Maths Jokes Page


These have all been found on the internet somewhere. Apologies to anyone not given credit. Those wishing follow up the sources, go to our fun-links page.

Go to...
[Quick Mathematics Jokes] [There was a ...] [Slightly longer ones] [History Section] [Excuses for not doing Maths] [Theorems, Proofs etc] [Advice Section] [Painful Section (these are pretty bad--be warned!)] [Math and Environment Humor] [Our Choice: The worst internet Maths joke ever!!] [Our choice: The best internet Maths joke ever!!] [Wrong--these jokes have been found to have errors]

Quick Mathematics Jokes

97.3% of all statistics are made up.

There are three kinds of mathematicians: those who can count and those who cannot.

Q. Did you hear the one about the statistician?
A. Probably....

Expand (a+b)^n.

Solution:                  (a+b)^n

                         (a + b) ^ n

                        (a  +  b)  ^  n

                       (a   +   b)   ^   n

Q. "What do you get when you cross an elephant with a banana?
A. Elephant banana sine theta in a direction mutually perpendicular to the two as determined by the right hand rule."

Q. What do you get if you cross an elephant with a mountain climber?
A. You can't do that. A mountain climber is a scalar.

Q. Why did the cat fall off the roof?
A. Because he lost his mu. (mew=sound cats make, mu=coeff of friction)

Q. What do you call a teapot of boiling water on top of mount everest?

Q. Why is it that the more accuracy you demand from an interpolation function, the more expensive it becomes to compute?
A. That's the Law of Spline Demand.

Q: "How many seconds are there in a year?"
A: "Twelve; January second, February second, March second, ..."

Q. What's the contour integral around Western Europe?
A. Zero, because all the Poles are in Eastern Europe!
Addendum: Actually, there ARE some Poles in Western Europe, but they are removable.
Note: this is not a polish joke, so please, no Poles be offended. It is actually a mathematical joke--they are meant to be poles apart--oops, sorry about that.

Ya' hear about the geometer who went to the beach to catch the rays and became a tangent?

A topologist is a man who doesn't know the difference between a coffee cup and a doughnut.

A statistician can have his head in an oven and his feet in ice, and he will say that on the average he feels fine.

Ralph: Dad, will you do my math for me tonight?
Dad: No, son, it wouldn't be right.
Ralph: Well, you could try.

Q: How many mathematicians does it take to replace a lightbulb?
A: Ten: One to do it and eight to watch.

Q: How many numerical analysts does it take to replace a lightbulb?
A: 3.9967: (after six iterations).

Q: How many topologists does it take to change a lightbulb?
A: Just one. But what will you do with the doughnut?

Q: How many analysts does it take to screw in a lightbulb?
A: Three: One to prove existence, one to prove uniqueness and one to derive a nonconstructive algorithm to do it.

Q: How many professors does it take to replace a lightbulb?
A: One: With eight research students, two programmers, three post-docs and a secretary to help him.

Q: How many university lecturers does it take to replace a lightbulb?
A: Four: One to do it and three to co-author the paper.

Q: How many graduate students does it take to replace a lightbulb?
A: Only one: But it takes nine years.

Q: How many maths department administrators does it take to replace a lightbulb?
A: None: What was wrong with the old one then???

[Quick] [There was a ...] [Longer] [History] [Excuses] [Theorems] [Advice] [Painful] [Environmental] [Worst] [Best] [Wrong]

There was {a physicist / an engineer / a computer scientist / a statistician}* and a mathematician...

* Delete as applicable

A mathematician, a physicist and an engineer are given an identical problem: Prove that all odd numbers greater than 2 are prime numbers. They proceed:
Mathematician: 3 is a prime, 5 is a prime, 7 is a prime, 9 is not a prime - counterexample - claim is false.
Physicist: 3 is a prime, 5 is a prime, 7 is a prime, 9 is an experimental error, 11 is a prime, ...
Engineer: 3 is a prime, 5 is a prime, 7 is a prime, 9 is a prime, 11 is a prime, ...
Computer Scientist: 1 is a prime, 1 is a prime, 1 is a prime, 1 is a prime, ...
Yes, they're all primes.

When considering the behaviour of a howitzer:

An assemblage of the most gifted minds in the world were all posed the following question:
"What is 2 + 2 ?"
The engineer whips out his slide rule (so it's old) and shuffles it back and forth, and finally announces "3.99".
The physicist consults his technical references, sets up the problem on his computer, and announces "it lies between 3.98 and 4.02".
The mathematician cogitates for a while, oblivious to the rest of the world, then announces: "I don't know what the answer is, but I can prove an answer exists!".
Philosopher: "But what do you mean by 2 + 2 ?"
Logician: "Please define 2 + 2 more precisely."
Accountant: Closes all the doors and windows, looks around carefully then asks "What do you want the answer to be?"

What is "pi"?

A mathematician, an engineer, and a physicist are out hunting together. They spy a deer in the woods.
The physicist calculates the velocity of the deer and the effect of gravity on the bullet, aims his rifle and fires. Alas, he misses; the bullet passes three feet behind the deer. The deer bolts some yards, but comes to a halt, still within sight of the trio.
"Shame you missed," comments the engineer, "but of course with an ordinary gun, one would expect that." He then levels his special deer-hunting gun, which he rigged together from an ordinary rifle, a sextant, a compass, a barometer, and a bunch of flashing lights which don't do anything but impress onlookers, and fires. Alas, his bullet passes three feet in front of the deer, who by this time wises up and vanishes for good.
"Well," says the physicist, "your contraption didn't get it either." "What do you mean?" pipes up the mathematician. "Between the two of you, that was a perfect shot!"

How they knew it was a deer:
The physicist observed that it behaved in a deer-like manner, so it must be a deer.
The mathematician asked the physicist what it was, thereby reducing it to a previously solved problem.
The engineer was in the woods to hunt deer, therefore it was a deer.

A mathematician, a physicist, and an engineer were travelling through Scotland when they saw a black sheep through the window of the train.
"Aha," says the engineer, "I see that Scottish sheep are black."
"Hmm," says the physicist, "You mean that some Scottish sheep are black."
"No," says the mathematician, "All we know is that there is at least one sheep in Scotland, and that at least one side of that one sheep is black!"

An engineer, a physicist and a mathematician are staying in a hotel while attending a technical seminar.
The engineer wakes up and smells smoke. He goes out into the hallway and sees a fire, so he fills a trashcan from his room with water and douses the fire. He goes back to bed.
Later, the physicist wakes up and smells smoke. He opens his door and sees a fire in the hallway. He walks down the hall to a fire hose and after calculating the flame velocity, distance, water pressure, trajectory, etc. extinguishes the fire with the minimum amount of water and energy needed.
Later, the mathematician wakes up and smells smoke. He goes to the hall, sees the fire and then the fire hose. He thinks for a moment and then exclaims, "Ah, a solution exists!" and then goes back to bed.

[Quick] [There was a ...] [Longer] [History] [Excuses] [Theorems] [Advice] [Painful] [Environmental] [Worst] [Best] [Wrong]

Slightly longer ones

There was an Indian Chief, and he had three squaws, and kept them in three teepees. When he would come home late from hunting, he would not know which teepee contained which squaw, since it was dark. He went hunting one day, and killed a hippopotamus, a bear, and a buffalo. He put the a hide from each animal into a different teepee, so that when he came home late, he could feel inside the teepee and he would know which squaw was inside.
Well after about a year, all three squaws had children. The squaw on the bear had a baby boy, the squaw on the buffalo hide had a baby girl. But the squaw on the hippopotamus had a girl and a boy. So what is the moral of the story?
The squaw on the hippopotamus is equal to the sum of the squaws on the other two hides.

Another variation... how many have you read? Here's another:
A tribe of Native Americans generally referred to their woman by the animal hide with which they made their blanket. Thus, one woman might be known as Squaw of Buffalo Hide, while another might be known as Squaw of Deer Hide. This tribe had a particularly large and strong woman, with a very unique (for North America anyway) animal hide for her blanket. This woman was known as Squaw of Hippopotamus hide, and she was as large and powerful as the animal from which her blanket was made.
Year after year, this woman entered the tribal wrestling tournament, and easily defeated all challengers; male or female. As the men of the tribe admired her strength and power, this made many of the other woman of the tribe extremely jealous. One year, two of the squaws petitioned the Chief to allow them to enter their sons together as a wrestling tandem in order to wrestle Squaw of the Hippopotamus hide as a team. In this way, they hoped to see that she would no longer be champion wrestler of the tribe.
As the luck of the draw would have it, the two sons who were wrestling as a tandem met the squaw in the final and championship round of the wrestling contest. As the match began, it became clear that the squaw had finally met an opponent that was her equal. The two sons wrestled and struggled vigorously and were clearly on an equal footing with the powerful squaw. Their match lasted for hours without a clear victor. Finally the chief intervened and declared that, in the interests of the health and safety of the wrestlers, the match was to be terminated and that he would declare a winner.
The chief retired to his teepee and contemplated the great struggle he had witnessed, and found it extremely difficult to decide a winner. While the two young men had clearly outmatched the squaw, he found it difficult to force the squaw to relinquish her tribal championship. After all, it had taken two young men to finally provide her with a decent match. Finally, after much deliberation, the chief came out from his teepee, and announced his decision. He said...
"The Squaw of the Hippopotamus hide is equal to the sons of the squaws of the other two hides"

And again...
A Cherokee indian chief had three wives, each of whom was pregnant. The first squaw gave birth to a boy, and the chief was so elated he built her a teepee made of buffalo hide. A few days later, the second squaw gave birth, and also had a boy. The chief was extremely happy; he built her a teepee made of antelope hide.
The third squaw gave birth a few days later, but the chief kept the birth details a secret. He built the woman a teepee out of hippopotamus hide, and challenged the people in the tribe to guess the most recent birth details, the correct guesser receiving a fine prize. Several of his people tried, but were unsuccessful in their guesses. Finally, a young brave came forth and declared that the third wife had delivered twin boys. "Correct"!, cried the chief. "How did you know"? "It's simple", replied the warrior. "The value of the squaw of the hippopotamus is equal to the sons of the squaws of the other two hides."

There was once a very smart horse. Anything that was shown it, it mastered easily, until one day, its teachers tried to teach it about rectanguar coordinates and it couldn't understand them. All the horse's aquaintences and friends tried to figure out what was the matter and couldn't. Then a new guy looked at the problem and said,
"Of course he can't do it. Why, you're putting Descartes before the horse!"

In the bayous of Louisiana, there is a small river called the Dirac. Many wealthy people have their mansions near its mouth. One of the social leaders decided to have a grand ball. Being a cousin of the Governor, she arranged for a detachment of the state militia to serve as guards and traffic directors for the big doings. A captain was sent over with a small company; naturally he asked if there was enough room for him and his unit. The social leader replied, "But of course, Captain! It is well known that the Dirac delta function has unit area."

A famous statistician would never travel by airplane, because she had studied air travel and estimated the probability of there being a bomb on any given flight was 1 in a million, and she was not prepared to accept these odds.
One day a colleague met her at a conference far from home. "How did you get here, by train?"
"No, I flew"
"What about the possibility of a bomb?"
"Well, I began thinking that if the odds of one bomb are 1:million, then the odds of TWO bombs are (1/1,000,000) x (1/1,000,000). This is a very, very small probability, which I can accept. So, now I bring my own bomb along!"

A bunch of Polish scientists decided to flee their repressive government by hijacking an airliner and forcing the pilot to fly them to a western country. They drove to the airport, forced their way on board a large passenger jet, and found there was no pilot on board. Terrified, they listened as the sirens got louder. Finally, one of the scientists suggested that since he was an experimentalist, he would try to fly the aircraft.
He sat down at the controls and tried to figure them out. The sirens got louder and louder. Armed men surrounded the jet. The would be pilot's friends cried out, "Please, please take off now!!! Hurry!!!!!!" The experimentalist calmly replied, "Have patience. I'm just a simple pole in a complex plane."

Dean, to the physics department. "Why do I always have to give you guys so much money, for laboratories and expensive equipment and stuff. Why couldn't you be like the maths department - all they need is money for pencils, paper and waste-paper baskets. Or even better, like the philosophy department. All they need are pencils and paper."

Suppose a mathematician parks his car, locks it with his key and walks away. After walking about 50 yards the mathematician realizes that he has dropped his key somewhere along the way. What does he do? If he is an applied mathematician he walks back to the car along the path he has previously traveled looking for his key. If he is a pure mathematician he walks to the other end of the parking lot where there is better light and looks for his key there.

A team of engineers were required to measure the height of a flag pole. They only had a measuring tape, and were getting quite frustrated trying to keep the tape along the pole. It kept falling down, etc.
A mathematician comes along, finds out their problem, and proceeds to remove the pole from the ground and measure it easily.
When he leaves, one engineer says to the other: "Just like a mathematician! We need to know the height, and he gives us the length!"

In some foreign country, a physicist, a mathematician, and an engineer are about to be guillotined. The physicist puts his head on the block, they pull the rope and nothing happens. "Aha," the physicist says, "KE = 1/2 mv**2 ; v=0 so all is well." He declares that he can't be executed twice for the same crime so he is set free. The mathematician is put on the block, and again the rope doesn't release the blade. He exclaims "the events are equally likely, so P(E)=1/2 and all is well." Likewise he cannot be executed twice for the same crime and is set free. They grab the engineer and shove his head into the guillotine, he looks up at the release mechanism and says, "Wait a minute, I see your problem....."

This story should have a happy ending. Here it is...
The executioner turns out to be a Biometrician doing a field experiment using the guillotine. He declares, "Sorry, I can't change the plot settings right now or the experiment will be invalid." He then pulls the rope with the same result and the engineer is also set free.

A somewhat advanced society has figured how to package basic knowledge in pill form.
A student, needing some learning, goes to the pharmacy and asks what kind of knowledge pills are available. The pharmacist says "Here's a pill for English literature." The student takes the pill and swallows it and has new knowledge about English literature!
"What else do you have?" asks the student.
"Well, I have pills for art history, biology, and world history," replies the pharmacist.
The student asks for these, and swallows them and has new knowledge about those subjects.
Then the student asks, "Do you have a pill for math?"
The pharmacist says "Wait just a moment", and goes back into the storeroom and brings back a whopper of a pill and plunks it on the counter.
"I have to take that huge pill for math?" inquires the student.
The pharmacist replied "Well, you know maths always was a little hard to swallow."

One day a farmer called up an engineer, a physicist, and a mathematician and asked them to fence off the largest possible area with the least amount of fence. The engineer made the fence in a circle and proclaimed that he had the most efficient design. The physicist made a long, straight line and proclaimed 'We can assume the length is infinite...' and pointed out that fencing off half of the Earth was certainly a more efficient way to do it. The Mathematician just laughed at them. He built a tiny fence around himself and said 'I declare myself to be on the outside.'

An engineer, a mathematician, and a computer programmer are driving down the road when the car they are in gets a flat tire. The engineer says that they should buy a new car. The mathematician says they should sell the old tire and buy a new one. The computer programmer says they should drive the car around the block and see if the tire fixes itself.

Three men are in a hot-air balloon. Soon, they find themselves lost in a canyon somewhere. One of the three men says, "I've got an idea. We can call for help in this canyon and the echo will carry our voices far."
So he leans over the basket and yells out, "Helllloooooo! Where are we?" (They hear the echo several times).
15 minutes later, they hear this echoing voice: "Helllloooooo! You're lost!!"
One of the men says, "That must have been a mathematician."
Puzzled, one of the other men asks, "Why do you say that?"
The reply: "For three reasons. (1) he took a long time to answer, (2) he was absolutely correct, and (3) his answer was absolutely useless."

IBM version...
A small, 14-seat plane is circling for a landing in Atlanta. It's totally fogged in, zero visibility, and suddenly there's a small electrical fire in the cockpit which disables all of the instruments and the radio. The pilot continues circling, totally lost, when suddenly he finds himself flying next to a tall office building.
He rolls down the window (this particular airplane happens to have roll-down windows) and yells to a person inside the building, "Where are we?"
The person responds "In an airplane!"
The pilot then banks sharply to the right, circles twice, and makes a perfect landing at Atlanta International.
As the passengers emerge, shaken but unhurt, one of them says to the pilot, "I'm certainly glad you were able to land safely, but I don't understand how the response you got was any use."
"Simple," responded the pilot. "I got an answer that was completely accurate and totally irrelevant to my problem, so I knew it had to be the IBM building."

The Royal Chain Mail Factory had received a large order for battle uniforms. Each uniform consisted of a toga and a pair of short pants. Their only problem was how long to make the pants: too short and a soldier could be exposed; too long and a uniform would be excessively heavy. So they called in a mathematician. He had a uniform made and tested. The hem on the pants proved to be too short, so he increased it a little bit, then a little more, and then a little bit more, and so on until finally he was able to derive an exact trousers-length depending on the leg-length of the soldier. The chief tailor was curious. "How did you determine this ratio?" he asked? "Easy," said the mathematician. "I just used the Wire-trousers Hem Test of Uniform Convergence."
Note: This is a pun on the "Weierstrauss M-test of uniform convergence," where M[k] is a convergent series of positive real numbers.

Two male mathematicians are in a restaurant.
The first one says to the second that the average person knows very little about basic mathematics.
The second one disagrees, and claims that most people can cope with a reasonable amount of math.
The first mathematician goes off to the washroom, and in his absence the second calls over the waitress.
He tells her that in a few minutes, after his friend has returned, he will call her over and ask her a question. All she has to do is answer one third x cubed.
She repeats `one thir -- dex cue'? He repeats `one third x cubed'.
Her: `one thir dex cuebd'? Yes, that's right, he says. So she agrees, and goes off mumbling to herself, `one thir dex cuebd...'.
The first guy returns and the second proposes a bet to prove his point, that most people do know something about basic math.
He says he will ask the blonde waitress an integral, and the first laughingly agrees.
The second man calls over the waitress and asks `what is the integral of x squared?'.
The waitress says `one third x cubed' and while walking away, turns back and says over her shoulder `plus a constant'!

See Wrong section for a "Wrong" version of the previous joke.

[Quick] [There was a ...] [Longer] [History] [Excuses] [Theorems] [Advice] [Painful] [Environmental] [Worst] [Best] [Wrong]

Top Ten excuses for not doing Maths homework

  1. I accidentally divided by zero and my paper burst into flames.
  2. Isaac Newton's birthday.
  3. I could only get arbitrarily close to my textbook. I couldn't actually reach it.
  4. I have the proof, but there isn't room to write it in this margin.
  5. I was watching the World Series and got tied up trying to prove that it converged.
  6. I have a solar powered calculator and it was cloudy.
  7. I locked the paper in my trunk but a four-dimensional dog got in and ate it.
  8. I couldn't figure out whether i am the square of negative one or i is the square root of negative one.
  9. I took time out to snack a doughnut and a cup of coffee. I spent the rest of the night trying to figure which one to dunk.
  10. I could have sworn I put the homework inside a Klein bottle, but this morning I couldn't find it.

[Quick] [There was a ...] [Longer] [History] [Excuses] [Theorems] [Advice] [Painful] [Environmental] [Worst] [Best] [Wrong]

History Section


In the interest of historical accuracy let it be known that ...

  1. Fibonacci's daughter was not named "Bunny."
  2. Michael Rolle was not Danish, and did not call his daughter "Tootsie."
  3. William Horner was not called "Little-Jack" by his friends.
  4. The "G" in G. Peano does not stand for "grand."
  5. Rene Descartes' middle name is not "push."
  6. Isaac Barrow's middle name is not "wheel."
  7. There is no such place as the University of Wis-cosine, and if there was, the motto of their mathematics department would not be "Secant ye shall find."
  8. Although Euler is pronounced oil-er, it does not follow that Euclid is pronounced oi-clid.
  9. Franklin D. Roosevelt never said "The only thing we have to sphere is sphere itself."
  10. Fibonacci is not a shortened form of the Italian name that is actually spelled: F i bb ooo nnnnn aaaaaaaa ccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccc iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii.
  11. It is true that August Mobius was a difficult and opinionated man. But he was not so rigid that he could only see one side to every question.
  12. It is true that Johannes Kepler had an uphill struggle in explaining his theory of elliptical orbits to the other astronomers of his time. And it is also true that his first attempt was a failure. But it is not true that after his lecture the first three questions he was asked were "What is elliptical?" What is an orbit?" and "What is a planet?"
  13. It is true that primitive societies use only rough approximations for the known constants of mathematics.
    For example, the northern tribes of Alaska consider the ratio of the circumference to the diameter of a circle to be 3. But it is not true that the value of 3 is called Eskimo pi. Incidentally, the survival of these tribes is dependent upon government assistance, which is not always forthcoming. For example, the Canadian firm of Tait and Sons sold a stock of defective compasses to the government at half-price, and the government passed them onto the northern natives. Hence the saying among these peoples: "He who has a Tait's is lost."

[Quick] [There was a ...] [Longer] [History] [Excuses] [Theorems] [Advice] [Painful] [Environmental] [Worst] [Best] [Wrong]

Proof techniques / Theorems

Theorem: a cat has nine tails.
Proof: No cat has eight tails. A cat has one tail more than no cat. Therefore, a cat has nine tails.

Theorem: The limit as n goes to infinity of sin x/n is 6.
Proof: cancel the n in the numerator and denominator.

Proof by induction (used on equations with n in them. Induction techniques are very popular, even the Army uses them.)

Example: Proof of induction without proof of induction. We know it's true for n equal to 1. Now assume that it's true for every natural number less than n. N is arbitrary, so we can take n as large as we want.
If n is sufficiently large, the case of n+1 is trivially equivalent, so the only important n are n less than n.
We can take n=n (from above), so it's true for n+1 because it's just about n.

QED (QED translated from the Latin as "So what?")

Lemma 1. All horses are the same colour.
(Proof by induction)
Proof. It is obvious that one horse is the same colour. Let us assume the proposition P(k) that k horses are the same colour and use this to imply that k+1 horses are the same colour. Given the set of k+1 horses, we remove one horse; then the remaining k horses are the same colour, by hypothesis. We remove another horse and replace the first; the k horses, by hypothesis, are again the same colour. We repeat this until by exhaustion the k+1 sets of k horses have been shown to be the same colour. It follows that since every horse is the same colour as every other horse, P(k) entails P(k+1). But since we have shown P(1) to be true, P is true for all succeeding values of k, that is, all horses are the same colour.

Theorem 1. Every horse has an infinite number of legs.
(Proof by intimidation.)
Proof. Horses have an even number of legs. Behind they have two legs and in front they have fore legs. This makes six legs, which is certainly an odd number of legs for a horse. But the only number that is both odd and even is infinity. Therefore horses have an infinite number of legs. Now to show that this is general, suppose that somewhere there is a horse with a finite number of legs. But that is a horse of another colour, and by the lemma that does not exist.

Corollary 1. Everything is the same colour.
Proof. The proof of lemma 1 does not depend at all on the nature of the object under consideration. The predicate of the antecedent of the universally-quantified conditional 'For all x, if x is a horse, then x is the same colour,' namely 'is a horse' may be generalized to 'is anything' without affecting the validity of the proof; hence, 'for all x, if x is anything, x is the same colour.'

Corollary 2. Everything is white.
Proof. If a sentential formula in x is logically true, then any particular substitution instance of it is a true sentence. In particular then: 'for all x, if x is an elephant, then x is the same colour' is true. Now it is manifestly axiomatic that white elephants exist (for proof by blatant assertion consult Mark Twain 'The Stolen White Elephant'). Therefore all elephants are white. By corollary 1 everything is white.

Theorem 2. Alexander the Great did not exist and he had an infinite number of limbs.
Proof. We prove this theorem in two parts. First we note the obvious fact that historians always tell the truth (for historians always take a stand, and therefore they cannot lie). Hence we have the historically true sentence, 'If Alexander the Great existed, then he rode a black horse Bucephalus.' But we know by corollary 2 everything is white; hence Alexander could not have ridden a black horse. Since the consequent of the conditional is false, in order for the whole statement to be true the antecedent must be false. Hence Alexander the Great did not exist.
We have also the historically true statement that Alexander was warned by an oracle that he would meet death if he crossed a certain river. He had two legs; and 'forewarned is four-armed.' This gives him six limbs, an even number, which is certainly an odd number of limbs for a man. Now the only number which is even and odd is infinity; hence Alexander had an infinite number of limbs. We have thus proved that Alexander the Great did not exist and that he had an infinite number of limbs.

Topics is be covered in future issues include:

Here's some more...

[Quick] [There was a ...] [Longer] [History] [Excuses] [Theorems] [Advice] [Painful] [Environmental] [Worst] [Best] [Wrong]

Advice Section

Every new scientist must learn early that it is never good taste to
designate the sum of two quantities in the form:

                1 + 1 = 2                                               (1)

Anyone who has made a study of advanced mathematics is aware that:
        1 = ln e
        1 = sin^2 x + cos^2 x

        2 = sum     1/2^n

Therefore eq. (1) can be expressed more scientifically as:

ln e + sin^2 x + cos^2 x =   sum     1/2^n                              (2)

This may be further simplified by use of the relations:

        1 = cosh y sqrt(1 - tanh^2 y)
        e = lim     (1+1/z)^z
            z-> inf

Equation (2) may therefore be rewritten as:

                                           inf  cosh y sqrt(1 - tanh^2 y)
ln[ lim (1+1/z)^z ] + sin^2 x + cos^2 x =  SUM  ____________________________
    z-> inf                                n=0             2^n


At this point it should be obvious that eq. (3) is much clearer and more
easily understood than eq. (1). Other methods of a similar nature could be
used to clarify eq. (1), but these are easily divined once the reader
grasps the underlying principles.

[Quick] [There was a ...] [Longer] [History] [Excuses] [Theorems] [Advice] [Painful] [Environmental] [Worst] [Best] [Wrong]

Painful Section (read at own risk!--you have been warned!)

Q: Why do truncated McLaurin Series fit the original function so well?
A: Because they are "tailor" made.

Q: Why is it valid for people dining at a Chinese restaurant to ask for the leftovers to be taken home?
A: This is valid by the "Chinese Remainder Theorem."

Q: What is a monad?
A: A person who moves around a lot in the desert.

Professor: This term I offer topology.
Student: No problem. Topology accepted.

Rather than Laplace transform, would it not have been better to transform Laplace?

When the American Indian Chief Cochise was ill, most members of the tribe were amazed at how many other chiefs came to visit him, some from over a thousand miles away. But one Indian brave stated that he expected such attention. When asked why, he replied that he knew everyone would converge there because of Cochise condition.

Q: If a quotation by Reagan is a Reaganism, and a quotation by Clinton is a Clintonism, what would you call a quotation by Al Gore?
A: An Algorism.

There is also an Unsolicited Review part for this section with such choice comments as:
Karen Fung: "The one about the Chinese Remainder Theorem was bad. The rest were not quite as good as that one."
Wayne Horn: "I find these jokes a travesty to humor."
To read the rest and some real gems, go the the actual page itself--see FunLinks; Humour; University of Windsor--mathpun.html.

[Quick] [There was a ...] [Longer] [History] [Excuses] [Theorems] [Advice] [Painful] [Environmental] [Worst] [Best] [Wrong]

Math and Environment Humor

[source unknown]

1960's Arithmetic test:
"A logger cuts and sells a truck load of lumber for $100. His cost of production is four-fiths of that amount.
What is his profit?"

70's New Math test:
"A logger exchanges a set (L) of lumber for a set (M) of money. The cardinality of set M is 100. The set C of production costs contains 20 fewer points.
What is the cardinality of set P of profits?"

80's education reform version:
"A logger cuts and sells a truckload of lumber for $100. His cost is $80, and his profit is $20.
Find and circle the number 20."

90's version:
"An unenlightened logger cuts down a beautiful stand of 100 old growth trees in order to make a $20 profit.
Write an essay explaining how you feel about this as a way of making money.
Topic for discussion: How did the forest birds and squirrels feel?"

[Quick] [There was a ...] [Longer] [History] [Excuses] [Theorems] [Advice] [Painful] [Environmental] [Worst] [Best] [Wrong]

Our Choice: Worst Internet Maths Joke

Q: Why did the calculus student have so much trouble making Kool- Aid?
A: Because he couldn't figure out how to get a quart of water into the little package.
(pathetic, isn't it?)

Our Choice: Best Internet Maths Joke

Q: Why did the mathematician name his dog "Cauchy"?
A: Because he left a residue at every pole.

[Quick] [There was a ...] [Longer] [History] [Excuses] [Theorems] [Advice] [Painful] [Environmental] [Worst] [Best] [Wrong]

These jokes were found as is with errors

The URL is given for each if anyone wants to look at them where they are.

Paraphrased from joke told by Prof. Ed Landesman, University of California at Santa Cruz:
Two math professors, Dr. Smith and Dr. Jones, are dining together in a restaurant. Dr. Smith is disillusioned about math teaching, and he says that he doesn't think people bother to learn what they teach, and that they shouldn't bother teaching math in the first place. Dr, Jones is trying to convince him otherwise, that people do listen in math class. They decide to settle their argument by asking their waiter a calculus question, and see if he gets the right answer. When Dr. Smith gets up to use the restroom, Jones calls the waiter over. Handing him a $20 bill, he says "When my colleague returns, I am going to ask you what the integral of ln x is, and you are to respond 1/x dx." The waiter agrees and walks off. When Smith gets back, they call the waiter over, and Jones asks him the question, which he answers correctly, much to Smith's surprise. As they walk out the door, Smith apologizing to Jones, the waiter calls out after them, "Plus a constant!"
URL: http: //

[Quick] [There was a ...] [Longer] [History] [Excuses] [Theorems] [Advice] [Painful] [Environmental] [Worst] [Best] [Wrong]


Maths Courses Research Links SIS Home Seminars CSU Home


Last Revised: 25 Apr 2001.