and took up Divinity. — George Gamow

84. By means of addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division, settle everything somehow, and never wonder. — Charles Dickens

85. The hardest arithmetic to master is that which enables us to count our blessings. — Eric Hoffer

86. With a rule and a pair of scales, and the multiplication table always in his pocket, sir, ready to weigh and measure any parcel of human nature, and tell you exactly what it comes to. — Charles Dickens

87. Children need far more than basic skills in reading, writing, and math, as important as those might be. Children also need to learn how to think for themselves, how to find meaning in what they learn, and how to work and live together. — Marshall Rosenberg

88. I suspect anyway that the important things we learn we never remember because they become a part of us, we absorb them … we don’t absorb multiplication tables. — William Alexander Percy

89. The math of time is simple: you have less than you think and need more than you know. — Kevin Ashton

90. The fact is, although DNA testing may be as foolproof as fingerprinting, it doesn’t cause excitement. It’s difficult to respond to. It’s like advanced math, brilliant but boring, astonishing but passionless. It made everyone eager to move on to the next phase of the trial, which consisted of autopsy pictures. — Dominick Dunne

91. But the best-read naturalist who lends an entire and devout attention to truth, will see that there remains much to learn of his relation to the world, and that it is not to be learned by any addition or subtraction or other comparison of known quantities, but is arrived at by untaught sallies of the spirit, by a continual self-recovery, and by entire humility. — Ralph Waldo Emerson

92. If one adds anything small or great to the queen of virtues, piety, or on the other hand takes something from it, in either case he will change and transform its nature. Addition will beget superstition and subtraction will beget impiety. — Philo

93. What are the chances you’d ever meet someone like that? he wondered. Someone you could love forever, someone who would forever love you back? And what did you do when that person was born half a world away? The math seemed impossible. — Rainbow Rowell

94. So what should we say when children complete a task—say, math problems—quickly and perfectly? Should we deny them the praise they have earned? Yes. When this happens, I say, “Whoops. I guess that was too easy. I apologize for wasting your time. Let’s do something you can really learn from!” — Carol Dweck

95. A knowledge of statistics is like a knowledge of foreign languages or of algebra; it may prove of use at any time under any circumstances. — Arthur Lyon Bowley