### „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.

0 0## Richard Hamming

**Data de nascimento:** 11. Fevereiro 1915**Data de falecimento:** 7. Janeiro 1998

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Richard Wesley Hamming foi um matemático estadunidense.

Suas contribuições na ciência da computação incluem o Código de Hamming , a Janela Hamming , Números Hamming, Pacotes de esfera ou Desigualdade de Hamming e a Distância Hamming.

Formou-se pela Universidade de Chicago em 1937, com mestrado em 1939 pela Universidade de Nebrasca e finalmente Ph.D. pela Universidade de Illinois em Urbana-Champaign em 1942. Foi professor na Universidade de Louisville durante a Segunda Guerra Mundial, que deixou para trabalhar no Projeto Manhattan em 1945, programando um dos primeiros computadores eletrônicos digitais que calculava a solução de equações dos físicos do projeto. O objetivo do programa era descobrir se a detonação de uma bomba atômica poderia incendiar a atmosfera terreste. O programa mostrou que isto não ocorreria, possibilitando o seu uso.

De 1946 a 1976 trabalhou nos Laboratórios da Bell Telephone onde colaborou com Claude Shannon. Em 1976 muda-se para a Naval Postgraduate School, onde foi professor adjunto até 1997 quando se tornou professor emérito.

Foi um dos fundadores e presidente da Association for Computing Machinery.

— 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.

— 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.

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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

— 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.

— 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.

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— 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.

— 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.

— 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.

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— 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.

— 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.

— 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.

— 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.

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— 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.

— 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.

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— Richard Hamming

Context: I noticed the following facts about people who work with the door open or the door closed. I notice that if you have the door to your office closed, you get more work done today and tomorrow, and you are more productive than most. But 10 years later somehow you don't quite know what problems are worth working on; all the hard work you do is sort of tangential in importance. He who works with the door open gets all kinds of interruptions, but he also occasionally gets clues as to what the world is and what might be important.

— 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.