# Mathematics Humor

## Math Jokes.

• When the Indian chief Cochise was very sick, chiefs from other tribes from all over the country converged on his village to pay their respects. Most of the braves of Cochise's tribe were amazed to see so much attention paid to their leader. One brave, however, commented that he was not surprised. When asked why, he said that he expected other Indian chiefs to converge there because of Cochise condition.
• Professor: Name another kind of measure besides Lebegue measure.
Student: If there is Lebesgue measure, there must be Le Small measure!!
• Prof: This term I offer topology.
Student: Great. Topology accepted.
• Q: Why can fish from the United States enter Canadian waters without a passport?
A: This is permitted by the Law of Aquatic reciprocity!
• Q: Why do people often take home the extra food after eating at a Chinese restaurant?
A: This is done because of the Chinese Remainder theorem!!
• Q: Why are topologists espcially prone to malaria.
A: This disease comes from the Tietze fly!!
• Q: How do we know that mathematics is a violent subject?
A: We often hear about mean values, cross products, and warring fractions.
• Q: If a statement by Clinton is a Clintonism, and a statement by Reagan is a Reaganism, What would you call a statement by Al Gore?
A: An algorism. (created by Markian Hlynka, before everyone else thought of it or borrowed it)
• Name a former Texas based football team named after a mathematician.
The Houston Eulers.
• Q: How do we know that Riemann was short?
A: He often went around with stilts (Stieltjes).
• Q: Was Newton sick very often?
A: Yes, so often that he called himself "I sick" Newton.
(Time to go to L'hopital!)
• Q: Name a famous movie starring Tyrone Power as a swashbucking hero in the early days of Spanish California. This was later made into a Walt Disney TV series starring Guy Williams.
A: The Sign of Zero. (Ouch! Well, I said this was MATH humor.)
• Q: Why do truncated McLaurin Series fit the original function so well?
A: Because they are "Taylor" made.
• Q: State the Jordan Curve Theorem.
A: Michael Jordan shoots from three point range! Swish!!!

• Q: Name a French mathematician who developed the polynomials L_{m}(x) to solve a particular type of differential equation.
A: C'est Laguerre.

• Rather than Laplace transform, would it not have been better to transform Laplace? (Does this remind you of a joke about the Pilgrams landing on Plymouth Rock?)
• Name an American highway (also a hit song and TV show) that is connected to the length of the vector (7,4,1).

Answer: Don't make me give it away yet!

OK. It's Root 66. (Thanks to Tim Traynor.)
• A group of friends wanted to go to a party that was a few miles away. They tried carpooling, but the car wasn't big enough, so one person drove back and forth, shuttling people to the party. When they all got there, they realized there wasn't anyone they knew there to talk with, so they repeated the process to get home. In short, they commuted but didn't associate. (Thanks to Andrew Ross.)
• Fisher supposes kurtosis he knowses
But Bayes, he supposes more rigorously.
(based on "Moses Supposes" from the movie Singin' In The Rain) (Thanks to Andrew Ross.)

• George Gamow was an American popular science writer born in Odesa, Ukraine. The following is slightly edited from the original which appears in his autobiography "My World Line," 1970, Viking Press.

The following pages of his book, pp. 19, 20, should be part of every calculus course which includes Taylor's series.

===== QUOTE:
Here is a story from one of my friends who in 1919 was a young professor of physics in Odesa. His name was Igor Tamm (Nobel Laureate in Physics, 1958).

Sometime in 1919, after arriving in a nearby village, while Odesa was occupied by the Reds, Tamm was negotiating with a villager as to how many chickens he could get for a dozen silver spoons. He was captured by one of the Makhno bands who were roaming the country, harassing the Reds. Seeing his city clothes, his captors took him to the ataman, a bearded fellow in a tall black fur hat, with machine gun cartridge ribbons crossed on his chest, and a couple of hand grenades hanging on his belt. "You miserable communist agitator, undermining our Mother Ukraine! The punishment is death!" "No, no," answered Tamm. "I am only a professor from the University of Odesa and have come to buy some food." "Rubbish," said the ataman. "What kind of professor are you?" "I teach mathematics," responded Tamm meekly. "Mathematics," sneered the ataman. "Then you should be able to give me a bound on the error one makes by truncating McLaurin's series at the n-th term. If you cannot answer, you will be shot." Tamm gasped to hear this question in higher mathematics come out of the mouth of the ruffian leader. With shaking hand, under the muzzle of a gun, Tamm was able to present an answer to the ataman. "Correct," bellowed the ataman. "You may go free." Who was this ataman? No one will ever know. If he was not killed in the battles of the time, he might have gone on to be a professor of mathematics in some Ukrainian university.
=====ENDQUOTE For anyone who has taught mathematics and has had to answer that plaguing question "What use is this stuff?" one answer could be that it could save your life (if you are ever captured by a member of the Makhno bands).

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Tim Trayner: "Now I am sorry that I suggested that you prepare puns for Neil Wigley's retirement dinner."
Kirk Roy: "Those "jokes" were really bad."
Wayne Horn: "I find these jokes a travesty to humor."
Dan Britten: "It's all lies. Lie Groups, Lie Algebras, and Statistics."
Sudhir Paul: "How about some statistics jokes? I want equal time."
Karen Fung: "The one about the Chinese Remainder Theorem was bad. The rest were at a lower level."
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Adam Byrne, Computer Engineer, University of New Brunswick: Heh, your page is so corny, you make engineers look cool.
For some queueing theory humor, visit
Myron Hlynka's Queueing Humor page.
For a nice collection of links to math humor, take a look at Andrej and Elena Cherkaev's webpage
http://www.math.utah.edu/~cherk/mathjokes.html

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