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If you think about it, mathematics is really just one big analogy. For one example, the very concept of the number three is an drawing an analogy between a pile with three rocks, a collection of three books, and a plate with three carrots on it. For another, the idea of a group is drawing an analogy between adding real numbers, multiplying matrices, and many other mathematical structures. So much of what we do as mathematicians involves abstracting concrete things, and what is abstraction other than a big analogy? [excerpt]

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Original version is available from the Mathematical Association of America.