# What Happened to the World’s Smartest Woman After She Solved a Math Question?

In his book ** Mathematics, Poetry, and Beauty**, Ron Aharoni recounts an interesting episode from one of David Hilbert’s legendary lectures. On a particular day, upon inquiring about the absence of a student from his class, Hilbert was informed by the student’s peers that he had abandoned mathematics to pursue poetry. In an eloquent and thought-provoking defense of mathematics, Hilbert responded,

**“He made the right choice to become a poet because he did not have enough imagination to become a mathematician.”**This anecdote brilliantly underscores Hilbert’s belief in the boundless creativity required in the mathematical realm.

But tragically, unlike the enlightened minds of the past who celebrated its brilliance, **contemporary mathematics faces the skepticism of those who fail to grasp its intrinsic beauty.** Critics often dismiss it as difficult, monotonous, and devoid of spirit. In truth, mathematics is a sublime and imaginative discipline, echoing the elegance of the finest art and poetry. This is why some of the greatest intellects have devoted their lives to solving questions that, to the uninitiated, might seem perplexing or irrelevant. **If mathematics were truly as soulless and mundane as its critics assert, would thousands of brilliant thinkers have dedicated nearly three millennia to its pursuit?** They saw — and…