Favorite math jokes

For the discussion of math. Duh.

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Wildcard
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Re: Favorite math jokes

Postby Wildcard » Mon May 25, 2015 7:44 am UTC

brenok wrote:
krogoth wrote:
Spoiler:
I used to have a teacher in primary school that gave NP's for good work (nearly perfect) because nothing was ever perfect.
Is there a joke here?
I believe the joke would be that the teacher put "NP" when the student got all the correct answers, whereas in such a circumstance a typical teacher would likely write "Perfect!" But since nothing is every completely perfect, even getting all the right answers was only given a Nearly Perfect.

Here's another one, more of a riddle than a joke but it fits in this thread:
Johnny went to the board and calculated 200 squared minus 897 and then multiplied the answer by 136, but the teacher sent him to the principal's office because he used a calculator. Why?

Hint:
Spoiler:
It was an old fashioned calculator.


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Re: Favorite math jokes

Postby Eebster the Great » Mon May 25, 2015 6:34 pm UTC

That's the type of thing we used to do in fifth grade.

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Re: Favorite math jokes

Postby Tirian » Mon May 25, 2015 7:27 pm UTC

Calculator jokes used to be all the rage. I swear I recall a national news anchor (maybe John Chancellor) telling this joke or some variant on the actual news.

If 142 Israelis and 154 Arabs are fighting over 69 acres of land for 5 days, who won?

Spoiler:
14215469 x 5

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Re: Favorite math jokes

Postby jaap » Mon May 25, 2015 9:25 pm UTC

Wildcard wrote:
brenok wrote:
krogoth wrote:
Spoiler:
I used to have a teacher in primary school that gave NP's for good work (nearly perfect) because nothing was ever perfect.
Is there a joke here?
I believe the joke would be that the teacher put "NP" when the student got all the correct answers, whereas in such a circumstance a typical teacher would likely write "Perfect!" But since nothing is every completely perfect, even getting all the right answers was only given a Nearly Perfect.

I thought is was alluding to P=NP.

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Re: Favorite math jokes

Postby Grop » Mon May 25, 2015 9:47 pm UTC

In primary school we had some silly calculation I don't remember, the only point of which was to result in 713705, some magical number that looked like soleil (French for sun) when you looked at the calculator while upside down.

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Re: Favorite math jokes

Postby krogoth » Tue May 26, 2015 6:03 am UTC

jaap wrote:
Wildcard wrote:
brenok wrote:
krogoth wrote:
Spoiler:
I used to have a teacher in primary school that gave NP's for good work (nearly perfect) because nothing was ever perfect.
Is there a joke here?
I believe the joke would be that the teacher put "NP" when the student got all the correct answers, whereas in such a circumstance a typical teacher would likely write "Perfect!" But since nothing is ever completely perfect, even getting all the right answers was only given a Nearly Perfect.

I thought is was alluding to P=NP.


It was just a statement about strange teaching methods, as Wildcard explained, not really a joke unless on us, it could have been a P=NP prank that was well above our heads for the age. It was just inline with some other things I read in the thread and not meant as a joke in it's own right.
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Re: Favorite math jokes

Postby quintopia » Fri Jun 26, 2015 12:41 am UTC

Moole wrote:How does a topologist dry their clothes?

Spoiler:
With a closed line!


How does a topologist hang his pants to dry without any clothespins?

Spoiler:
He runs the line through one leg of each pair before hanging it up, then inverts each pair so that the line runs down both legs.


A mathematician named Klein
Thought the Möbius band was divine
Said he, "If you glue
The edges of two,
You get a weird bottle like mine!"

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Re: Favorite math jokes

Postby Monika » Fri Jun 26, 2015 9:06 am UTC

Cool! :D
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Re: Favorite math jokes

Postby Yakk » Fri Jun 26, 2015 2:19 pm UTC

quintopia wrote:
Moole wrote:How does a topologist dry their clothes?

Spoiler:
With a closed line!


How does a topologist hang his pants to dry without any clothespins?

Spoiler:
He runs the line through one leg of each pair before hanging it up, then inverts each pair so that the line runs down both legs.


A mathematician named Klein
Thought the Möbius band was divine
Said he, "If you glue
The edges of two,
You get a weird bottle like mine!"

Code: Select all

 a---->    ____  <----b
          /    \
         /      \
.................\.......
       |          |
        \        /
         \      /
  x---->  \____/  <----y
          /    \
         /      \
        |        |
         \      /
          \____/

slide x part of bottom loop up to a along top loop, and y part of bottom loop up to b.

More blatant, but same trick as that video.

A pair of pants has 3 holes "into the interior" in a sense -- leg 1, leg 2, and torso. A rope going through a leg also goes through the torso. The above technique "redefines" the torso hole as a leg hole.

The rotation in question would have the person's torso sticking out one of the leg holes, the other leg hole having a leg in it, and the torso hole having the other leg in it. A toddler would approve.
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Re: Favorite math jokes

Postby mathmannix » Fri Jun 26, 2015 8:34 pm UTC

Two problems:
A) my clothesline is a complete loop, and is already attached to poles. (I've also seen ones that are several parallel lines supported by the poles.) Not --- what, a rope that you have to tie up every time you use it? I'm not sure how that would be practical... anyway, no way to put the line through something.
B) wouldn't it be easier, assuming you had some sort of unattached clothesline, just to run the line up one leg and down the other? I mean, that's topologically the same as putting it in one leg and out the waist-hole (or vice-versa), so you're already doing that anyway. Why bother redefining (or inverting)? How does that help?
(Sorry if I'm overanalyzing this, but that's what I do I guess.)
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Re: Favorite math jokes

Postby quintopia » Fri Jun 26, 2015 9:48 pm UTC

A) I have one that is rehung with each use. It spools up onto a spring-loaded reel inside a metal case, so it can get out of the way when needed.
B) Yep. Pretty much just overanalyzing A COOL TOPOLOGICAL TRICK.

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Re: Favorite math jokes

Postby Derek » Wed Jul 01, 2015 2:39 am UTC

The better question is who the fuck still uses a clothesline anyways?

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Re: Favorite math jokes

Postby jestingrabbit » Wed Jul 01, 2015 8:55 am UTC

People who don't want to run a 2000W appliance just to do somthing that a day of time will do, free of charge?
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Re: Favorite math jokes

Postby Flumble » Wed Jul 01, 2015 9:26 am UTC

A mathematician is in the Klein Hotel. End of joke.

jestingrabbit wrote:People who don't want to run a 2000W appliance just to do somthing that a day of time will do, free of charge?

You assume clothes are to be washed in this throw-away society?

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Re: Favorite math jokes

Postby Whizbang » Wed Jul 01, 2015 3:09 pm UTC

Flumble wrote:A mathematician is in the Klein Hotel. End of joke.

jestingrabbit wrote:People who don't want to run a 2000W appliance just to do somthing that a day of time will do, free of charge?

You assume clothes are to be washed in this throw-away society?



Yeah, usually by the time I am done with them, they must be burned and buried, if not sealed in metal drums and stored in a secure facility indefinitely.

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Re: Favorite math jokes

Postby jestingrabbit » Thu Jul 02, 2015 4:27 am UTC

And just so we all know: my guess was way out. 4000W seems much closer to the average. And to put that in perspective, average household electricity usage here in oz is 20kWh a day.
ameretrifle wrote:Magic space feudalism is therefore a viable idea.

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Re: Favorite math jokes

Postby Monika » Thu Jul 02, 2015 8:07 am UTC

BTW an info for people in countries that require heating in the winter: using a dryer uses less energy than drying the clothes on clothes lines in the heated apartment.
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Re: Favorite math jokes

Postby Grop » Thu Jul 02, 2015 9:26 am UTC

Obviously people living in such countries should keep their clothesline outside :o. And be super patient.

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Re: Favorite math jokes

Postby Quizatzhaderac » Thu Jul 02, 2015 1:57 pm UTC

Also, if you don't have a winter that requires heating, you probably have a rainy season. Which goes back to being really patient. Also, maybe throwaway culture, since I don't imagine keeping clothes damp for months is good for them.
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Re: Favorite math jokes

Postby Eebster the Great » Thu Jul 02, 2015 4:54 pm UTC

Or you could just dry clean your clothes every time, since those solvents will evaporate quickly regardless.

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Re: Favorite math jokes

Postby quintopia » Tue Jul 07, 2015 5:14 am UTC

Saw this on twitter and needed to echo it here:

The fourth derivative of position is called "inauguration".
Spoiler:
It's the change of jerk.

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Re: Favorite math jokes

Postby Wildcard » Tue Jul 07, 2015 5:55 am UTC

quintopia wrote:Saw this on twitter and needed to echo it here:

The fourth derivative of position is called "inauguration".
Spoiler:
It's the change of jerk.

Been done, but it's a good one. :)

And, because they've been buried years ago, here are my three favorite jokes on this entire thread. Interestingly, all of them are not just jokes, but the conversations about the jokes that are so funny.

This, this, and this plus the two following posts.

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Re: Favorite math jokes

Postby quintopia » Tue Jul 07, 2015 6:03 am UTC

I read through the entire thread just a week or two ago and already forgot it was here. I'm starting to like the idea of a single post in which every joke appears without all the attendant discussion.

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Re: Favorite math jokes

Postby Monika » Tue Jul 07, 2015 4:16 pm UTC

Wildcard wrote:*Waves to Monika*

*Fourier waves back*
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Re: Favorite math jokes

Postby quintopia » Fri Jul 31, 2015 2:12 pm UTC

Pretty sure I never saw this one here...

Theorem: 5!/2 is even.

Proof: 5!/2 is the order of the group A5. It is known that A5 is a non-abelian simple group. Therefore A5 is not solvable. But the Feit-Thompson Theorem asserts that every finite group with odd cardinal is solvable, so 5!/2 must be an even number.

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Re: Favorite math jokes

Postby Monika » Fri Jul 31, 2015 3:24 pm UTC

Neat.

What is A5 though? The group ( {0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5}, +) or something else?
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Re: Favorite math jokes

Postby Xanthir » Fri Jul 31, 2015 3:26 pm UTC

(defun fibs (n &optional (a 1) (b 1)) (take n (unfold '+ a b)))

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Re: Favorite math jokes

Postby mosgi » Fri Jul 31, 2015 8:40 pm UTC

quintopia wrote:Pretty sure I never saw this one here...

Theorem: 5!/2 is even.

Proof: 5!/2 is the order of the group A5. It is known that A5 is a non-abelian simple group. Therefore A5 is not solvable. But the Feit-Thompson Theorem asserts that every finite group with odd cardinal is solvable, so 5!/2 must be an even number.


Ooh, I like that one!

That said, both of the proofs I know of the fact that A5 is simple (those being the counting-conjugacy-classes one and the character theory one) use the fact that |A5| = 60, so it's a little circular. Although, it might not be entirely circular, as neither relies on the fact that 60 is divisble by 2.

In the same vein, our Complex Analysis lecturer said that it's possible to prove that there are infinitely many primes as follows: Use the Euler product formula for the Riemann zeta function to show that, if there were finitely many primes, then zeta(1) would have to be finite. Then you can prove that zeta(1)=infinity, without assuming that there are infinitely many primes. (though that's hard, and the usual easy proof uses the fact that there are infinitely many primes)
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Re: Favorite math jokes

Postby Derek » Fri Jul 31, 2015 10:45 pm UTC

quintopia wrote:Pretty sure I never saw this one here...

Theorem: 5!/2 is even.

Proof: 5!/2 is the order of the group A5. It is known that A5 is a non-abelian simple group. Therefore A5 is not solvable. But the Feit-Thompson Theorem asserts that every finite group with odd cardinal is solvable, so 5!/2 must be an even number.

Is the joke here that the proof is far more complicated than necessary, or am I missing a pun?

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Re: Favorite math jokes

Postby Eebster the Great » Sat Aug 01, 2015 1:19 am UTC

Yeah the joke is that 5!/2 = 60 is trivially easy to calculate, so of course it's even.

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Re: Favorite math jokes

Postby brenok » Sat Aug 01, 2015 5:33 am UTC

Eebster the Great wrote:Yeah the joke is that 5!/2 = 60 is trivially easy to calculate, so of course it's even.

Or, more generally, that every factorial above 4 is even if divided by 2, since it has a factor of 4.

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Re: Favorite math jokes

Postby PM 2Ring » Sat Aug 01, 2015 7:57 am UTC

mosgi wrote:Then you can prove that zeta(1)=infinity, without assuming that there are infinitely many primes. (though that's hard, and the usual easy proof uses the fact that there are infinitely many primes)

Huh? The usual easy proof of the divergence of zeta(1) is Nicole Oresme's proof using comparison of the sum form of zeta(1) with a series of binary powers:

zeta(1) = 1 + 1/2 + (1/3 + 1/4) + (1/5 + 1/6 + 1/7 + 1/8) + ...
> 1 + 1/2 + (1/4 + 1/4) + (1/8 + 1/8 + 1/8+ 1/8) + ...
= 1 + 1/2 + 1/2 + 1/2 + ...

which doesn't use primes.

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Re: Favorite math jokes

Postby mosgi » Sat Aug 01, 2015 2:19 pm UTC

PM 2Ring wrote:
mosgi wrote:Then you can prove that zeta(1)=infinity, without assuming that there are infinitely many primes. (though that's hard, and the usual easy proof uses the fact that there are infinitely many primes)

Huh? The usual easy proof of the divergence of zeta(1) is Nicole Oresme's proof using comparison of the sum form of zeta(1) with a series of binary powers:

zeta(1) = 1 + 1/2 + (1/3 + 1/4) + (1/5 + 1/6 + 1/7 + 1/8) + ...
> 1 + 1/2 + (1/4 + 1/4) + (1/8 + 1/8 + 1/8+ 1/8) + ...
= 1 + 1/2 + 1/2 + 1/2 + ...

which doesn't use primes.

You're right; I realised just as I was going to bed that zeta(1) is basically the harmonic series, and you can do it that way. Ah well.
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Re: Favorite math jokes

Postby quintopia » Mon Jan 11, 2016 9:48 pm UTC

What has a binary operation, an identity element, the inverse property, but only has associativity during the full moon?

Spoiler:
A Moufang loup garou.

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Re: Favorite math jokes

Postby Monika » Mon Jan 11, 2016 10:24 pm UTC

I don't get it.
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Re: Favorite math jokes

Postby jestingrabbit » Mon Jan 11, 2016 10:59 pm UTC

ameretrifle wrote:Magic space feudalism is therefore a viable idea.

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Re: Favorite math jokes

Postby Monika » Tue Jan 12, 2016 9:24 pm UTC

Aaah :D . I love it!
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Re: Favorite math jokes

Postby Quizatzhaderac » Mon Jan 25, 2016 8:31 pm UTC

Cold? Come hang out in the corner, it's 90 degrees!
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Re: Favorite math jokes

Postby Eebster the Great » Mon Jan 25, 2016 8:42 pm UTC

I prefer the wall. Twice as much pi.

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Re: Favorite math jokes

Postby Quizatzhaderac » Wed Mar 09, 2016 8:20 pm UTC

So, I got a 50 as a final grade for my differential equations course. Obviously I'm not going to get full credit for the course.

But they were nice enough to give me credit for partial differential equations.
The thing about recursion problems is that they tend to contain other recursion problems.


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