An Ancient Indian Proverb tells the tale of 7 blind men who have an encounter with an elephant. Each man feels a different part of the elephant, and thinks he has grasped the essential character of the beast. One touches a leg, and declares that an elephant is like a tree; another feels the tail and is certain an elephant is like a rope; a third lays his hands upon a tusk, and concludes that an elephant is like a spear; and so on.
The elephant of the proverb is an apt metaphor for mathematics. There are so many different aspects of mathematics. Many people who are aware of only one or two of these aspects mistakenly believe that they have understood the true nature of the subject.
These Mathematical Elephant articles celebrate the breadth and richness of our subject: