# A Mathematician is like a Naturalist

*An illustrated manifesto*

A mathematician is like a naturalist. They travel far away around the world to find the strangest creatures.

They enjoy classifying. Whenever a branch of mathematics is given a classification, mathematicians rejoice.

No one is happier about a list than a mathematician, and what mathematicians like even more than lists, is finding ways to tell a list without listing (or knowing) its elements.

Mathematicians look at the world with two questions always in their minds.

The first one is:

How similar can something be to a tiger, before it is a tiger?

They take measurements and use their classifications to identify creatures they run into. By proving membership to a class, they immediately gain familiarity with the creature. This can be useful in moments of need.

The other question is:

How much of a tiger do I have to see before I can say 'There is a tiger’ ?

At times it is sufficient to check the footprints.

Many creatures look alike, so at times it is *necessary *to check the footprints.

When mathematicians return from their adventures, they bring home tales of dimensionless points and infinite-dimensional spaces. They often like writing books about their discoveries.

However, the most important job for a mathematician is forever to be amazed by the beauty of it all.