Index  Comments and Contributions  previous:Contents
mathematics
[Top of page]
[Bottom of page]
[Index]
[Send comment]
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".
mathematics
[Top of page]
[Bottom of page]
[Index]
[Send comment]
From the "Cow" collection at (Found in Michael Cook's (mlcook#NoSpam.afdsb.cca.rockwell.com) Canonical List of Math Jokes)
(__) (oo) /\/ /  x=a(b) *  ^^ ^^ Mathematical Cow (developer of cowculus)
mathematics
[Top of page]
[Bottom of page]
[Index]
[Send comment]
From: jkelber#NoSpam.gladstone.uoregon.edu (Judah Kelber)
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....
mathematics
[Top of page]
[Bottom of page]
[Index]
[Send comment]
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 etc..
mathematics
[Top of page]
[Bottom of page]
[Index]
[Send comment]
From: RickT <taylor#NoSpam.wrex.unet.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.
mathematics
[Top of page]
[Bottom of page]
[Index]
[Send comment]
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.
mathematics
[Top of page]
[Bottom of page]
[Index]
[Send comment]
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 ripoff? [Extra credit answer: The smallest; it costs as much as the next larger size... psl]
mathematics
[Top of page]
[Bottom of page]
[Index]
[Send comment]
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.
mathematics
[Top of page]
[Bottom of page]
[Index]
[Send comment]
From: caj#NoSpam.baker.math.niu.edu (Xcott Craver)
"Paper or plastic?" "Not 'Not paper AND not plastic!!'" Augustus DeMorgan in a grocery store
mathematics
[Top of page]
[Bottom of page]
[Index]
[Send comment]
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.
mathematics
[Top of page]
[Bottom of page]
[Index]
[Send comment]
From: Mark David Biesiada <mb246395#NoSpam.oak.cats.ohiou.edu>
never say "N factorial", simply scream "N" at the top of your lungs.
mathematics
[Top of page]
[Bottom of page]
[Index]
[Send comment]
From: Volker Moell <moell#NoSpam.mathematik.unikl.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: "heyoh, 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!!!
mathematics
[Top of page]
[Bottom of page]
[Index]
[Send comment]
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.
mathematics
[Top of page]
[Bottom of page]
[Index]
[Send comment]
Zenophobia: the irrational fear of convergent sequences.
mathematics
[Top of page]
[Bottom of page]
[Index]
[Send comment]
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.
mathematics
[Top of page]
[Bottom of page]
[Index]
[Send comment]
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 (PoulHenning Kamp/PHK) Mathematics is the systematic misuse of a nomenclature developed for that specific purpose.
mathematics
[Top of page]
[Bottom of page]
[Index]
[Send comment]
From: hammond#NoSpam.cs.utk.edu (James Michael Hammond)
"Psst, c'mere," said the shiftyeyed 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."
"Huh!?"
"Geometry drugs. Ya got your uppers, your downers, your sidewaysers, your insideouters..."
"Stop right there," I interrupted. "I've never heard of inside outers."
"Oh, man, you'll love 'em. Makes you feel like M.C. everlovin' Escher on a particularly weird day."
"Go on..."
"OK, your insideouters, 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."
mathematics
[Top of page]
[Bottom of page]
[Index]
[Send comment]
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").
mathematics
[Top of page]
[Bottom of page]
[Index]
[Send comment]
Januari 14 Januari 27
The four branches of arithmetic  ambition, distraction, uglification and derision. (Lewis Caroll: "Alice in Wonderland")
mathematics engineering
[Top of page]
[Bottom of page]
[Index]
[Send comment]
The first law of Engineering Mathematics: All infinite series converge, and moreover converge to the first term.
mathematics
[Top of page]
[Bottom of page]
[Index]
[Send comment]
This one can better be told in a pub. First three points on the table:
a b c
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.
mathematics
[Top of page]
[Bottom of page]
[Index]
[Send comment]
Algebraic symbols are used when you do not know what you are talking about.
mathematics
[Top of page]
[Bottom of page]
[Index]
[Send comment]
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.
mathematics
[Top of page]
[Bottom of page]
[Index]
[Send comment]
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 TShirt that's been going around:
There are 10 types of people in the world.
Those that understand binary and those who don't.
mathematics
[Top of page]
[Bottom of page]
[Index]
[Send comment]
We use epsilons and deltas in mathematics because mathematicians tend to make errors.
mathematics
[Top of page]
[Bottom of page]
[Index]
[Send comment]
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 ..."
mathematics
[Top of page]
[Bottom of page]
[Index]
[Send comment]
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.
mathematics
[Top of page]
[Bottom of page]
[Index]
[Send comment]
From: surd#NoSpam.apollo.hanyang.ac.kr (ps park (Seoul Univ.)) From: chrisman#NoSpam.ucdmath.ucdavis.edu (Mark Chrisman) (many additions)
Analysis: 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 BanachTarsky theorem. Number theory: 1) First factorize, second multiply. 2) Use induction. You can always squeeze a bit more in. Algebra: 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. Topology: 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. Geometry: 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. Statistics: 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.
mathematics
[Top of page]
[Bottom of page]
[Index]
[Send comment]
Why did the calculus student have so much trouble making KoolAid? Because he couldn't figure out how to get a quart of water into the little package.
mathematics
[Top of page]
[Bottom of page]
[Index]
[Send comment]
From: sm#NoSpam.wfhh.sh.sub.de (Stefan Mohr) The shortest mathematic joke: BEGIN >"Epsilon less than zero"< END
mathematics
[Top of page]
[Bottom of page]
[Index]
[Send comment]
From: Karl.Fegert#NoSpam.tonline.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... refinement: They chose an epsilon that was so small that epsilon^2 was negativ...
mathematics
[Top of page]
[Bottom of page]
[Index]
[Send comment]
The law of the excluded middle either rules or does not rule, O.K.?
mathematics
[Top of page]
[Bottom of page]
[Index]
[Send comment]
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.
mathematics
[Top of page]
[Bottom of page]
[Index]
[Send comment]
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.
mathematics
[Top of page]
[Bottom of page]
[Index]
[Send comment]
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 chickenhole principle.
mathematics
[Top of page]
[Bottom of page]
[Index]
[Send comment]
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.
mathematics
[Top of page]
[Bottom of page]
[Index]
[Send comment]
March 21 From: joeshmoe#NoSpam.world.std.com (Jascha FranklinHodge) (List of Taglines) Math is the language God used to write the universe.
mathematics
[Top of page]
[Bottom of page]
[Index]
[Send comment]
by Houston Euler</p>
"First and above all he was a logician. At least thirtyfive years of the halfcentury 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 2knot rope is put together with another 2knot rope, a 5knot 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 coverup 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 oxenrights 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 18thcentury 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 righthand 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 4color theorem was deemed 11 years later to yield, instead, the 5color 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 computerassisted 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.
mathematics
[Top of page]
[Bottom of page]
[Index]
[Send comment]
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.
mathematics
[Top of page]
[Bottom of page]
[Index]
[Send comment]
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
mathematics
[Top of page]
[Bottom of page]
[Index]
[Send comment]
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."
mathematics
[Top of page]
[Bottom of page]
[Index]
[Send comment]
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 ;)
mathematics
[Top of page]
[Bottom of page]
[Index]
[Send comment]
From: fc3a501#NoSpam.math.unihamburg.de (Hauke Reddmann)
Vectors...
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...)
mathematics
[Top of page]
[Bottom of page]
[Index]
[Send comment]
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?
mathematics
[Top of page]
[Bottom of page]
[Index]
[Send comment]
ANAGRAMS 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.
mathematics
[Top of page]
[Bottom of page]
[Index]
[Send comment]
From: centaur#NoSpam.nai.net (Dave Wright) Math problems? Call 1800[(10x)(13i)^2][sin(xy)/2.362x]. Unknown
mathematics
[Top of page]
[Bottom of page]
[Index]
[Send comment]
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!
mathematics
[Top of page]
[Bottom of page]
[Index]
[Send comment]
From: pduffau#NoSpam.ix.netcom.com (Paul Duffau) I understand that the Tennessee Waltz is Tipper's favorite algorithm?
mathematics
[Top of page]
[Bottom of page]
[Index]
[Send comment]
From: Michael Cook <mlc#NoSpam.iberia.cca.rockwell.com> Q: What does (xa)(xb)(xc)...(xz) equal? A: [Hint: check out the 24th factor].
mathematics
[Top of page]
[Bottom of page]
[Index]
[Send comment]
From: Richard <owowo#NoSpam.1stnet.net>
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 barbque, 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.
mathematics
[Top of page]
[Bottom of page]
[Index]
[Send comment]
From: Melanie Aultman <afn10453#NoSpam.afn.org> 4 3 a a Will you do me a favor? If it's within my power....
mathematics
[Top of page]
[Bottom of page]
[Index]
[Send comment]
From: Ian Ellis <ian#NoSpam.iglou.com>
WHEN I TAUGHT tenthgrade 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.
mathematics
[Top of page]
[Bottom of page]
[Index]
[Send comment]
From: mlc#NoSpam.iberia.cca.rockwell.com (Michael Cook, Canonical list of Math Jokes)
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 foliagepenetrating radar to members of the college fieldhockey 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 graphicdesign 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 moreorless 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 twoyear 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 fieldhockey team than, say, the average mechanicalengineering 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 wellestablished 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 geekhumor Collages. And the followup 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 geekhumor 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 WilkesBarre, 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 HumourNet#NoSpam.telephonet.com ____________________________________________________________________ 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 21) 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 365yearold 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 Conjecture. "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 longvexing FourColor Problem. Incidents of textbookthrowing 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 nowubiquitous expression "Take that, Fermat!" Ironically, in defeat, he stands to make a good deal of money on cap and Tshirt sales. This was no walkinthepark 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 longawaited and subtle. 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 warmup 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 chokea / Made liberal assumptions / Hi! I'm Yoichi Miyaoka." In the speeches from the stage, there was talk of a dynasty, specifically that next year Wiles will crack the great unproven Riemann Hypothesis ("Riepeat! Riepeat!" the crowd cried), and that after the PrimePair Problem, the Goldbach Conjecture ("Minimum Goldbach," said one Tshirt) 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 fivesyllable 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 selfpromotion 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 NoDoz 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?" <HUMOURNET> 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 ... <HUMOURNET> 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. :) ******************************************************************** To subscribe to the "HumourNet" mailing list, send the following command to "listproc2#NoSpam.bgu.edu" (without quotes): subscribe HumorNet your_name, your_city, your_state or country where "your_name" is your real name, and "HumorNet" is spelled the American way  with only one "u" (though the *official* name for the list remains "HumourNet"). Thus, my sub request would read: subscribe HumorNet Vince Sabio, Washington, D.C. To unsubscribe, send the command "unsubscribe HumorNet" (without quotes) to listproc2#NoSpam.bgu.edu. Send contributions for upcoming Collages to HumorNet#NoSpam.bgu.edu. >>> Note: Attributions in Collage openers are to the contributors, not necessarily the authors. Authors' credits are included in the text whenever possible. <<< The HumourNet archives can be accessed via FTP and HTTP: FTP: ftp://ftp.humournet.com/pub/HumourNet Web: http://www.humournet.com/HumourNet/ Permission is granted to forward or post this Collage, provided that 1) the message is forwarded/posted in its ENTIRETY, from the line containing the Collage number and date to the end of this trailer, and 2) no fee is charged. If necessary, *excerpts* of this Collage may be manually forwarded to an individual, provided that 1) the first line (containing the date and Collage number) is included, and 2) the first three lines of this trailer (containing the subscription instructions) are included. The opener (which is copyrighted) may be forwarded with the following *additional* condition: the opener must remain intact, from the first line (Collage number and date) through the *end* of the copyright statement. If you have any questions, please contact me directly at HumourNet#NoSpam.telephonet.com. For a more detailed set of forwarding/posting guidelines, or for info on retrieving back Collages, send the command INFO HUMORNET to listproc2#NoSpam.bgu.edu. </collage292>
mathematics
[Top of page]
[Bottom of page]
[Index]
[Send comment]
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.
mathematics
[Top of page]
[Bottom of page]
[Index]
[Send comment]
From: Your Cult Leader <kpawa#NoSpam.intergate.ca>
mathematics
[Top of page]
[Bottom of page]
[Index]
[Send comment]
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 mathematics. 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.
mathematics
[Top of page]
[Bottom of page]
[Index]
[Send comment]
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?
mathematics
[Top of page]
[Bottom of page]
[Index]
[Send comment]
From: "Michael L. Cook" <MLCook#NoSpam.collins.rockwell.com>
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., McGrawHill Book Company, Inc., New York and London, 1941.
The author?
Raymond W. Dull
Finally proof for all those who truly thought math *was* Dull!
mathematics
[Top of page]
[Bottom of page]
[Index]
[Send comment]
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 ******** *** * * ** ** *************** * *** * *****
mathematics
[Top of page]
[Bottom of page]
[Index]
[Send comment]
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 gorgeouslooking 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 xaxis. We guessed perhaps, that being in the business of mathematical computation, the manufacturer meant this as a test exercise for the novice user."
mathematics
[Top of page]
[Bottom of page]
[Index]
[Send comment]
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!
mathematics
[Top of page]
[Bottom of page]
[Index]
[Send comment]
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]
mathematics
[Top of page]
[Bottom of page]
[Index]
[Send comment]
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.
mathematics
[Top of page]
[Bottom of page]
[Index]
[Send comment]
From: Alfred Smeenk 7 out of 5 people do not understand fractions.
mathematics
[Top of page]
[Bottom of page]
[Index]
[Send comment]
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
mathematics
[Top of page]
[Bottom of page]
[Index]
[Send comment]
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."
mathematics
[Top of page]
[Bottom of page]
[Index]
[Send comment]
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 quickthinking colleague: The radius!
mathematics
[Top of page]
[Bottom of page]
[Index]
[Send comment]
From: mathwft#NoSpam.math.canterbury.ac.nz (Bill Taylor) Proper spamming of news:sci.math Hauke Reddmann <fc3a501#NoSpam.math.unihamburg.de> writes: > As you know, the sex sites will post into ANY NG. > So maybe they could customize a bit and offer... > BRUHATTITS SPACES! > PUMPING LEMMA! > WIDE OPEN INTERVALS! > KOWALEWSKAJA FAKES!! > WITH A FOREWORD BY DICK FEYNMAN! From: "Daniel Giaimo" <dgiaimo#NoSpam.rgiaimo.net> GROUP ACTION. 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
[Top of page]
[Bottom of page]
[Index]
[Send comment]
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
mathematics
[Top of page]
[Bottom of page]
[Index]
[Send comment]
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 superdifficult! True translation: The definitions are pure handwaving. 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 mediumhard in difficulty. True translation: Tough call, but a good chance this book is mediumeasy in difficulty. 3. Topics in (TOPIC) What Mom would think: Mediumeasy. Armchair reading. True translation: Difficult. Probably graduate level. Probably has dozens of open problems mixed in the exersizes. 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 hairpullingly, 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 handwavey. 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 handwavey 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, rearrange 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 wellrespected 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.
mathematics
[Top of page]
[Bottom of page]
[Index]
[Send comment]
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 GramSchmidt 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
[Top of page]
[Bottom of page]
[Index]
[Send comment]
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/mathjokes
mathematics
[Top of page]
[Bottom of page]
[Index]
[Send comment]
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 selfcomplementary. Applied Mathematician: The temperature and pressure must have risen dramatically. 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 halfglass of water): Hey, I ordered coffee!
next:1.1 proofs  Index  Comments and Contributions
Member of the Science Humor Net Ring
[
Previous 5 Sites

Previous

Next

Next 5 Sites
]
[
Random Site

List Sites
]