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Prof. WJR Alexander
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This is part of Raphael’s famous fresco (wall painting) titled the School of Athens in the Vatican. I had the privilege of studying it during WWII when we had plenty of time to spare. The theme of the fresco is Philosophy and this part of the fresco shows Euclid teaching mathematics to a group of enthusiastic pupils. He has a pair of dividers symbolising measurement and is pointing to a visual image on a slate. His studies have enabled us to measure distances from a point on earth to a point on the moon with a high degree of accuracy. But we still cannot predict future rainfall and river flow other than in probabilistic terms. This is the difference between accurate mathematical descriptions and broad probabilistic methods that we have so much difficulty in mastering