Here are some interesting quotations on science and engineering. Some of these quotations are contradictory, so do not expect to distill my worldview by averaging what I put below …

I have always regraded the interconnected electric power system, with its hierarchical, multi-variable, multi-level parameters, its geographically wide ranging extent, its parallel operation of literally hundreds of energy sources, its extensive and non-linear self-regulating forces, and its many objectives of operating economy, security, and environmental influences, as a most challenging systems control problem, perhaps one of the most challenging of all large scale systems control problems.

Nathan Cohn

It is nice to know that the computer understands the problem. But I would like to understand it too.

Eugene Wigner

I think that the time when we can readily understand how our engineering systems work is coming to an end.

Stephen Wolfram

Don't ever make the mistake [of thinking] that you can design something better than what you get from ruthless massively parallel trial-and-error with a feedback cycle. That's giving your intelligence much too much credit.

Linus Torvalds

Mathematics is an experimental science, and definitions do not come first, but later on.

Oliver Heaviside

Academics view the future as ever more complex whereas practice often prunes unnecessary complexities.

Daniel Lemire

Even the best control system cannot make a Ferrari out of a Volkswagen.

Sigurd Skogestad / Ian Postlethwaite

A good design usually has strong aesthetic appeal to those who are competent in the subject.

H. H. Rosenbrock

Since all models are wrong the scientist cannot obtain a ’'correct’’ one by excessive elaboration. On the contrary, following William of Occam he should seek an economical description of natural phenomena. Just as the ability to devise simple but evocative models is the signature of the great scientist, so over-elaboration and over-parameterization is often the mark of mediocrity.

George E. P. Box

Is it clear? If so, we are attentive. Is it correct? If so, we are satisfied. Is it interesting? If so, we are gratified. Is it important? If so, we are impressed!

M. Wonham