14 March 2015, was supposed to be the Pi day of the century — for obvious reasons. 14 March is also Einstein’s birthday, and 2015 interestingly marked 100 years of the theory of relativity. I liked this article written by Jeff Edelstein that described how Einstein tutored a 12 year old girl in maths. As Edelstein wrote, this could be a hoax, but personally for me, some stories (or myths) are worth retelling. There are two lovely quotes in the article, both recollections of the girl being tutored.
He’d say we’re not going to bother with the homework problem. First he’d give me his own math problem, help me work it out, and then we’d go to the homework. He’d simply tell me the things we were doing, showed me the best ways to do it. And he would always tell me it’s not the answer that counts, but how you solve the problem.
But he was just so nice. Even when I told him I hated math. He said, ‘you shouldn’t hate math, math is the center of the universe, and anyone who knows math knows everything.’
Two more titbits about the great man. My paper with Hirschhorn appeared this year, and thanks to Mike — M.V. Subbarao — Ernst Straus, I now have an Einstein number of 4. And an Erdös number of 3. Hurray!
Finally my favourite Einstein story. Einstein and wife (apparently in 1931) toured Hubble’s lab and viewed his telescope. When told that the impressive instruments were what Hubble used to study the shape of the universe, she replied:
Well, my husband does that on the back of an envelope.
As Sheldon Cooper would say:”Bazinga!”