What is Combinatorics? (A collection of quotes by Igor Pak)

This is a collection of quotes by various authors, trying, succeeding and occasionally failing to define it. They are listed in chronological order. Some of the early quotes are barely comprehensible, later quotes are somewhat defensive and most recent are rather upbeat. Read them all! - IP

P.S. If you are curious about my own views on this, read it in this blog post (2013), and the first answer in this interview (2021, errata here).
See also a much shorter collection of "just combinatorics" quotes.

Click here to return to Igor Pak Home Page.

Last updated: 12/27/2021.

Latest additions: quotes from Heini Halberstam (1971), Gina Bari Kolata (1974, 1979), Norman Biggs (1979), Paul Erdős (1985), Richard Guy (1995), Dinur–Reingold (2006), William Gasarch (2019), Xavier Viennot (2021), Stephen Melczer (2021), and Douglas West (2021).