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From Susan Stepney (stepneys#NoSpam.logica.com)

I always love the "Doc Smith" approach to mathematics, where Our Hero glances at an equation (sorry, "formula"), and instantly says "of course...!"

My experience is usually more like "I don't know what on earth that means" ... scribble, scribble, scribble ... "Oh, yes, but what a weird way of writing it" ... scribble, scribble, scribble ... "now *this* should be a much clearer way" ... scribble, scribble, scribble ... "oh, it's identical to what I started with. But *now* I understand it." I can't *read* maths, I can only write it :-)

A colleague of mine put it better: "mathematics is not a spectator sport".

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From the "Cow" collection at
(Found in Michael Cook's (mlcook#NoSpam.afdsb.cca.rockwell.com)
Canonical List of Math Jokes)
   / | x=a(b)||
  *  ||------||
     ^^      ^^

  Mathematical Cow
   (developer of

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From: jkelber#NoSpam.gladstone.uoregon.edu (Judah Kelber)

Advanced math

Seen the week before finals on the chalkboard right after a Math 233 (Discrete Math) class at the University of Oregon:

59 + 34 + 2 + 37 + 97 = some number

And here I thought math classes were hard....

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From: "Ami=Friend" <mayer#NoSpam.sprint.ca>
prof : how much 7 x 24 = ?
student : it's 168.
prof : prove it.
student: 16 + 8 = 24
prof : and 7 x 27 + ?
student : 189 prove 18+9 = 27
prof : and 21 x 7 = ?
student : 147 prove 14 + 7 = 21
prof: and 18 x 7 = ?
student : 126 prove 12 + 6 = 18

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From: RickT <taylor#NoSpam.wrex.u-net.com>
Q: What happens when you don't divide one by anything?
A: You divide one by nothing and get a divide by zero error.

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From: ljames#NoSpam.unlgrad1.unl.edu (larry james)

There really are only two types of people in the world, those that DON'T do MATH, and those that take care of them.

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From: pardo#NoSpam.cs.washington.edu
From: hbaker#NoSpam.netcom.com (Henry G. Baker)

from:  Yucks Digest V7 #7 (shorts)

Customer: "How much is a large order of Fibonaccos?"
Cashier:  "It's the price of a small order plus the price of a medium order."

[Extra credit question: Which Fibonaccos size is the worst rip-off?

[Extra credit answer: The smallest; it costs as much as the next larger
 size...  -psl] 

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From: "I.A. Paul" <I.A.Paul#NoSpam.gmx.net>

When in the company of scientific/mathematical minds, I like to lighten the atmosphere by observing that I sneeze always in Fibonacci's Sequence. "The only problem is," I conclude, "when I sneeze only once, I'm never certain whether I'm sneezing in the first or second of the sequence.

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From: caj#NoSpam.baker.math.niu.edu (Xcott Craver)

        "Paper or plastic?"
"Not 'Not paper AND not plastic!!'"
       -Augustus DeMorgan in a grocery store 

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From: Anthony Peck <anpeck#NoSpam.interact.net.au>
Q: Divide 14 sugar cubes into 3 cups of coffee so that each
cup has an odd number of sugar cubes.
A: 1,1,12
Riposte: 12 isn't odd!
A: It's an odd number of cubes to put in a cup of coffee (groan) 
From: Tord Kallqvist Romstad <tordro#NoSpam.delling.ifi.uio.no>

This joke reminds me of an excercise actually given in the exam in a course on combinatorics and discrete mathematics here at the University of Oslo last year:

Calculate the number of ways 30 identical objects can be distributed among 5 numbered containers with all containers nonempty in such a way that containers 1, 3 and 5 contains an odd number of objects, and containers 2 and 4 contains an even numbers.

Incredible, isn't it? I later heard that the number 30 was a typo. It should have been an odd number.

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From: Mark David Biesiada <mb246395#NoSpam.oak.cats.ohiou.edu>

never say "N factorial", simply scream "N" at the top of your lungs.

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From: Volker Moell <moell#NoSpam.mathematik.uni-kl.de>

a funny, but true story:

a friend of mine (2.5 years hasn't heard anything about mathematics) saw in his first semester at university the following equation (taylor):

             f(0)   f'(0)
     f(x) =  ---- + ----- x + ...
              0!     1!

after reading the first ("0") he thought: "what's about the exclamation mark? oh, i see: you can't divide by zero. attention!" but after reading the second term ("1!") he wonders: "hey-oh, you *can* divide by one!! what's this?!" and after thinking a long time about the problem he comes to the real meaning... ;-)

really, it's true!!!

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From: Ian Ellis <ian#NoSpam.iglou.com>

Philosophy is a game with objectives and no rules.
Mathematics is a game with rules and no objectives.

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Zenophobia: the irrational fear of convergent sequences.

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From: Michael A. Stueben (mstueben#NoSpam.pen.k12.va.us)

Michael is a high school math/C.S. teacher, so he should know.

Q:What do you get when you add 2 apples to 3 apples?
A:Answer: An American senior high school math problem.

From: John <jbgrosh#NoSpam.lancnews.infi.net>
Q. Where did the answer, "six puppies", come from?
A. The math teacher for these students.

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From: guest#NoSpam.se.alcbel.be:
rafy#NoSpam.cairo.anu.edu.au (Rafy Marootians):

Logic is a systematic method for getting the wrong conclusion... with confidence.

Surely _statistics_ is a systematic method for getting the wrong conclusion... with 95% confidence.

From: phk#NoSpam.data.fls.dk (Poul-Henning Kamp/P-HK) Mathematics is the systematic misuse of a nomenclature developed for that specific purpose.

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From: hammond#NoSpam.cs.utk.edu (James Michael Hammond)

When Mathematicians Go Bad

"Psst, c'mere," said the shifty-eyed man wearing a long black trenchcoat, as he beckoned me off the rainy street into a damp dark alley. I followed.

"What are you selling?" I asked.

"Geometrical algebra drugs."


"Geometry drugs. Ya got your uppers, your downers, your sidewaysers, your inside-outers..."

"Stop right there," I interrupted. "I've never heard of inside- outers."

"Oh, man, you'll love 'em. Makes you feel like M.C. ever-lovin' Escher on a particularly weird day."

"Go on..."

"OK, your inside-outers, your arbitrary bilinear mappers, and here, heh, here are the best ones," he said, pulling out a large clear bottle of orange pills.

"What are those, then?" I asked.

"Givens transformers. They'll rotate you about more planes than you even knew existed."

"Sounds gross. What about those bilinear mappers?"

"There's a whole variety of them. Here's one you'll love -- they call it 'One Over Z' on the street. Take one of these little bad boys and you'll be on speaking terms with the Point at Infinity."

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Complete the next two terms of this sequence:

O T T F F S S E .. ..

(A. N T - Nine Ten)

Likewise here:

3 3 5 4 4 3 5 5

(A. 4 3 -number of letters in the words "nine" and "ten").

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Januari 14
Januari 27

The four branches of arithmetic - ambition, distraction, uglification and derision. (Lewis Caroll: "Alice in Wonderland")

mathematics engineering
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The first law of Engineering Mathematics: All infinite series converge, and moreover converge to the first term.

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This one can better be told in a pub. First three points on the table:


On a lies a beermat and on c stands a glass. The mathematican has to move the c to a. He takes the glas and puts it on the beermat. Now the glas is put on point b and the mathematican has to move it to a. The mathematican takes the glas and puts it on c - the problem has been reduced to one already solved.

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Algebraic symbols are used when you do not know what you are talking about.

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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.

"1000 dollars an ounce!" he cried. "Why are they so expensive?"

It takes more mathematicians to get an ounce of brains," she explained.

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There are three kinds of people in the world:
those who can count and those who can't. From: Cynically Depressed <the_medication's_not_working#NoSpam.invalid.com> A T-Shirt that's been going around: There are 10 types of people in the world. Those that understand binary and those who don't.

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We use epsilons and deltas in mathematics because mathematicians tend to make errors.

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A mathematician decides he wants to learn more about practical problems. He sees a seminar with a nice title: "The Theory of Gears." So he goes. The speaker stands up and begins, "The theory of gears with a real number of teeth is well known ..."

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Special Category: Ren़ Descartes
Special Category: Kurt G५del
Xdat0211;Descartes thought
Xdat0331;Descartes thought
Xdat0114;Godel here?
Xdat0428;Godel here?

Godel can't prove he was here.

Descartes though he was here.

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From: surd#NoSpam.apollo.hanyang.ac.kr (ps park (Seoul Univ.))

From: chrisman#NoSpam.ucdmath.ucdavis.edu (Mark Chrisman)
(many additions)


1)  Differentiate it and put into the refrig.
    Then integrate it in the refrig.
2)  Redefine the measure on the referigerator (or the elephant).
3)  Apply the Banach-Tarsky theorem.

Number theory:
1)  First factorize, second multiply.
2)  Use induction.  You can always squeeze a bit more in.

1)  Step 1. Show that the parts of it can be put into the refrig.
    Step 2. Show that the refrig. is closed under the addition.
2)  Take the appropriate universal refrigerator and get
    a surjection from refrigerator to elephant.

1)  Have it swallow the refrig. and turn inside out.
2)  Make a refrig. with the Klein bottle.
3)  The elephant is homeomorphic to a smaller elephant.
4)  The elephant is compact, so it can be put into a finite collection
    of refrigerators. That's usually good enough.
5)  The property of being inside the referigerator
    is hereditary.  So, take the elephant's mother,
    cremate it, and show that the ashes fit inside the refrigerator.
6)  For those who object to method 3 because it's cruel to animals.
    Put the elephant's BABY in the refrigerator.

Algebraic topology:
    Replace the interior of the refrigerator by its
    universal cover, R^3.

Linear algebra:
1)  Put just its basis and span it in the refrig.
2)  Show that 1% of the elephant will fit inside the refrigerator.
    By linearity, x% will fit for any x.

Affine geometry:
    There is an affine transformation putting the
    elephant into the refrigerator.

Set theory:
1)  It's very easy!
    refrigerator = { elephant } 2) The elephant and the interior of the
    refrigerator both have cardinality c.

    Declare the following:
      Axiom 1. An elephant can be put into a refrigerator.

Complex analysis:
    Put the refrig. at the origin
        and the elephant outside the unit circle.
    Then get the image under the inversion.

Numerical analysis:
1)  Put just its trunk and refer the rest to the error term.
2)  Work it out using the Pentium.

1)  bright statistician.
        Put its tail as a sample and say "Done."

2)  dull statistician.
        Repeat the experiment pushing the elephant to the refrig.

3)  Our NEW study shows that you CAN'T put the elephant
    in the refrigerator.

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Why did the calculus student have so much trouble making Kool-Aid? Because he couldn't figure out how to get a quart of water into the little package.

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From: sm#NoSpam.wf-hh.sh.sub.de (Stefan Mohr)

The shortest mathematic joke:
BEGIN -->"Epsilon less than zero"<-- END

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From: Karl.Fegert#NoSpam.t-online.de (Karl Fegert)

A joke which is a epsilon longer than the shortest math joke but which is
much better:

They chose an epsilon that was so small that epsilon/2 was negativ...


They chose an epsilon that was so small that epsilon^2 was negativ...

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The law of the excluded middle either rules or does not rule, O.K.?

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Special Category: Pierre de Fermat
Special Category: Why the chicken crossed the road according to scientists
Xdat0112;Why did the chicken cross the road?
Xdat0817;Why did the chicken cross the road?

Q :Why did the chicken cross the road?
Pierre de Fermat:
1: I just don't have room here to give the full explanation.
2: It did not fit on the margin on this side.
3: Crossing the road was the path with the minimum value of
   propagation time.

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Special Category: Why the chicken crossed the road according to scientists
Special Category: Kurt G५del
Xdat0114;Godel here?
Xdat0428;Godel here?

Q: Why did the chicken cross the road?
Godel: It cannot be proved whether the chicken crossed the road.

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Special Category: Why the chicken crossed the road according to scientists
Special Category: Paul Erd५s
March 26
September 17
Why did the chicken crossed the road?
Paul Erdos: It was forced to do so by the chicken-hole principle.

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Special Category: Why the chicken crossed the road according to scientists
July 20
September 17
From: Stan Kegel <kegel#NoSpam.fea.net>
Why did the chicken cross the road?
Georg Friedrich Riemann:  The answer appears in Dirichlet's lectures.

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March 21
From: joeshmoe#NoSpam.world.std.com (Jascha Franklin-Hodge)
(List of Taglines)

Math is the language God used to write the universe.

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The History of 2 + 2 = 5

by Houston Euler</p>

                "First and above all he was a logician.  At
                least thirty-five years of the half-century
                or so of his existence had been devoted
                exclusively to proving that two and two always
                equal four, except in unusual cases, where
                they equal three or five, as the case may be."

                        -- Jacques Futrelle, "The Problem of Cell 13"

Most mathematicians are familiar with -- or have at least seen references in the literature to -- the equation 2 + 2 = 4. However, the less well known equation 2 + 2 = 5 also has a rich, complex history behind it. Like any other complex quantitiy, this history has a real part and an imaginary part; we shall deal exclusively with the latter here.

Many cultures, in their early mathematical development, discovered the equation 2 + 2 = 5. For example, consider the Bolb tribe, descended from the Incas of South America. The Bolbs counted by tying knots in ropes. They quickly realized that when a 2-knot rope is put together with another 2-knot rope, a 5-knot rope results.

Recent findings indicate that the Pythagorean Brotherhood discovered a proof that 2 + 2 = 5, but the proof never got written up. Contrary to what one might expect, the proof's nonappearance was not caused by a cover-up such as the Pythagoreans attempted with the irrationality of the square root of two. Rather, they simply could not pay for the necessary scribe service. They had lost their grant money due to the protests of an oxen-rights activist who objected to the Brotherhood's method of celebrating the discovery of theorems. Thus it was that only the equation 2 + 2 = 4 was used in Euclid's "Elements," and nothing more was heard of 2 + 2 = 5 for several centuries.

Around A.D. 1200 Leonardo of Pisa (Fibonacci) discovered that a few weeks after putting 2 male rabbits plus 2 female rabbits in the same cage, he ended up with considerably more than 4 rabbits. Fearing that too strong a challenge to the value 4 given in Euclid would meet with opposition, Leonardo conservatively stated, "2 + 2 is more like 5 than 4." Even this cautious rendition of his data was roundly condemned and earned Leonardo the nickname "Blockhead." By the way, his practice of underestimating the number of rabbits persisted; his celebrated model of rabbit populations had each birth consisting of only two babies, a gross underestimate if ever there was one.

Some 400 years later, the thread was picked up once more, this time by the French mathematicians. Descartes announced, "I think 2 + 2 = 5; therefore it does." However, others objected that his argument was somewhat less than totally rigorous. Apparently, Fermat had a more rigorous proof which was to appear as part of a book, but it and other material were cut by the editor so that the book could be printed with wider margins.

Between the fact that no definitive proof of 2 + 2 = 5 was available and the excitement of the development of calculus, by 1700 mathematicians had again lost interest in the equation. In fact, the only known 18th-century reference to 2 + 2 = 5 is due to the philosopher Bishop Berkeley who, upon discovering it in an old manuscript, wryly commented, "Well, now I know where all the departed quantities went to -- the right-hand side of this equation." That witticism so impressed California intellectuals that they named a university town after him.

But in the early to middle 1800's, 2 + 2 began to take on great significance. Riemann developed an arithmetic in which 2 + 2 = 5, paralleling the Euclidean 2 + 2 = 4 arithmetic. Moreover, during this period Gauss produced an arithmetic in which 2 + 2 = 3. Naturally, there ensued decades of great confusion as to the actual value of 2 + 2. Because of changing opinions on this topic, Kempe's proof in 1880 of the 4-color theorem was deemed 11 years later to yield, instead, the 5-color theorem. Dedekind entered the debate with an article entitled "Was ist und was soll 2 + 2?"

Frege thought he had settled the question while preparing a condensed version of his "Begriffsschrift." This condensation, entitled "Die Kleine Begriffsschrift (The Short Schrift)," contained what he considered to be a definitive proof of 2 + 2 = 5. But then Frege received a letter from Bertrand Russell, reminding him that in "Grundbeefen der Mathematik" Frege had proved that 2 + 2 = 4. This contradiction so discouraged Frege that he abandoned mathematics altogether and went into university administration.

Faced with this profound and bewildering foundational question of the value of 2 + 2, mathematicians followed the reasonable course of action: they just ignored the whole thing. And so everyone reverted to 2 + 2 = 4 with nothing being done with its rival equation during the 20th century. There had been rumors that Bourbaki was planning to devote a volume to 2 + 2 = 5 (the first forty pages taken up by the symbolic expression for the number five), but those rumor remained unconfirmed. Recently, though, there have been reported computer-assisted proofs that 2 + 2 = 5, typically involving computers belonging to utility companies. Perhaps the 21st century will see yet another revival of this historic equation.

From: "Matt Westwood" <Mattwestwood#NoSpam.btinternet.com> Footnote from Matt Westwood in the 21st century: It's got to be pointed out that 2.4 + 2.4 = 4.8 so rounding to the nearest integer, 2+2=5.

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From: afetrmath2#NoSpam.aol.com (Soroban)
From: "Marlene Larsen." <mn#NoSpam.vucaarhus.dk>
What is the difference between a Psychotic, a Neurotic and
a mathematician? 
A Psychotic believes that 2+2=5.
A Neurotic knows that 2+2=4, but it kills him.
A mathematician simply changes the base. 

From: William Elliot <marsh#NoSpam.privacy.net>

A braggart says 2222 + 2222 = 4444
A wimp say 0.002 + 0.002 = 0.004

A mathematician says 2 + 2 = 2*2 = 2^2
An artist says
from two to two to two two = too two

A physicist says 2.000 + 2.000 = 4.000 +- 0.0001
A statistician says 2 + 2 = 4 with 99.98% assurance.

From: "|-|erc" <h#NoSpam.r.c>

A set theorist says suc suc 0 + suc suc 0 = suc suc suc 0 + suc 0 = suc suc
suc suc 0

From: Phil Carmody <thefatphil_demunged#NoSpam.yahoo.co.uk>

A set theoretician says 2 and 2 is 2

From: William Elliot <marsh#NoSpam.privacy.net>
He's also been know to say, 2 or 2 is 2,
whereas ordinary folk say two is two.

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In the beginning there was only one kind of Mathematician, created by the Great Mathematical 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 surprises! 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

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From: kovarik#NoSpam.mcmail.cis.mcmaster.ca (Zdislav V. Kovarik)

(From a cartoon by J. Effel): In the Garden of Eden, God is giving Adam a geometry lesson: "Two parallel lines intersect at infinity. It can't be proved but I've been there."

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Januari 14
Januari 27

"What's one and one and one and one and one and one and one and one and
one and one and one and one?"
"I don't know" said Alice. "I lost count."
"She can't do addition." said the Red Queen.
 - Lewis Carrol, "Through the lookingglass"

From: "Brendan R. Drew" <bdrew#NoSpam.cs.gmu.edu>

"What's one and one and one and one and one and one and one and one and
one and one and one and one?"

To which the computer scientist must reply: 1. Hooray for logical operators

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From: fc3a501#NoSpam.math.uni-hamburg.de (Hauke Reddmann)


Did you know that... September 9 September 9

most vectors are pointing vectors, but the Poynting vector is NO pointing vector (cross product E x B, so it has a screw sense)?

the Killing fields are not made out of Killing vectors? May 9

Manfred Eigen didn't invent the eigenvector?

From: adh#NoSpam.cx.dnv.no (Arne Dehli Halvorsen)

Isn't it also a fact that Wilder knots are a particularly bad class of wild knots?

And Moore chaos is more chaotic than oridinary chaos? (iterated system that emulates a Turing machine...)

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From: dmcq#NoSpam.dsbc.icl.co.uk (Dave McQuillan)

Maths Teacher: Now suppose the number of sheep is x...
Student: Yes sir, but what happens if the number of sheep is not x?

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        A DECIMAL POINT = I'm a dot in place.
        ONE PLUS TWELVE = Two plus eleven.
        APPLIED MATHEMATICS = Is mad, pathetic - ample?
        INTEGRAL CALCULUS = Calculating rules.

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From: centaur#NoSpam.nai.net (Dave Wright)

  Math problems?  Call 1-800-[(10x)(13i)^2]-[sin(xy)/2.362x].  --Unknown

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From: Ian Ellis <ian#NoSpam.iglou.com>

If parallel lines meet at infinity - infinity must be a very noisy place with all those lines crashing together!

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From: pduffau#NoSpam.ix.netcom.com (Paul Duffau)

I understand that the Tennessee Waltz is Tipper's favorite algorithm?

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From: Michael Cook <mlc#NoSpam.iberia.cca.rockwell.com>
Q: What does (x-a)(x-b)(x-c)...(x-z) equal?
A: [Hint: check out the 24th factor].

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From: Richard <owowo#NoSpam.1stnet.net>

Infinity joke of the week

A very large mathematical convention was held in Las Vegas. The conventioneers filled two hotels, each with an infinite number of rooms.

The hotels were across the street from each other and were owned by brothers. One evening, while everyone was out at a bar-b-que, one of the hotels burned to the ground. The brothers got together and worked out a plan. In the remaining hotel, they moved all guests to twice their room number -- room 101 moved to 202, room 1234 moved to room 2468, etc. Then all the odd number rooms were empty, and there were an infinite number of odd rooms. So the guests from the other hotel moved into them.

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From: Melanie Aultman <afn10453#NoSpam.afn.org>
     4                            3
    a                            a
Will you do me a favor?          If it's within my power....

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From: Ian Ellis <ian#NoSpam.iglou.com>

WHEN I TAUGHT tenth-grade mathematics at Senator Gershaw School in Bow Island, Alberta, there was only one occasion I was at a loss for words. As we were reviewing geometry problems, one student raised her hand. "Mr. Chipman," she asked, "how do you circumcise a circle?"

   --Contributed to "Tales Out of School" by Ken Chipman
   ऊ 1996 The Reader's Digest Association, Inc. All rights reserved.

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From: mlc#NoSpam.iberia.cca.rockwell.com (Michael Cook, Canonical list of Math Jokes)

Collage 292 H u m o u r N e t 4 SEP 96

On a mailing list this size, not every Collage is going to appeal to
every subscriber. But the ones that seem to appeal to the fewest
people are my "geek humor" Collages. (Even political humor probably
enjoys a broader appeal.) Nevertheless, they are so thoroughly loved
by the geeks in the audience that they've become a mainstay of
HumourNet. Alas, the moderator has no choice but to accommodate the
vocal minority ...

("And your moderator, being such a happy geek, is a piece of cake.")

And when I say "minority," I mean *MINORITY*. There are painfully
few people out there who really understand geekdom -- especially
geek employment. It's so bad that smart geeks know better than to
even *discuss* their jobs, for fear of having to perform emergency
resuscitation on anyone within earshot.

Not a problem, though -- the *creative* ones simply make up other,
more interesting lines of work. Ideally, these lines of work are
tailored to the audience. For example, there's no sense in trying to
explain the fundamentals of foliage-penetrating radar to members of
the college field-hockey team. No, it's much better, in that
particular case, to be a gynecologist for the FBI.

(You're probably starting to see how I get myself into trouble....)

Well, I'm not the only one who gets creative when the field hockey
team (or gymnastics team or what have you) shows up at the local bar.
And, to illustrate this, Jon in Rockford, Illinois, sent me the
following excerpt from a thread that surfaced on a graphic-design
list to which he subscribes; since the conversation evolves in a
nice, simple fashion, I'll just label the speakers A, B, and C:

A: When in conversation with a stranger, how do you explain what you
A: do in a single sentence?

B: It takes so long for me to really describe all the aspects of my
B: work [that] I can even bore myself sometimes.
B: I usually reply, "I sing in a band."
B: The conversation gets much funnier that way.

C: I know that one. I've built up a repertoire of such answers:

C: I'm an Elvis impersonator.
C: I'm an otter trainer.
C: I rob gas stations, liquor stores, that sort of thing.
C: I'm between jobs.
C: Well right now, I'm the dictator of a small South American
C: country, but soon I'll control all of Latin America and then the
C: Western hemisphere and then -- I'LL RULE THE WORLD! [maniacal
C: laughter]

C: (Just the ones I use most often.)

Note how it's easier to develop a more-or-less normal conversation
as the maniacal dictator of a small South American (or Latin
American) country than it is to explain that you're a graphic
designer (or engineer or, for that gymnastics team, really anything
that requires at least a two-year degree) (not that I'm not being
critical, mind you -- they still look awfully cute as they bounce
across the floor). In other words, Manuel Noriega probably has an
easier time meeting members of the field-hockey team than, say, the
average mechanical-engineering major. And Noriega's serving 40 years
for drug trafficking. (Come to think of it, he probably has a *much*
easier time of it.)

OTOH, it's a well-established fact that MEs have very underdeveloped
conversational skills ... ;-)

BTW, my own personal favorite out of that list is "otter trainer";
not because it's the one I use most often, but because I think it's
the only one I *haven't* used [yet].

There are very good reasons why we need to do this -- probably the
single most convincing is that, quite simply, no one is interested
in geek employment. As "B" noted, above, it's so boring, even *we're*
not interested.

But that's not the worst of it. No, the worst is *geek humor*.
Boring jobs aside, your standard geek (yes, that'd be ANSI standard)
can't resist an opportunity to make a comment that only another geek
would understand -- much less find *amusing*.

Among geeks, it's more than just sport; it's religion.

And, hence, the geek-humor Collages. And the follow-up comments
that they [unfortunately ;-)] generate ...

Collage 279 (the most recent "Geeks!" Collage) contained the
following piece:

     ... Engineers like to solve problems. If there are no
     problems handily available, they will create their own
     problems. Normal people don't understand this concept;
     they believe that if it ain't broke, don't fix it.
     Engineers believe that if it ain't broke, it doesn't have
     enough features yet.

Marc (in Maryland) felt compelled to clarify this a little:

     Actually, if it ain't broke, we need to take it apart to
     find out why.

Which, of course, also applies to things that *are* broken -- hence,
the engineer's proclivity for disassembling virtually everything in
sight. It's genetic -- *geek* genetics.

And so, we come to probably the single geekiest of all the geek-humor
Collages I've ever produced -- and all with thanks to:

Richard in Phoenix, Arizona, for "Math Riots Prove Fun Incalculable";

Jerry in Bellevue, Washington, for "A Modest Proposal";

and Umid in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, for "Career Choices,"
"Engineers, Scientists, and Mathematicians, Take One," and
"... Take Two."

Huge thanks to all the guilty parties. Here's one for the geek
history books ...

Enjoy! (But if you do, don't admit it to anyone. ;-)

- Vince Sabio
  HumourNet Moderator
          Opener (above) Copyright 1996 by Vincent Sabio
  Permission is hereby granted to forward or post this "Collage";
  please observe the guidelines stated at the end of the message.

SUBJ: Math Riots Prove Fun Incalculable
By Eric Zorn
Special Category: Pierre de Fermat
Januari 12
August 17
June 23

(The following column appeared in the Chicago Tribune/DuPage County
edition, Tuesday June 29 1993 page 2-1)

News Item (June 23) -- Mathematicians worldwide were excited and
pleased today by the announcement that Princeton University
professor Andrew Wiles had finally proved Fermat's Last Theorem, a
365-year-old problem said to be the most famous in the field.

Admittedly, there was rioting and vandalism last week during the
celebration. A few bookstores had windows smashed and shelves
stripped, and vacant lots glowed with burning piles of old
dissertations. But overall we can feel relief that it was nothing
-- nothing -- compared to the outbreak of exuberant thuggery that
occurred in 1984 after Louis DeBranges finally proved the Bieberbach

"Math hooligans are the worst," said a Chicago Police Department
spokesman. "But the city learned from the Bieberbach riots. We
were ready for them this time."

When word hit Wednesday that Fermat's Last Theorem had fallen, a
massive show of force from law enforcement at universities all
around the country headed off a repeat of the festive looting sprees
that have become the traditional accompaniment to triumphant
breakthroughs in higher mathematics.

Mounted police throughout Hyde Park kept crowds of delirious wizards
at the University of Chicago from tipping over cars on the midway as
they first did in 1976 when Wolfgang Haken and Kenneth Appel cracked
the long-vexing Four-Color Problem. Incidents of textbook-throwing
and citizens being pulled from their cars and humiliated with
difficult story problems last week were described by the
university's math department chairman Bob Zimmer as "isolated."

Zimmer said, "Most of the celebrations were orderly and peaceful.
But there will always be a few -- usually graduate students -- who
use any excuse to cause trouble and steal. These are not true fans
of Andrew Wiles."

Wiles himself pleaded for calm even as he offered up the proof that
there is no solution to the equation x^n + y^n = z^n when n is a
whole number greater than two, as Pierre de Fermat first proposed in
the 17th Century. "Party hard but party safe," he said, echoing the
phrase he had repeated often in interviews with scholarly journals
as he came closer and closer to completing his proof.

Some authorities tried to blame the disorder on the provocative
taunting of Japanese mathematician Yoichi Miyaoka. Miyaoka thought
he had proved Fermat's Last Theorem in 1988, but his claims did not
bear up under the scrutiny of professional referees, leading some to
suspect that the fix was in. And ever since, as Wiles chipped away
steadily at the Fermat problem, Miyaoka scoffed that there would be
no reason to board up windows near universities any time soon; that
God wanted Miyaoka to prove it.

In a peculiar sidelight, Miyaoka recently took the trouble to secure
a U.S. trademark on the equation "x^n + y^n = z^n " as well as the
now-ubiquitous expression "Take that, Fermat!" Ironically, in
defeat, he stands to make a good deal of money on cap and T-shirt

This was no walk-in-the-park proof for Wiles. He was dogged, in the
early going, by sniping publicity that claimed he was seen puttering
late one night doing set theory in a New Jersey library when he
either should have been sleeping, critics said, or focusing on
arithmetic algebraic geometry for the proving work ahead.

"Set theory is my hobby, it helps me relax," was his angry
explanation. The next night, he channeled his fury and came up with
five critical steps in his proof. Not a record, but close.

There was talk that he thought he could do it all by himself,
especially when he candidly referred to University of California
mathematician Kenneth Ribet as part of his "supporting cast," when
most people in the field knew that without Ribet's 1986 proof
definitively linking the Taniyama Conjecture to Fermat's Last
Theorem, Wiles would be just another frustrated guy in a tweed
jacket teaching calculus to freshmen.

His travails made the ultimate victory that much more explosive for
math buffs. When the news arrived, many were already wired from
caffeine consumed at daily colloquial teas, and they took to the
streets en masse shouting, "Obvious! Yessss! It was obvious!"

The law cannot hope to stop such enthusiasm, only to control it.
Still, one has to wonder what the connection is between wanton
pillaging and a mathematical proof, no matter how long-awaited and

The Victory Over Fermat rally, held on a cloudless day in front of a
crowd of 30,000 (police estimate: 150,000) was pleasantly peaceful.
Signs unfurled in the audience proclaimed Wiles the greatest
mathematician of all time, though partisans of Euclid, Descartes,
Newton, and C.F. Gauss and others argued the point vehemently.

A warm-up act, The Supertheorists, delighted the crowd with a ragged
song, "It Was Never Less Than Probable, My Friend," which included
such gloating, barbed verses as --- "I had a proof all ready / But
then I did a choke-a / Made liberal assumptions / Hi! I'm Yoichi

In the speeches from the stage, there was talk of a dynasty,
specifically that next year Wiles will crack the great unproven
Riemann Hypothesis ("Rie-peat! Rie-peat!" the crowd cried), and
that after the Prime-Pair Problem, the Goldbach Conjecture ("Minimum
Goldbach," said one T-shirt) and so on.

They couldn't just let him enjoy his proof. Not even for one day.
Math people. Go figure 'em.

[Editor's Note: I shudder to think of the day that the Unified Field
Theory finally coalesces ... </vs>]

========================< H U M O U R N E T >=======================

SUBJ: A Modest Proposal
By Shannon Weston, University of Washington
(Reprinted on HumourNet with [indirect] permission)

[Editor's Note: According to Jerry, who is a faculty member at UW,
Shannon is a real student, and actually submitted this letter to
his teaching assistant. Jerry and the TA agreed that Shannon should
probably be in the marketing program. Heh. And they said that *I*
should be in the English Department. Of course, it was only the
*engineering* professors who were saying that.... ;-) </vs>]

Dear Sir,

I am presently enrolled in three math courses, one of which is your
linear algebra class. Naturally, the generous helpings of weighty
concepts presented thrice weekly occupy much of my thoughts -- a
fact which, owing to several recent close calls at pedestrian
crossings, seemed to be something of a mixed blessing. That is,
until last weekend. At about 10 o'clock Sunday evening, as I was
struggling to smear a facade of rigor over my EE235 homework, it
suddenly occurred to me how many names are attached to the familiar
methods, functions, etc. of college mathematics.

By "names" of course I do not mean technical designations in
general, but actual human names. Consider for a moment the fact
that mundane mathematical methods of the sort that are ladled out
daily in high school are rarely, if ever, named. The common man, it
seems, would not tolerate the obstruction incurred by lugging around
five-syllable German family names for simple functions -- thus we
have the "sine" and not the "Hohenhelmwohler function". However,
once that unsuspecting citizen enters the halls of academe, shielded
from the prying eyes and tender sensibilities of the public, a
continuous acclimating process works on him with every math course
he takes until, only two years later, he is regularly exposed to and
blandly accepts from mathematicians brazen self-promotion of a
degree unheard of outside the rap music industry.

It is NOT my purpose to pronounce ethical judgments on my betters,
particularly when they are intellectuals of Gauss' or Dirac's
standing. Even geniuses are bound by the constraints of the flesh
-- they must eat, and in order to do so they must be able to market
their product. Therefore Gauss' name appears in my text for much
the same reason that Kalvin Klein's appears on the rumps of anorexic
models. It IS my purpose to call your attention to a significant
difference between the two gentlemen: Klein is alive and Gauss is
dead. He is dead and, to the best of my knowledge, neither he nor
his estate hold any legal claim to his functions, processes, proofs,
etc. Moreover, not only is Gauss dead, but so is Dirac, Fourier and
the rest -- all of the mathematical geniuses of our race have been
culled by the brutal hand of natural selection at traffic crossings
and the like, and all them before they had the chance to secure a
solid legal claim to so much as a hyperbolic trig function.

Sir, I submit to you that we are sitting on a gold mine. The
commercial opportunities at hand beggar the imagination. At any
given time tens of thousands of our nation's youth are obliged to
study mathematics. These are generally well financed, perhaps a
touch naive, and, to put it gently, more study math than want to.
We know their demographics and what they are inclined to buy. A
captive audience, more ripe for exploitation would be hard to
imagine. Picture the typical student, bent over his text for hours
at a time. Imagine the results if, instead of the old math, he was
staring at (your product here):

      BEFORE                     AFTER
  Gassian elimination        Guiness Stout Elimination(tm)
  eigenvalues                Fritovalues(tm)
  Wronskian determinants     Shaquillian Determinants(tm)
  L'Hopital's rule           Honda Rules(tm)
  improper integrals         Victoria's Secret Integrals(tm)
  Laplace transform          Lifestyles transform(tm)
  Nortan equivalent          No-Doz Equivalent(tm)

... and so on. Of course this is just the tip of the iceberg. How
much do you think McDonald's would pony up to get theta replaced
with the golden arches? If we make too much money, we can always
plow some of the math back as a tax shelter:

    Y = sin (official function of the '96 Olympics) X

I'm sure you are every bit as intrigued as I am. Think it over ...

[Editor's Note: Unconfirmed, unsubstantiated, and unreliable (and,
nevertheless, quoted here) rumor has it that this student failed the
math course, but passed the business course -- and later went on to
found a large software corporation somewhere in the northwestern
U.S.... ;-) </vs>]

========================< H U M O U R N E T >=======================

SUBJ: Career Choices

The graduate with a physics degree asks, "Why does it work?"
The graduate with an engineering degree asks, "How does it work?"
The graduate with an accounting degree asks, "How much will it cost?"
The graduate with a liberal arts degree asks, "Do you want fries
with that?"


SUBJ: Engineers, Scientists, and Mathematicians, Take One

Engineers think that equations approximate the real world.
Physicists think that the real world approximates equations.
Mathematicians are unable to make the connection ...


SUBJ: Engineers, Scientists, and Mathematicians, Take Two

An engineer, a physicist, and a mathematician are shown a pasture
with a herd of sheep, and told to put them inside the smallest
possible amount of fence.

The engineer is first. He herds the sheep into a circle and then
puts the fence around them, declaring, "A circle will use the least
fence for a given area, so this is the best solution."

The physicist is next. He creates a circular fence of infinite
radius around the sheep, and then draws the fence tight around the
herd, declaring, "This will give the smallest circular fence around
the herd."

The mathematician is last. After giving the problem a little
thought, he puts a small fence around himself and then declares, "I
define myself to be on the outside."

 Anyone w/out a Sense of Humor Is At The Mercy of The Rest of Us. :-)

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From: mlc#NoSpam.iberia.cca.rockwell.com (Michael Cook, Canonical list of Math Jokes)

This comes from a quote by Cambridge mathematician Tom Korner.
Q: How do you tell that you are in the hands of the Mathematical Mafia?
A: They make you an offer that you can't understand.

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From: Your Cult Leader <kpawa#NoSpam.intergate.ca>


Here are a few relatively unexplored areas of mathematics which you may want to use as the subject of your dissertation or thesis: 1.) To impose a new integer between 5 and 6 (which would of course be called 'fix'). We'll have to go through all of algebra, trig., calculus, and other areas of mathematics to make them consistent (you could say we will be putting in the fix). 2.) You know how they say that you can't compare apples and oranges? Well now you can now (sort of). I've done extensive investigating in this area and here's what I've come up with: Apples = K(O)* (1/8)Int[tan(O^2) + xsqrt(O) + 1) + (1/4)exp(J)] Where J is the juice-ocity factor and O is the dependant variable Oranges. Now I'm fairly certain everything in the equation is right but I don't know what K(O) is -- this is the function of O we still have to work out. 3.) The ancient Pythagoreans left one big puzzle unsolved. They like any learned people since the earliest days of Western civilization sought to quantify human experience and knowledge in precise mathematical terms. Here's what they were able to put in numbers: Justice=4, Marriage=7. I have also discovered that Women=Sqrt(2) (completely irrational), The meaning of life=42, and Pure Evil=17. Still unknown are the numbers for Sex, Anger, Polygamy, Dignity, Pain, Ice Cream, Bastards, Farts, and just about everything else. If you have any others just mail them to kpawa#NoSpam.intergate.ca

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In article <380C7AE4.1E85D97C#NoSpam.jhuapl.edu>,
From: "james d. hunter" <jim.hunter#NoSpam.jhuapl.edu>
Proposal: Engineers are the only people who know anything about

Proof: They are the only profession they gives lifetime guarantees
       on their mathematics.

From: "Richard I. Pelletier" <bitbucket#NoSpam.home.com>
I have been heard to say, _If you want to see practical applied
mathematics, read chemical engineering; if you want to see theoretical
applied mathematics, read electrical engineering._

From: jac#NoSpam.ibms48.scri.fsu.edu (Jim Carr)

And if you want to read pure math, read economics.

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From: "S. P. Riley" <rileystp#NoSpam.flyernet.udayton.edu>
If A=B and B=C then A=C is nice except in practice.  If Julie loves
Nick, and Nick loves Sara, then Julie loves Sara.  Is that right?

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From: "Michael L. Cook" <MLCook#NoSpam.collins.rockwell.com>

Mathematics *is* Dull!

A while back in my company's technical library, I found proof that mathematics is dull, at least for engineers.

On the shelf, with Dewey decimal number 510 D, is the book "Mathematics for Engineers", 2nd. ed., McGraw-Hill Book Company, Inc., New York and London, 1941.

The author?

Raymond W. Dull

Finally proof for all those who truly thought math *was* Dull!

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From: Aniko Szabo <aniko.szabo#NoSpam.hci.utah.edu>
 "Geometry is the art of making correct conclusions based on incorrect
pictures". (of course I don't remember who said it). And to underline his
point he gave lectures in the following style: "Consider a circle and let O
denote its origin:"

                            **      *****                               *O
                 ********                ***
                *                             *
              **                          **
                ***************       *
                                  ***    *

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From jdunderw#NoSpam.ucalgary.ca Tue Mar 20 04:30:00 2001

I found this paragraph in my textbook, "Analytical Mechanics" 6th Ed., Fowles and Cassiday. Buried in Appendix I, "Software Tools" :

"...many [mathematical software programs] suffer deficiencies common to most technical user manuals: frequently they are poorly organized and poorly written; almost invariably they are loaded with undefined cryptic jargon; critical information is sometimes buried away in unsuspected locations; and rarely do they perform well as a tutorial for the novice user. [...] the Mathematica manual is afflicted with most of the aforementioned ills. Indeed, its writers seem to have worked hard at rendering their otherwise excellent product unuseable. That is succumbs to these potential shortcomings should have been instantly obvious when we opened it. On turning over the gorgeous-looking cover of the extremely weighty manual to expose what we thought would be the first page, we found instead, much to our dismay, the last page written upside down! The book had been misbound! Fortunately, the text proved invariant under a 180 degree rotation of the x-axis. We guessed perhaps, that being in the business of mathematical computation, the manufacturer meant this as a test exercise for the novice user."

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From: "Dave's home, man!" <dap#NoSpam.canada.com>
                                 new math

Dave: (7:42 PM) Hey, if you get 5 sales I'll buy you a micky of tequila...

Gordo: (7:43 PM) You're on.

Dave: (7:43 PM) what will you buy me, if I get 5?

Gordo: (7:44 PM) same

Gordo: (7:45 PM) wait a minute!...How many do you have now?

Dave: (7:46 PM) 0, but as 5 is just half way to 10, so is 0 half way to 5...

Gordo: (7:47 PM) That's right...you just need another 0 to get you to the
other half! ha!

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From: MLCook#NoSpam.collins.rockwell.com
"I can't explain this.  I think it's obvious, though."
 - an MIT Algebraic Geometry professor, March 17, 2000
    [From 'Quote of the Day', Submitted by: Rick Sayre, Mar. 20, 2000]

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Januari 12
August 17
Standard answer from universities to crank proofs they receive:
"I have a beautiful proof of the incorrectness of your theorem, but this
page is too small for it.

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From: Alfred Smeenk
7 out of 5 people do not understand fractions.

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From: Lishu <lishue1#NoSpam.hotmail.com>

This is a joke a friend of mine, who hates maths like the devil, told me. 
Q: What does M.A.T.H.S stands for? 
A: Mentally Affected Teachers Harassing

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From: cowskick17#NoSpam.cs.com

okay, this may not be funny but i almost died when my friend said this during math the other day.

I was sitting in geometry, trying my hardest not to fall asleep during proofs. I turned around and whispered, "Proofs are sooo boring!" and my friend quickly replied, "well that's a given."

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From: mathwft#NoSpam.math.canterbury.ac.nz (Bill Taylor)

Here's a joke, or perhaps just a smart(-arse) remark, about the topic,
that occurred here in real life many years ago.

Silly Fine Arts Person:
 Heavens!  I don't even know what's the difference
 between the radius and the diameter of a circle!
 What's the difference between the radius & the diameter?

My quick-thinking colleague:
 The radius!

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From: mathwft#NoSpam.math.canterbury.ac.nz (Bill Taylor)
Proper spamming of news:sci.math

Hauke Reddmann <fc3a501#NoSpam.math.uni-hamburg.de> writes:

|> As you know, the sex sites will post into ANY NG.
|> So maybe they could customize a bit and offer...


From: "Daniel Giaimo" <dgiaimo#NoSpam.rgiaimo.net>

From: wself#NoSpam.msubillings.edu (Will Self)
The Paler Weenie Theorem

There are also copious references to  Improper Priors, 
Degenerate Colonels (sp?), and  The Chinese Box Problem.

The graph of    y = exp[-(x^2 - 1)^2]   
with the two maximum points heavily marked, is also a bit dodgy.

mathematics physics
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From: snispilbor#NoSpam.yahoo.com (Snis Pilbor)
Q:  What is the physicist's definition of a vector space?

A:  A set V satisfying the axiom that for any x in V, x has a little
arrow drawn over it

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From: "Snis Pilbor" <snispilbor#NoSpam.yahoo.com>

                      A guide to math textbook titles

I decided to create the following simple guide to math textbook
titles.  Who knows, it might be useful to any undergrads out there :)
Anyone who wants to add to the list or change it, feel free :)

1.  (TOPIC) for Scientists and Engineers
What Mom would think:  Wow!  This must be super-difficult!
True translation:  The definitions are pure hand-waving.
There are no proofs.  Some theorems are actually
false in degenerate cases.  Light reading.

2.  (TOPIC)
What Mom would think:  Tough call, but a good chance
this book is medium-hard in difficulty.
True translation:  Tough call, but a good chance this
book is medium-easy in difficulty.

3.  Topics in (TOPIC)
What Mom would think:  Medium-easy.  Armchair reading.
True translation:  Difficult.  Probably graduate level.
Probably has dozens of open problems mixed in the

4.  Introduction to (TOPIC)
What Mom would think:  Introductory.  Meant for freshmen,
or maybe advanced high school seniors.  Boringly easy.
True translation:  Tough call, but a good chance this
book is hair-pullingly, agonizingly difficult.  A
good rule of thumb:  if the "preliminaries" section
goes from naive set theory to functional analysis in
one page, you may be in over your head.

5.   Lecture notes in (TOPIC)
What Mom would think:  Cursory and simple.  No proofs.
Some definitions hand-wavey.  Very easy.  Good last
minute review before the big exam.
True translation:  If you can decrypt this arcane tome,
we'll give you an honorary Ph.D.  Slight risk half
the book is in Russian or Hungarian.  Not that you'd
probably notice the difference!

Some special cases:

"Advanced Calculus" - a wildcard.  Can denote just about anything.  I
once bought a book called "Advanced Calculus" and it turned out to be
an Afghani cookbook.  Back in undergrad days we used to gamble with
these:  place bets on what it's about.  I won $20 once this way.

"Modern Algebra" - a highly polarized wildcard.  There is a 50/50
chance it's a 7th grade book that'll teach you how to solve "4x+7=2"
and a 50/50 chance it'll reach Lie algebras in the first 15 pages.

"(TOPIC) for the Working Mathematician" - contrary to the title, this
book is not meant for anyone but a math hermit who is prepared to
devote the next 20 years to reading it.

"Chaos Theory" - this book will be very rigorous up to about Lyapunov
exponents.  Then the last 4 chapters will be a prolonged whine about
how nobody can agree on a good definition of chaos and even if they
could it's all beyond the scope of this text... ooohh look, pretty
fractals!  Much hand-wavey allusion to weather systems without any firm
details.  A good read if your sole purpose is to impress laymen.

From: "richard miller" <richard#NoSpam.microscitech.freeserve.co.uk>

"Conference Proceedings" - if the equations are handwritten, forget any hope
of understanding. Often found at 2nd hand book shops. A particular favourite
of mine is 'Volume VIIa, Lorentz Group' (so what about the first six
volumes?), Lectures in Theoretical Physics, Univ. Colarado, 1964. I reckon
Einstein walked out of this conference cos it got too much. Mom would tell
all her neighbours. Great on the shelf, until someone in the know actually
quizzes you about it.

"Topological Algebras" - forget it. Throw up a toy set of mathematical
symbols, re-arrange into a line. You will probably understand the resulting
equation more than anything in said topic book.

"A first course in..."

"Elementary .."

"For the laymen .." Simple unless it is written by Penrose - his laymen are
all well-respected Physics lecturers

From: "B Loggins" <breckinloggins#NoSpam.gmail.com>

Undergraduate Series in Mathematics: (TOPIC)

What Mom would think: Oh how nice!  A pretty little yellow textbook
with homework problems for one of your classes.

True Translation:  Might as well leave out the "Under", most of them
are as difficult as the "Graduate Series in Mathematics" texts and the
odds of one of these books actually being used in your average
undergraduate program are about the same as the odds of your mom
understanding even the first page.

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From: snispilbor#NoSpam.yahoo.com (Snis Pilbor)

I was talking with a friend in my graph theory class and he pointed
out that a lot of the material is review from his geometric topology
class.  I thought about this for a moment and said, "Ah!  Mathematics
curriculum is compact!"  He asked me what I meant and I answered: 
"Any material covered by an infinite number of math courses can be
covered by some finite subset of those courses"

First a cheesy one for all you Linear Algebra fans...

My mentor insisted I do a presentation on the Gram-Schmidt process.  It
went horribly!  The lighting was so dim people could barely see.  All
my slides were horribly smudged, and the fonts were typeset way too
small.  My mentor was furious.  "I'm sorry sir!" I wailed.  "I'm
terrible at projections!"

New after last time posted (December 21, 2013) mathematics
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From: "Trevor James Zablocki" <zablo1tj#NoSpam.cmich.edu>

 A boy is looking up at the sky and sees something, but he doesn't
 know what it is. He asks his mother but she can't tell so she points
 him to his brother. But again his brother has no idea, so he points
 him to his father. Finally the boy asks his father, but his father
 has no idea either. So his father points him back to his mother.

At this point the boy knows what it is, because it takes 3 points to
define a plane.

For more see: http://goodriddlesnow.com/jokes/by/math-jokes

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From: "Snis Pilbor" <snispilbor#NoSpam.yahoo.com>

                             PERSONALITY TYPES

Several people were shown a glass of water and then a half a glass of
water and asked to compare them.  Their answers were classified into
personality types.

Optimist:  The glass is now half full.
Pessimist:  The glass is now half empty.
Set Theorist:  The amount of water hasn't changed cardinality... it
still has cardinality aleph_1.
Graph Theorist:  The water is now self-complementary.
Applied Mathematician:  The temperature and pressure must have risen
Topologist:  The water hasn't changed significantly.
Algebraist:  The water is completely the same, mod 2.
Analyst:  It's undergone a contraction mapping.
Combinatorialist:  The task of choosing an arbitrary water molecule has
been reduced by a subtask of 2 possibilities.

....it's a work in progress!  add your own!  everyone can participate!

From: "Snis Pilbor" <snispilbor#NoSpam.yahoo.com>

What is the cardinality of the set of triplets in a cylinder of radius
1 and height 1?
What is the cardinality of the set of triplets in a cylinder of radius
1 and height .5?

Also I thought of another good one but can't think who would say it!

(Some type of mathematician, upon seeing the half-glass of water):
Hey, I ordered coffee!

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