From cwalker@silicon Thu Apr 20 13:31 PDT 1995
Date: Thu, 20 Apr 1995 13:26:18 +0800
From: cwalker@silicon.csci.csusb.edu (Chris Walker)
Message-Id: <9504202026.AA21496@orion.csci.csusb.edu>
To: dick@silicon
Subject: math jokes...
Here's a little something I found on the Web. I was hoping you could add it to our
ftp site.
Article 7615 of rec.humor:
>From: ed@csd4.milw.wisc.edu (Ed bunny Ahrenhoerster)
Subject: Math joke collection
Keywords: LONG Long long
Message-ID: <6723@uwmcsd1.UUCP>
Date: 4 Sep 88 00:29:18 GMT
Organization: University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
I have had a number of requests for my collection of math jokes,
so I will just post it here. These were taken off the net a year
or two ago (from sci.math), so these are 100% guaranteed repeats. (hey at least
i am honest :-) Included is the name of whoever posted these originally.
-Ed
******************************************************************************
>From uwmcsd1!ig!agate!helios.ee.lbl.gov!nosc!cod!jscosta Wed Jun 29 02:01:57 CDT 1988
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Q. What does a mathematician do when he's constipated?
A. He works it out with a pencil.
Joseph Costa, NOSC
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Three employees of NOSC (an engineer, a physicist and a mathematician) are
staying in a hotel while attending a technical seminar. The engineer wakes
up and smells smoke. He goes out into the hallway and sees a fire, so he
fills a trashcan from his room with water and douses the fire. He goes back
to bed. Later, the physicist wakes up and smells smoke. He opens his door
and sees a fire in the hallway. He walks down the hall to a fire hose and
after calculating the flame velocity, distance, water pressure, trajectory,
etc. extinguishes the fire with the minimum amount of water and energy
needed. Later, the mathematician wakes up and smells smoke. He goes to the
hall, sees the fire and then the fire hose. He thinks for a moment and then
exclaims, "Ah, a solution exists!" and then goes back to bed.
Michael Plapp, NOSC
------------------------------------------------------------------------
"A mathematician is a device for turning coffee into theorems"
-- P. Erdos
Jim Lewis, UC-Berkeley
-------------------------------------------------------------------------
Three standard Peter Lax jokes (heard in his lectures) :
1. What's the contour integral around Western Europe?
Answer: Zero, because all the Poles are in Eastern Europe!
Addendum: Actually, there ARE some Poles in Western Europe, but
they are removable!
2. An English mathematician (I forgot who) was asked by his very religious
colleague:
Do you believe in one God?
Answer: Yes, up to isomorphism!
3. What is a compact city?
It's a city that can be guarded by finitely many near-sighted
policemen!
Abdolreza Tahvildarzadeh, NYU
-------------------------------------------------------------------------
Q: What's purple and commutes?
A: An abelian grape.
Q: What's yellow, and equivalent to the Axiom of Choice?
A: Zorn's Lemon.
James Currie
-------------------------------------------------------------------------
Q: Why did the mathematician name his dog "Cauchy"?
A: Because he left a residue at every pole.
Q: Why is it that the more accuracy you demand from an interpolation
function, the more expensive it becomes to compute?
A: That's the Law of Spline Demand.
Steve Friedl, V-Systems, Inc.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------
"Algebraic symbols are used when you do not know what you are talking about."
Philippe Schnoebelen
-------------------------------------------------------------------------
Moebius always does it on the same side.
Heisenberg might have slept here.
Aaron Avery, University of Wisconsin
-------------------------------------------------------------------------
There was a mad scientist ( a mad ...social... scientist ) who kidnapped
three colleagues, an engineer, a physicist, and a mathematician, and locked
each of them in seperate cells with plenty of canned food and water but no
can opener.
A month later, returning, the mad scientist went to the engineer's cell and
found it long empty. The engineer had constructed a can opener from pocket
trash, used aluminum shavings and dried sugar to make an explosive, and escaped.
The physicist had worked out the angle necessary to knock the lids off the tin
cans by throwing them against the wall. She was developing a good pitching arm
and a new quantum theory.
The mathematician had stacked the unopened cans into a surprising solution to
the kissing problem; his dessicated corpse was propped calmly against a wall,
and this was inscribed on the floor in blood:
Theorem: If I can't open these cans, I'll die.
Proof: assume the opposite...
(name unknown), Reed College, Portland, OR
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Here's a limerick I picked up off the net a few years back - looks better
on paper.
\/3
/
| 2 3 x 3.14 3_
| z dz x cos( ----------) = ln (\/e )
| 9
/
1
Which, of course, translates to:
Integral z-squared dz
from 1 to the square root of 3
times the cosine
of three pi over 9
equals log of the cube root of 'e'.
And it's correct, too.
Doug Walker, SAS Institute
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
There were two men trying to decide what to do for a living. They went to
see a counselor, and he decided that they had good problem solving skills.
He tried a test to narrow the area of specialty. He put each man in a room
with a stove, a table, and a pot of water on the table. He said "Boil the
water". Both men moved the pot from the table to the stove and turned on the
burner to boil the water. Next, he put them into a room with a stove, a table,
and a pot of water on the floor. Again, he said "Boil the water". The first
man put the pot on the stove and turned on the burner. The counselor told him
to be an Engineer, because he could solve each problem individually. The
second man moved the pot from the floor to the table, and then moved the
pot from the table to the stove and turned on the burner. The counselor
told him to be a mathematician because he reduced the problem to a previously
solved problem.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Three men are in a hot-air balloon. Soon, they find themselves
lost in a canyon somewhere. One of the three men says, "I've got an
idea. We can call for help in this canyon and the echo will carry
our voices far."
So he leans over the basket and yells out, "Helllloooooo!
Where are we?" (They hear the echo several times).
15 minutes later, they hear this echoing voice: "Helllloooooo!
You're lost!!"
One of the men says, "That must have been a mathematician."
Puzzled, one of the other men asks, "Why do you say that?"
The reply: "For three reasons. (1) he took a long time to
answer, (2) he was absolutely correct, and (3) his answer was
absolutely useless."
(I'm not sure if the following one is a true story or not)
The great logician Betrand Russell (or was it A.N. Whitehead?)
once claimed that he could prove anything if given that 1+1=1.
So one day, some smarty-pants asked him, "Ok. Prove that
you're the Pope."
He thought for a while and proclaimed, "I am one. The Pope
is one. Therefore, the Pope and I are one."
Donald Chinn, UC-Berkeley
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
THE STORY OF BABEL:
In the beginning there was only one kind of Mathematician, created by the
Great Mathamatical Spirit form the Book: the Topologist. And they grew to large
numbers and prospered.
One day they looked up in the heavens and desired to reach up as far as the
eye could see. So they set out in building a Mathematical edifice that was to
reach up as far as "up" went. Further and further up they went ... until one
night the edifice collapsed under the weight of paradox.
The following morning saw only rubble where there once was a huge structure
reaching to the heavens. One by one, the Mathematicians climbed out from under
the rubble. It was a miracle that nobody was killed; but when they began to
speak to one another, SUPRISE of all suprises! they could not understand each
other. They all spoke different languages. They all fought amongst themselves
and each went about their own way. To this day the Topologists remain the
original Mathematicians.
- adapted from an American Indian legend
of the Mound Of Babel
Mark William Hopkins, U. Wisconsin-Milwaukee
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
The ark lands after The Flood. Noah lets all the animals out. Says,
"Go and multiply." Several months pass. Noah decides to check up on the
animals. All are doing fine except a pair of snakes. "What's the problem?"
says Noah. "Cut down some trees and let us live there", say the snakes.
Noah follows their advice. Several more weeks pass. Noah checks on the
snakes again. Lots of little snakes, everybody is happy. Noah asks,
"Want to tell me how the trees helped?" "Certainly", say the snakes.
"We're adders, and we need logs to multiply."
Rolan Christofferson, U.Colorado, Boulder
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
What is "pi"?
Mathematician: Pi is thenumber expressing the relationship between the
circumference of a circle and its diameter.
Physicist: Pi is 3.1415927plus or minus 0.000000005
Engineer: Pi is about 3.
David Harr, Occidental College
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Lemma: All horses are the same color.
Proof (by induction):
Case n=1: In a set with only one horse, it is obvious that all horses
in that set are the same color.
Case n=k: Suppose you have a set of k+1 horses. Pull one of these
horses out of the set, so that you have k horses. Suppose that all of
these horses are the same color. Now put back the horse that you took
out, and pull out a different one. Suppose that all of the k horses
now in the set are the same color. Then the set of k+1 horses are all
the same color. We have k true => k+1 true; therefore all horses are
the same color.
Theorem: All horses have an infinite number of legs.
Proof (by intimidation):
Everyone would agree that all horses have an even number of legs. It
is also well-known that horses have forelegs in front and two legs in
back. 4 + 2 = 6 legs, which is certainly an odd number of legs for a
horse to have! Now the only number that is both even and odd is infinity;
therefore all horses have an infinite number of legs.
However, suppose that there is a horse somewhere that does not have an
infinite number of legs. Well, that would be a horse of a different
color; and by the Lemma, it doesn't exist.
QED
Jerry Weldon, Livermore Labs
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Several students were asked the following problem:
Prove that all odd integers are prime.
Well, the first student to try to do this was a math student. Hey
says "hmmm... Well, 1 is prime, 3 is prime, 5 is prime, and by
induction, we have that all the odd integers are prime."
Of course, there are some jeers from some of his friends. The
physics student then said, "I'm not sure of the validity of your proof,
but I think I'll try to prove it by experiment." He continues, "Well, 1
is prime, 3 is prime, 5 is prime, 7 is prime, 9 is ... uh, 9 is an
experimental error, 11 is prime, 13 is prime... Well, it seems that
you're right."
The third student to try it was the engineering student, who
responded, "Well, actually, I'm not sure of your answer either. Let's
see... 1 is prime, 3 is prime, 5 is prime, 7 is prime, 9 is ..., 9 is
..., well if you approximate, 9 is prime, 11 is prime, 13 is prime...
Well, it does seem right."
Not to be outdone, the computer science student comes along
and says "Well, you two sort've got the right idea, but you'd end up
taking too long doing it. I've just whipped up a program to REALLY go
and prove it..." He goes over to his terminal and runs his program.
Reading the output on the screen he says, "1 is prime, 1 is prime, 1
is prime, 1 is prime...."
------------
Ya' hear about the geometer who went to the beach to
catch the rays and became a tangent ?
------------
My geometry teacher was sometimes acute, and sometimes
obtuse, but always, he was right.
------------
And now, for some really bad picture jokes (that I heard at Cal Poly SLO) :
Q: What's the title of this picture ?
.. .. ____ .. ..
\\===/======\\==
|| | | ||
|| |____| ||
|| ( ) ||
|| \____/ ||
|| ||
|| ||
|| ||
|| ||
|| ||
|| ||
|| ||
|| ||
|| ||
|| (\ ||
|| ) ) ||
|| //||\\ ||
A: Hypotenuse
-------
Q: What quantity is represented by this ?
/\ /\ /\
/ \ / \ / \
/ \ / \ / \
/ \ / \ / \
/ \ / \ / \
/______\ /______\ /______\
|| || ||
|| || ||
A: 9, tree + tree + tree
Q: A dust storm blows through, now how much do you have ?
A: 99, dirty tree + dirty tree + dirty tree
Q: Some birds go flying by and leave their droppings,
one per tree, how many is that ?
A: 100, dirty tree and a turd + dirty tree and a turd
+ dirty tree and a turd
Naoto Kimura, Cal State-Northridge
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
A biologist, a statistician, a mathematician and a computer
scientist are on a photo-safari in africa. They drive out on the
savannah in their jeep, stop and scout the horizon with
their binoculars.
The biologist : "Look! There's a herd of zebras! And there,
in the middle : A white zebra! It's fantastic !
There are white zebra's ! We'll be famous !"
The statistician : "It's not significant. We only know there's one
white zebra."
The mathematician : "Actually, we only know there exists a zebra,
which is white on one side."
The computer scientist : "Oh, no! A special case!"
Niels Ull Jacobsen, U. of Copenhagen
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
I saw the following scrawled on a math office blackboard in college:
1 + 1 = 3, for large values of 1
Rob Gardner, HP Ft. Collins, CO
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
lim ----
8-->9 \/ 8 = 3
Donald Chinn, UC-Berkeley
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
lim 3 = 8
w->oo
(It is more obvious when handwritten...)
Jorge Stolfi, DEC Systems Research Center, Palo Alto, CA
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Asked how his pet parrot died, the mathmatican answered
"Polynomial. polygon."
---
Lumberjacks make good musicians because of their natural
logarithms.
---
Pie are not square. Pie are round. Cornbread are square.
---
"The integral of e to the x is equal to f of the quantity
u to the n."
/ x n
| e = f(u )
/
---
A physics joke:
"Energy equals milk chocolate square"
Naoto Kimura, Cal State-Northridge
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Russell to Whitehead: "My Godel is killing me!"
Dennis Healy, Dartmouth
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
A doctor, a lawyer and a mathematician were discussing the relative merits
of having a wife or a mistress.
The lawyer says: "For sure a mistress is better. If you have a wife and
want a divorce, it causes all sorts of legal problems.
The doctor says: "It's better to have a wife because the sense of security
lowers your stress and is good for your health.
The mathematician says: " You're both wrong. It's best to have both so that
when the wife thinks you're with the mistress and the mistress thinks you're
with your wife --- you can do some mathematics.
Bruce Bukiet, Los Alamos National Lab
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Statisticians probably do it
Algebraists do it in groups.
Al Sethuraman, Calma Company, San Diego
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Von Neumann and Nobert Weiner were both the subject of many dotty
professor stories. Von Neumann supposedly had the habit of simply
writing answers to homework assignments on the board (the method
of solution being, of course, obvious) when he was asked how to solve
problems. One time one of his students tried to get more helpful
information by asking if there was another way to solve the problem.
Von Neumann looked blank for a moment, thought, and then answered,
"Yes.".
Weiner was in fact very absent minded. The following story is told
about him: When they moved from Cambridge to Newton his wife, knowing
that he would be absolutely useless on the move, packed him off to
MIT while she directed the move. Since she was certain that he would
forget that they had moved and where they had moved to, she wrote down
the new address on a piece of paper, and gave it to him. Naturally,
in the course of the day, an insight occurred to him. He reached in
his pocket, found a piece of paper on which he furiously scribbled
some notes, thought it over, decided there was a fallacy in his idea,
and threw the piece of paper away. At the end of the day he went
home (to the old address in Cambridge, of course). When he got there
he realized that they had moved, that he had no idea where they had
moved to, and that the piece of paper with the address was long gone.
Fortunately inspiration struck. There was a young girl on the street
and he conceived the idea of asking her where he had moved to, saying,
"Excuse me, perhaps you know me. I'm Norbert Weiner and we've just
moved. Would you know where we've moved to?" To which the young
girl replied, "Yes daddy, mommy thought you would forget."
The capper to the story is that I asked his daughter (the girl in
the story) about the truth of the story, many years later. She
said that it wasn't quite true -- that he never forgot who his
children were! The rest of it, however, was pretty close to what
actually happened...
Richard Harter, Computer Corp. of America, Cambridge, MA
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
C programmers do it with long pointers.
(Logicians do it) or [not (logicians do it)].
Scott Horne
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Theorem: a cat has nine tails.
Proof:
No cat has eight tails. A cat has one tail more than no cat. Therefore,
a cat has nine tails.
Arndt Jonasson
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
The USDA once wanted to make cows produce milk faster, to improve the dairy
industry.
So, they decided to consult the foremost biologists and
recombinant DNA technicians to build them a better cow.
They assembled this team of great scientists, and gave them
unlimited funding. They requested rare chemicals, weird
bacteria, tons of quarantine equipment, there was a
God-awful typhus epidemic they started by accident,
and, 2 years later, they came back with the "new, improved cow."
It had a milk production improvement of 2% over the
original.
They then tried with the greatest Nobel Prize winning chemists
around. They worked for six months, and, after requisitioning
tons of chemical equipment, and poisoning half the small town
in Colorado where they were working with a toxic cloud from
one of their experiments, they got a 5% improvement in milk output.
The physicists tried for a year, and, after ten thousand cows were
subjected to radiation therapy, they got a 1% improvement in output.
Finally, in desperation, they turned to the mathematicians. The
foremost mathematician of his time offered to help them with the problem.
Upon hearing the problem, he told the delegation that they could come back
in the morning and he would have solved the problem. In the morning,
they came back, and he handed them a piece of paper with the
computations for the new, 300% improved milk cow.
The plans began:
"A Proof of the Attainability of Increased Milk Output from Bovines:
Consider a spherical cow......"
Chet Murthy, Cornell
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
Theorem : All positive integers are equal.
Proof : Sufficient to show that for any two positive integers, A and B,
A = B. Further, it is sufficient to show that for all N > 0, if A
and B (positive integers) satisfy (MAX(A, B) = N) then A = B.
Proceed by induction.
If N = 1, then A and B, being positive integers, must both be 1.
So A = B.
Assume that the theorem is true for some value k. Take A and B
with MAX(A, B) = k+1. Then MAX((A-1), (B-1)) = k. And hence
(A-1) = (B-1). Consequently, A = B.
Keith Goldfarb
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
A bunch of Polish scientists decided to flee their repressive
government by hijacking an airliner and forcing the pilot to
fly them to a western country. They drove to the airport,
forced their way on board a large passenger jet, and found there
was no pilot on board. Terrified, they listened as the sirens
got louder. Finally, one of the scientists suggested that since
he was an experimentalist, he would try to fly the aircraft.
He sat down at the controls and tried to figure them out. The sirens
got louder and louder. Armed men surrounded the jet. The would be
pilot's friends cried out, "Please, please take off now!!!
Hurry!!!!!!" The experimentalist calmly replied, "Have patience.
I'm just a simple pole in a complex plane."
Lyle Levine, Washington University, St. Louis
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
Hiawatha Designs an Experiment
Hiawatha, mighty hunter,
He could shoot ten arrows upward,
Shoot them with such strength and swiftness
That the last had left the bow-string
Ere the first to earth descended.
This was commonly regarded
As a feat of skill and cunning.
Several sarcastic spirits
Pointed out to him, however,
That it might be much more useful
If he sometimes hit the target.
"Why not shoot a little straighter
And employ a smaller sample?"
Hiawatha, who at college
Majored in applied statistics,
Consequently felt entitled
To instruct his fellow man
In any subject whatsoever,
Waxed exceedingly indignant,
Talked about the law of errors,
Talked about truncated normals,
Talked of loss of information,
Talked about his lack of bias,
Pointed out that (in the long run)
Independent observations,
Even though they missed the target,
Had an average point of impact
Very near the spot he aimed at,
With the possible exception
of a set of measure zero.
"This," they said, "was rather doubtful;
Anyway it didn't matter.
What resulted in the long run:
Either he must hit the target
Much more often than at present,
Or himself would have to pay for
All the arrows he had wasted."
Hiawatha, in a temper,
Quoted parts of R. A. Fisher,
Quoted Yates and quoted Finney,
Quoted reams of Oscar Kempthorne,
Quoted Anderson and Bancroft
(practically in extenso)
Trying to impress upon them
That what actually mattered
Was to estimate the error.
Several of them admitted:
"Such a thing might have its uses;
Still," they said, "he would do better
If he shot a little straighter."
Hiawatha, to convince them,
Organized a shooting contest.
Laid out in the proper manner
Of designs experimental
Recommended in the textbooks,
Mainly used for tasting tea
(but sometimes used in other cases)
Used factorial arrangements
And the theory of Galois,
Got a nicely balanced layout
And successfully confounded
Second order interactions.
All the other tribal marksmen,
Ignorant benighted creatures
Of experimental setups,
Used their time of preparation
Putting in a lot of practice
Merely shooting at the target.
Thus it happened in the contest
That their scores were most impressive
With one solitary exception.
This, I hate to have to say it,
Was the score of Hiawatha,
Who as usual shot his arrows,
Shot them with great strength and swiftness,
Managing to be unbiased,
Not however with a salvo
Managing to hit the target.
"There!" they said to Hiawatha,
"That is what we all expected."
Hiawatha, nothing daunted,
Called for pen and called for paper.
But analysis of variance
Finally produced the figures
Showing beyond all peradventure,
Everybody else was biased.
And the variance components
Did not differ from each other's,
Or from Hiawatha's.
(This last point it might be mentioned,
Would have been much more convincing
If he hadn't been compelled to
Estimate his own components
>From experimental plots on
Which the values all were missing.)
Still they couldn't understand it,
So they couldn't raise objections.
(Which is what so often happens
with analysis of variance.)
All the same his fellow tribesmen,
Ignorant benighted heathens,
Took away his bow and arrows,
Said that though my Hiawatha
Was a brilliant statistician,
He was useless as a bowman.
As for variance components
Several of the more outspoken
Make primeval observations
Hurtful of the finer feelings
Even of the statistician.
In a corner of the forest
Sits alone my Hiawatha
Permanently cogitating
On the normal law of errors.
Wondering in idle moments
If perhaps increased precision
Might perhaps be sometimes better
Even at the cost of bias,
If one could thereby now and then
Register upon a target.
W. E. Mientka, "Professor Leo Moser -- Reflections of a Visit"
American Mathematical Monthly, Vol. 79, Number 6 (June-July, 1972)
---
Dave Seaman, Purdue
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
An assemblage of the most gifted minds in the world were all posed the following question:
"What is 2 * 2 ?"
The engineer whips out his slide rule (so it's old) and shuffles it back and
forth, and finally announces "3.99".
The physicist consults his technical references, sets up the problem on
his computer, and announces "it lies between 3.98 and 4.02".
The mathematician cogitates for a while, oblivious to the rest of the world,
then announces: "I don't what the answer is, but I can tell you, an answer
exists!".
Philosopher: "But what do you _mean_ by 2 * 2 ?"
Logician: "Please define 2 * 2 more precisely."
Accountant: Closes all the doors and windows, looks around carefully,
then asks "What do you _want_ the answer to be?"
Computer Hacker: Breaks into the NSA super-computer and gives the answer.
Dave Horsfall, Alcatel-STC Australia, North Sydney
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Old mathematicians never die; they just lose some of their functions.
John C. George, U.Illinois Urbana-Champaign
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
During a class of calculus my lecturer suddenly checked himself and
stared intently at the table in front of him for a while. Then he
looked up at us and explained that he thought he had brought six piles
of papers with him, but "no matter how he counted" there was only five
on the table. Then he became silent for a while again and then told
the following story:
"When I was young in Poland I met the great mathematician Waclaw
Sierpinski. He was old already then and rather absent-minded. Once he
had to move to a new place for some reason. His wife wife didn't trust
him very much, so when they stood down on the street with all their
things, she said:
- Now, you stand here and watch our ten trunks, while I go and get a
taxi.
She left and left him there, eyes somewhat glazed and humming
absently. Some minutes later she returned, presumably having called
for a taxi. Says Mr Sierpinski (possibly with a glint in his eye):
- I thought you said there were ten trunks, but I've only counted to nine.
- No, they're TEN!
- No, count them: 0, 1, 2, ..."
Kai-Mikael, Royal Inst. of Technology, Stockholm, SWEDEN
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
What's nonorientable and lives in the sea?
Mobius Dick.
Jeff Dalton, U. of Edinburgh, UK
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Philosopher: "Resolution of the continuum hypothesis will have
profound implications to all of science."
Physicist: "Not quite. Physics is well on its way without those
mythical `foundations'. Just give us serviceable mathematics."
Computer Scientist:
"Who cares? Everything in this Universe seems to be finite
anyway. Besides, I'm too busy debugging my Pascal programs."
Mathematician:
"Forget all that! Just make your formulae as aesthetically
pleasing as possible!"
Keitaro Yukawa, U. of Victoria, B.C, CANADA
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Definition:
Jogging girl scout = Brownian motion.
Ilan Vardi, Stanford
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
The limit as n goes to infinity of sin(x)/n is 6.
Proof: cancel the n in the numerator and denominator.
Micah Fogel, UC-Berkeley
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
Two male mathematiciens are in a bar.
The first one says to the second that the average person knows very little
about basic mathematics.
The second one disagrees, and claims that most people can cope with a
reasonable amount of math.
The first mathematicien goes off to the washroom, and in his absence the
second calls over the waitress.
He tells her that in a few minutes, after his friend has returned, he
will call her over and ask her a question. All she has to do is answer
one third x cubed.
She repeats `one thir -- dex cue'? He repeats `one third x cubed'.
Her: `one thir dex cuebd'? Yes, that's right, he says. So she agrees,
and goes off mumbling to herself, `one thir dex cuebd...'.
The first guy returns and the second proposes a bet to prove his point,
that most people do know something about basic math.
He says he will ask the blonde waitress an integral, and the first
laughingly agrees.
The second man calls over the waitress and asks `what is the integral
of x squared?'.
The waitress says `one third x cubed' and while walking away, turns
back and says over her shoulder `plus a constant'!
Lynn Marshall, Universite Catholique de Louvain, Belgium
-------------------------------------------------------------------------
.
Enjoy!
--Chris
From rmcgee@wiley.csusb.edu Tue Jul 30 08:10 PDT 1996
Message-Id: <199607301457.HAA15219@wiley.csusb.edu>
Comments: Authenticated sender is
From: "Rich McGee"
To: rbotting@wiley.csusb.edu, Mr131@aol.com
Date: Tue, 30 Jul 1996 07:53:46 +0000
Subject: (Fwd) Math Humor
Reply-To: rmcgee@wiley.csusb.edu
Cc: swalsh@wiley.csusb.edu
Priority: normal
Give us this day our daily math jokes...
A team of engineers were required to measure the height of a flag pole. They
only had a measuring tape, and were getting quite frustrated trying to keep
the tape along the pole. It kept falling down, etc.
A mathematician comes along, finds out their problem, and proceeds to remove
the pole from the ground and measure it easily.
When he leaves, one engineer says to the other: "Just like a mathematician!
We need to know the height, and he gives us the length!"
--
* Remember: 97.3% of all statistics are made up.
--
A guy decided to go to the brain transplant clinic to refreshen his supply of
brains. The secretary informed him that they had three kinds of brains
available at that time. Doctors' brains were going for $20 per ounce and
lawyers' brains were getting $30 per ounce. And then there were
mathematicians' brains which were currently fetching $1000 per ounce.
"A 1000 dollars an ounce!" he cried. "Why are they so expensive?"
"It takes more mathematicians to get an ounce of brains," she explained.
--
There are three kinds of people in the world;
those who can count and those who can't.
And the related:
There are two groups of people in the world;
those who believe that the world can be divided into two groups of people,
and those who don't.
And then:
There are two groups of people in the world:
Those who can be categorized into one of two groups of people, and those who
can't.
--
Boy's Life, May 1973:
Ralph: Dad, will you do my math for me tonight?
Dad: No, son, it wouldn't be right.
Ralph: Well, you could try.
--
Albert Einstein, who fancied himself as a violinist, was rehearsing a
string quartet. When he failed for the fourth time to get his entry in the
second movement, the cellist looked up and said, "The problem with you,
Albert,
is that you simply can't count."
--
Theres a classic story going around about a grad student. This guy was always
late. One day he stumbled into class late, saw seven problems written on the
board, and wrote them down. As the week went on he began to panic: the math
department at Princeton is fiercely competitive, and here he was unable to do
most of a simple homework assignment! When the next class rolled around he
only had solved two of the problems, although he had a pretty good idea of how
to solve a third but not enough time to complete it.
When he dejectedly flung his partial assignment on the prof's desk, the prof
asked him "What's that?" "The homework." "What homework?" Eventually it came
out that what the prof had written on the board were the seven most important
unsolved problems in the field.
** Urban Legend Alert. According to Jan Harold Brunvand, the author of a
series of books on so-called Urban Legends. He talks about it in his latest
book _Curses! Broiled Again!_ in the chapter entitled "The Unsolvable Math
Problem." It is, however, based in some fact. The Stanford mathematician,
George B. Danzig,apparently managed to solve two statistics problems
previously
unsolved under similar circumstances.
--
Three mathematicians and a physicist walk into a bar.
You'd think the second one would have ducked.
------------------------------------------------
Rich McGee
California State University, San Bernardino
5500 University Parkway
San Bernardino, Ca. 92407-2397
909-880-7275
From csus.edu!csulb.edu!news.sgi.com!enews.sgi.com!news.uoregon.edu!vixen.cso.uiuc.edu!corn.cso.niu.edu!gannett.math.niu.edu!caj Thu Aug 22 11:40:40 1996
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From: caj@baker.math.niu.edu (Xcott Craver)
Newsgroups: sci.math
Subject: Re: Slogans for a H.S. math class.
Date: 20 Aug 1996 00:30:15 GMT
Organization: NIU Mathematical Sciences
Message-ID: <4vb0un$469@gannett.math.niu.edu>
NNTP-Posting-Host: baker.math.niu.edu
In article ,
Michael A. Stueben wrote:
> Does anyone have some suggestions for slogans, wall
> posters, mottos, etc. that would be good in a H.S. math
> class room? Maybe you can recall one from high school, or
> better yet maybe you can make one up. Here are a couple
> from me. The first one below is REALLY HANDY in
> explaining to students why they have dropped a root in
> trying to solve an equation.
Fine print from a flyer I gave out for a trigonometry class:
"DeCartes is more popularly known for saying, `I think, therefore
I am.' If you don't know how to convert to Cartesian coordinates, you may
not exist!! Better play it safe."
It would require some shortening, tho.
You are perfectly welcome to use my collection of imaginary .sig
quotes, most of which are mathematically oriented. Some wouldn't work on
the walls of a high school classroom, but perhaps they may inspire ones
that would. A few:
==========================================================================
"Paper or plastic?"
"Not 'Not paper AND not plastic!!'"
-Augustus DeMorgan in a grocery store
"If I am more nearsighted than others,
it is because I have stood on the
shoulders of midgets."
--Issac Newton's evil twin brother Spike
"In Geometry, there is no royal hyperspace
wormhole." --Buck Euclid in the 25th century
"I have discovered a truly marvelous proof of
this statement, which, unfortunately, this margin
is too small to contain. And my F***ING word
processor won't let me resize it."
"I'd like a large order of FiboNachos."
"Okay sir, that'll cost as much as a
small order and a medium order combined."
"For every E>0 there exists a clay tablet of
height E such that an ancient Sumerian can
draw any part of f(x) with a stylus without the
curve crossing the top or bottom boundary."
--The definition of Cuneiform continuity
===========================================================================
My favorite quote of all time is actually a real one, an offhand
remark by my Prolog instructor and infinite source of quotes, Dr. Barnett
W. Glickfeld:
"There is a lot to be dissatisfied with about this problem,
and thus life in general."
...of course, that would be a bit too depressing for a classroom
wall. Good luck!
,oooooooo8 o ooooo@math.niu.edu -- http://www.math.niu.edu/~caj/
o888' `88 ,888. 888
888 ,8'`88. 888 "C'mon, man, we're a team! We're inseparable!"
888o. ,oo ,8oooo88. 888 "Um, you're countable, and you're dense.
`888oooo88 o88o o888o 888 Trust me, we're separable."
____________________8o888'_________________________________________________
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From: aa07@wraith.cs.uow.edu.au (Alexsandar Antic)
Newsgroups: sci.math
Subject: The Witty Maths Dictionary
Date: 24 Sep 1996 08:40:53 +1000
Organization: University of Wollongong, NSW, Australia.
Message-ID: <5273ll$pvi@wraith.cs.uow.edu.au>
NNTP-Posting-Host: wraith.cs.uow.edu.au
X-Newsreader: NN version 6.5.0 #5
Mathematics: The Square Root of all Evil
----------------------------------------
A Abacus: An ancient calculator that does not require batteries.
B Billion: A bloody big number
C Chaos: The following quote says it all:
"You can't fart without changing the balance in the
universe"
(Philip K. Dick, The Man in the High Castle)
D Depression: What a mathematician feels when he/she cannot
solve a problem
E Ellipse: A funny looking circle
F Function: A little box in which you put a number and out pops
another number
G Group Theory: A subject that I am studying at the moment
H Hypotenuse: The slopey bit of a triangle
I Innumeracy: The inability to tell the difference between 1 metre
and 1 kilogram
J Joke: To some people, this is what mathematics is
K Knot Theory: Tying yourself up in the problems of trying to
untie knots
L Logic: A tool that enables one to be wrong with authority
M Mathematician: A person who can count to 20 without having to take
of their shoes
N Non-Linear
Equation: The "mathematical version of the twilight zone"
(Peat and Briggs, Turbulent Mirror)
O Odd Number: An unusual number "even" to a mathematician
P Proof: "An idol before which the mathematician tortures
himself"
(Sir Arthur Eddington)
Q Question: Answer?
R Rhombus: A funny looking square
S Statistics: Determining the there is a 50% chance that there will
be a 10% chance of it raining today
T Topology: The inability to tell the difference between a
doughnut and a coffee cup
U variable u: The real part of the complex number: u+iv
V variable v: The "Unreal" part of the complex number: u+iv
W Wiggly: A description of the sine curve
X variable x: A number that represents all other numbers. It can
take on any value. Quite powerful really
Y y = x^1/2: A function that stops at nothing
Z Zero: "Nothing" special
--
"There are three types of Mathematicians
Those who can count and those who can't"
--
"There are three types of Mathematicians
Those who can count and those who can't"
From amoorhou@csci.csusb.edu Sat Oct 10 10:52 PDT 1998
Date: Sat, 10 Oct 1998 11:00:40 -0700 (PDT)
From: Sys Admin Gopher
To: Paul Tonning , Dick Botting ,
"Ann T. Bui" ,
Chuei_Chu Tseng ,
"Joseph I. Valenzuela"
Subject: Fwd: Math & Business (fwd)
Message-ID:
MIME-Version: 1.0
---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Fri, 9 Oct 1998 09:00:43 -0700
From: Debby McAllister
To: lwalker@mail.csusb.edu, rickr@mail.csusb.edu, dneighbo@mail.csusb.edu,
tusher@mail.csusb.edu, jtorner@mail.csusb.edu, karen@mail.csusb.edu,
trohm@mail.csusb.edu, wstewart@mail.csusb.edu, fwillett@mail.csusb.edu,
amoorhou@csci.csusb.edu, jes@hpamsh4.ptp.hp.com, jes@rx7.org,
jbrowning@whittier.edu, llilient@mail.csusb.edu,
Reuben Russell
Subject: Fwd: Math & Business
> Math & Business
>
>Engineers and scientists will never make as much money as business executives.
>
> Now we have a mathematical proof that explains why this is true:
>
>
> Postulate 1: Knowledge is Power.
> Postulate 2: Time is Money.
>
> As every engineer knows,
>
> Work
> ---------- = Power
> Time
>
>
> Since Knowledge = Power, and Time = Money, we have:
>
> Work
> ----------- = Knowledge
> Money
>
>
> Solving for Money, we get:
>
> Work
> ----------------- = Money
> Knowledge
>
> Thus, as Knowledge approaches zero, Money approaches infinity regardless of
>the amount of Work done.
>
> Conclusion: The Less you Know, the More you Make.
>
> Note:
> It has been speculated that the reason why Bill Gates dropped out of
>Harvard's
>math program was because he stumbled upon this proof as an undergraduate, and
>dedicated the rest of his career to the pursuit of ignorance.
>
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To: bb@csusb.edu, forum@csusb.edu
From: Michelle Behne
Subject: Mathematician's Christmas Carols
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Status: R
Happy Holidays!
For the few left on campus I just received a very amusing and fun gift from
some caroling high school teachers - the Mathematician's Christmas Carols.
Please enjoy!
MATH EXAMS ARE COMING TO TOWN (sung to Santa Claus is Coming to Town)
Oh, you'd better take care
completing the square
You'd better not try
dividing by y;
Math exams are coming to town.
We're making a list,
don't shake in your boots;
Just watch out
for extraneous roots-
Math exams are coming to town.
You know you'll have quadratics
and exponentials too.
You'll rationalize denomi-
Nators like the root of two.
So, you'd better be bright
and calculate right -
You'd better check roots
for the one that suits;
Math exams are coming to town!
--------------------------------------------------
VARIA BELLS (sung to Jingle Bells)
A day or two ago, I tried to solve for c;
When all the time, you know,
I should have solved for b,
But after many tries, and sessions after school,
I uttered loud and joyful cries -
When I found out this rule.
OH- a and b, b and c, write them on the page;
Sometimes put down x and y - they seem to be the rage.
Don't give up - play it cool -
Make a guess or two and keep the paper neat and clean
And there's an "A" for you!
------------------------------------------------------
I'M DREAMING OF A QUADRATIC (sung to White Christmas)
I'm dreaming of a quadratic
Just lkek the one in our textbook,
Where solutions caper across the paper,
And make me think that I am smart.
I'm dreaming of a quadratic -
And to myself each night I write;
"May quadratics give you no fright -
And may all your answers be right."
-------------------------------------------------------
ZERO THAT CRAZY NUMBER (sung to Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer)
Zero, that crazy number
Has a shape that looks like "O".
And if you want to use it,
There are things you need to know.
Never divide by zero;
if you do you will be sad,
Getting a crazy anwer,
Making your report look bad.
But treat zero as your friend - use him carefully,
"Safe to multiply or add"
That's the rule for zero, lad!
Zero, that crazy number
Wants to be a comrade true,
But never divide by zero,
OR YOU'LL BE GETTING ZERO TOO!
-----------------------------------------------------
O GEOMETRY (sung to O Christmas Tree)
O geometry, geometry,
I have a fearful fear of thee!
O geometry, geometry
I have a fearful fear of thee!
Geometry, my bugaboo,
A subject I will ne'er get through.
O geometry, geometry,
What crazy Greek invented thee?
O geometry, geometry,
I have a fearful fear of thee!
O geometry, geometry,
I have a fearful fear of thee!
You keep my brain in dizzy whirls,
Confuse the minds of boys and girls.
O geometry, geometry,
I think you've got the best of me.
-------------------------------------------------------
TEACHER LECTURES; ARE YOU LISTENING? (sung to Winter Wonderland)
Teacher lectures, are you listening?
In the class eyes are glistening,
I'm loosing my sight, my answers aren't right -
Dreaming in a Mathematic Land.
Far away are my thoughts now
In the clouds; there's no hope now.
The teacher drones on as we go along
Dreaming in a Mathematic Land.
Maybe if I started doing homework
Things would make sense each and every day.
Then the tests wouldn't look like foreign language,
And my grade would look more like an "A".
Teacher lectures; I am listening.
In the class smiles are glistening.
A beautiful sight, my answers are right
Working in a Mathematic Land.
********************************************
Michelle Behne
Administrative Support Coordinator
Academic Computing & Media Dept.
California State University, San Bernardino
phone: (909) 880-5619
fax: (909) 880-7075
email: mbehne@csusb.edu
********************************************