“Some people focus more on sonics. Some people focus more on story. I focus on both sonics and story, but music sometimes, just music itself, can turn into more of a maths problem. I guess everything in life is a math problem, but it can be more about an empirical route to getting the symmetry that you want, and this vibe, sonically.”

“In American math classes, we teach a lot of concepts poorly over many years. In the Asian systems they teach you very few concepts very well over a few years.”

“In ninth grade, I came up with a new form of rebellion. I hadn’t been getting good grades, but I decided to get all A’s without taking a book home. I didn’t go to math class, because I knew enough and had read ahead, and I placed within the top 10 people in the nation on an aptitude exam.”

“We all know that there are these exemplars who can take the toughest students, and they’ll teach them two-and-a-half years of math in a single year.”

“What destroys more self-confidence than any other educational thing in America is being assigned to some remedial math when you get into some college, and then it’s not taught very well and you end up with this sense of, ‘Hey, I can’t really figure those things out.’”

“No party has a monopoly on wisdom. No democracy works without compromise. But when Governor Romney and his allies in Congress tell us we can somehow lower our deficit by spending trillions more on new tax breaks for the wealthy – well, you do the math. I refuse to go along with that. And as long as I’m President, I never will.”

“California is the highest-tax state in the nation and has been for a long time. It has the highest-paid teachers in the nation, by far – $400 a month more than New Jersey – and yet California is the third lowest state on test scores for fourth and eighth grade English and math in the nation, and has been at the low level for a long, long time.”

“I loved doing problems in school. I’d take them home and make up new ones of my own. 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.”

“We’ve lost something that’s been with us for so long, and something that drew a lot of us into mathematics. But perhaps that’s always the way with math problems, and we just have to find new ones to capture our attention.”

“When I was growing up, I had lots of smart classmates that were girls, but none of us were really pushed into math or computers or anything like that. Girls took AP history and AP English and AP European history. And boys took calculus and physics.”

“Homework’s hard. Especially math. My kids joke with me. They tell me they have homework. I say, ‘Okay.’ And then I sit down and they say, ‘It’s math.’ ‘No! Not math! English, history, anything!’”

“This isn’t like cancer, where we don’t know the solution. Financial planning is math. We have the answers, yet it’s this huge cause of stress.”

“Political journalists, socially inept or no, are not nerds. Most of them can’t do math, a fact that campaigns and politicians regularly exploit.”

“I didn’t mind studying. Obviously math and the physical science subjects interested me more than some of the more artistic subjects, but I think I was a pretty good student.”

“When my kids were growing up, I wanted their teachers to teach them science, reading, math and history. I also wanted them to care about my kids. But I did not want my children’s public school teachers teaching them religion. That was my job as a parent and the job of our church, Sunday school, and youth group.”

“Education happens to be something that all people, all cultures, need to embrace. Math, science, the words of the world. To be able to speak and be able to have clarity and to be able to think. Those are the greatest of gifts.”

“In my school, the brightest boys did math and physics, the less bright did physics and chemistry, and the least bright did biology. I wanted to do math and physics, but my father made me do chemistry because he thought there would be no jobs for mathematicians.”