## Team playing

Mathematicians are not generally known for being team players. Mathematicians are seen as being scary, clever in a sit down and think kind of way but definitely not team players. You don’t think of Netwon in a lab surrounded by a bunch of fellow mathematicians or Einstein having a coffee with David Hilbert while discussing relativity.

Yet, by the nature of the mathematicians work, this stereotype must lack merit. The letters between Isaac Netwon’s and Gottfried Wilhelm von Leibniz are possibly the best known recorded discussion on how integral calculus should work and two minds working together on the problem, steering each other to very similar conclusions.

Pythagoras was almost certainly a group of philosophers discussing how geometry should work which almost certainly makes the formulation of mathematical language one of the earliest recorded theories reached by a group and not an individual.

The language of maths itself proves that it must be uniquely defined as a purely team activity or else why would a language have been formulated to express its ideas so eloquently?

I’d like to know who first established the idea of the solitary mathematician? How did this stereotype come to be so readily accepted?

**Posted:** November 16th, 2009 under 42, Social Networks, Work.