How Hard is Your Maths?

hard_piIn Brainiac: Science Abuse, there is a wonderful category called How Hard is Your Thing? (see [1]). Thaila Zucchi makes seemingly hard things undergo some of the ultimate stress tests: Can they stand the heat of thermite? The abrasion of an angle grinder? The impact of a ton of bricks?

There were several occasions in the history of mathematics when mathematicians had to answer to the question: how hard is your maths?

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The Ivory Tower

To me, mathematics is an ivory tower.
An ivory tower, vast, complex, and beautiful.
With its doors wide open.
At each level, helping hands are offered,
Trying to help you up the stairs.
However, the steps are steep
And there is no elevator.
No-one can carry you up.
You need to take the steps by yourself.
If you climb just a little
And open your eyes,
The view will be spectacular.