Favorite math jokes

For the discussion of math. Duh.

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DarkIye
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Re:

Postby DarkIye » Tue Oct 09, 2007 9:54 pm UTC

ifoundthetao wrote:What did the mathematician say after Thanksgiving dinner?


sqrt(-1/64)

Awesome.

My favourite maths jokes are those ones with naive answers to test questions. In particular, I rather like:

Code: Select all

1. Expand (x+3)^2.

( x + 3 ) ^ 2
(  x  +  3  )  ^  2
(   x   +   3   )   ^   2
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Re: Favorite math jokes

Postby pkuky » Tue Oct 09, 2007 11:25 pm UTC

there's also sinx/n=six, and find x:
2x+7=17
^
there it is
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Re: Favorite math jokes

Postby Pesto » Fri Oct 26, 2007 5:59 pm UTC

Q. What did the zero say to the eight?

A. Nice belt.

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Re: Favorite math jokes

Postby Cheese » Fri Oct 26, 2007 10:28 pm UTC

What did the eight reply to the zero?

Nice sash!

(This one only works with zeroes with a slash through the middle, sorry).
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Re: Favorite math jokes

Postby baf » Sat Oct 27, 2007 5:10 am UTC

My favorite one that hasn't been done here yet:

lim(sqrt(3)) = 2
3->4


--

An alternate phrasing of the mathematician in the "prove that all numbers are prime" joke that you might find more satisfactory:
3 is prime, 5 is prime, 7 is prime... well, the pattern is clear, there's obviously a proof by induction, but the details are left as an exercise for the reader.

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Re: Favorite math jokes

Postby mudge » Sun Oct 28, 2007 9:11 am UTC

a friend of mine inflicted this on me (I think she claimed she came up with it, but I could be wrong)

An analyst goes into a bar and says to the bartender, "Give me 10 shots of the strongest liquor you've got behind the bar"

The bartender looks the analyst up and down and says, "Hey fella, you're rail thin. I'm not even sure you could handle half a shot of coca-cola. You sure you want 10 shots?"

and the analyst says, "Don't worry, I know my limits."

---

As far as one I actually like:

Two mathematicians are arguing about the average person's mathematical knowledge. The first one says, "People today are absolute idiots. I've tried teaching these morons the simplest things, and they refuse to learn!"

The second one says, "Now, hang on, I don't think you give people enough credit. Sure, there's a lot of distractions in the world, but I think a lot of people are motivated to learn, they just need good teachers"

The first one scoffs and says, "You, sir, are a dreamer and a moron."

They continue for a little while, and the first mathematician excuses himself to the bathroom. In his absence the second mathematician calls over the waitress and says, "Hey, I wanna play a little joke on my friend. When he comes back out, come over and fill up our coffee again. I'm gunna ask you a question, and I just want you to say 'One-third x cubed.' You think you can do that?" The waitress nods and goes back to the kitchen.

The first mathematician comes back to the table, and the second says to him, "You know what? Let's see if our waitress can answer a simple calculus question. If she gets it wrong, I'll pay the bill, if she gets it right, you pay. Fair?" The first mathematician laughs and says, "You're on. I hope you brought enough cash to cover the bill." The waitress comes back and the second mathematician says, "Excuse me, miss, but what is the integral of x squared?" And right on cue, the waitress says, "One-third x cubed." and starts to walk away, but quickly turns back around and says, "OH! plus a constant!"
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Re:

Postby blob » Sun Oct 28, 2007 3:01 pm UTC

Two functions are walking down the street when a differential operator swoops down and reduces poor x to 1. Before they can escape, another operator swoops down, claws at 1, and the panicked derivative disappears entirely. The operator turns its beady eye to the other function, who is grinning smugly.

"Why don't you fear me?" says the operator. "Didn't you see, pathetic function, how I just devoured your friend?"

The function smirks. "You can't hurt me. I'm e^x!"

"You are." The operator flaps once more into the air and bears down on e^x. "But I am d/dy."

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Re: Favorite math jokes

Postby quintopia » Sun Oct 28, 2007 5:13 pm UTC

d/dy x = 0, not 1.

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Re: Favorite math jokes

Postby blob » Sun Oct 28, 2007 5:42 pm UTC

quintopia wrote:d/dy x = 0, not 1.

There are two operators in the story ;)
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Re: Favorite math jokes

Postby quintopia » Sun Oct 28, 2007 6:16 pm UTC

tricky

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Re: Favorite math jokes

Postby blob » Sun Oct 28, 2007 7:12 pm UTC

I probably didn't tell it clearly - here's another version: http://www.dansmath.com/pages/jokes.html#anchor511990
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I hope the people here get this joke...

Postby SnArL » Wed Oct 31, 2007 3:44 pm UTC

I worked REALLY hard on coming up with it. :D

Q: What do you get when you break 4?3&63 into smaller pieces?


A: Graham Crackers!


When I tell the joke, I usually just get blank stares, and "What?"
(Of course, it's only half as funny unless you also know what "cracking" is in chemistry terms)
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Re: I hope the people here get this joke...

Postby Aviatrix » Fri Nov 02, 2007 4:15 pm UTC

SnArL wrote:Q: What do you get when you break 4?3&63 into smaller pieces?
Can you explain the notation 4-question mark-3-ampersand-63? Or tell me what branch of whatever (math?) it's used?

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Re: I hope the people here get this joke...

Postby SnArL » Fri Nov 02, 2007 9:16 pm UTC

Aviatrix wrote:
SnArL wrote:Q: What do you get when you break 4?3&63 into smaller pieces?
Can you explain the notation 4-question mark-3-ampersand-63? Or tell me what branch of whatever (math?) it's used?


It's Graham's number. The notation used is a method of shortening Knuth up-arrow notation, IIRC. I can't find the web page where I read about the notation any more.
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Re: Favorite math jokes

Postby Aviatrix » Fri Nov 02, 2007 10:57 pm UTC

baf wrote:An alternate phrasing of the mathematician in the "prove that all numbers are prime" joke that you might find more satisfactory:
3 is prime, 5 is prime, 7 is prime... well, the pattern is clear, there's obviously a proof by induction, but the details are left as an exercise for the reader.
If that, then the software engineer would prove that all odd numbers are primes thusly: 3-yes. 5-yes. 7-yes. The rest is a simple matter of programming.

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Re: I hope the people here get this joke...

Postby gmalivuk » Sat Nov 03, 2007 12:24 am UTC

SnArL wrote:
Aviatrix wrote:
SnArL wrote:Q: What do you get when you break 4?3&63 into smaller pieces?
Can you explain the notation 4-question mark-3-ampersand-63? Or tell me what branch of whatever (math?) it's used?


It's Graham's number. The notation used is a method of shortening Knuth up-arrow notation, IIRC. I can't find the web page where I read about the notation any more.
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You'll need to specify more than just up-arrows, though, because Graham's number, with either up-arrow or chained-arrow notation, is not something you can specify very concisely.

If you define f(n) = 3→3→n, though, then Graham's number is representable as f64(4)
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Re: I hope the people here get this joke...

Postby Aviatrix » Sat Nov 03, 2007 2:48 am UTC

gmalivuk wrote:If you define f(n) = 3→3→n, though, then Graham's number is representable as f64(4)
Now THAT made sense, or at least as much sense as Graham's number or arrow notations mean to me anyway. (Me: Gram nummer BEEG.) I dunno about these here question marks and ampersands, but I'm gonna stop there as I have no joke to offer. I did tell a few at dinner tonight though (plumber, Thanksgiving) until my husband told me I was making his head hurt. So thanks, y'all. :wink:

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Re: Favorite math jokes

Postby rflrob » Sat Nov 03, 2007 7:20 am UTC

Back in the Cold War, a bunch of Polish scientists decided to flee their repressive government by hijacking an airliner and forcing the pilot to fly them to the West. 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."
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Re: Favorite math jokes

Postby Soap » Sat Nov 03, 2007 9:37 am UTC

Overheard in a math class with a rather lazy student in it:

Teacher: How'd you do on the math homework last night?
Student: I didn't come across any problems.
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Re: Favorite math jokes

Postby LoopQuantumGravity » Sat Nov 03, 2007 2:51 pm UTC

rflrob wrote:I'm just a simple pole in a complex plane."


I've hear so many jokes that end in this phrase (all from the same person), that they now drive me into a murderous rage.
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Re: Favorite math jokes

Postby Blatm » Mon Nov 05, 2007 3:38 am UTC

METAMETAHUMOUR LOL


...I'll leave now.

Edit: Not quite.

user#471729 wrote:A physicist, a biologist and a mathematician are sitting in a street cafe opposite an empty house. They see two people go into the house. Time passes, and after a while they see three people walk out of the house.

The physicist says "The measurements were not accurate."
The biologist says "The people who went into the house have reproduced."
The mathematician says "Now, if exactly one person enters the house it will be empty again."


I particularly like this joke because on top of being funny, the mathematician's explanation is the only one that makes any sense, it's just poorly worded. :D

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Re: Favorite math jokes

Postby Nimz » Tue Nov 06, 2007 5:21 pm UTC

pkuky wrote:there's also sinx/n=six

My favorite variation on that is u/xu!s = nine. I usually get groans about u/xu!s minutes later :roll:
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Re: Favorite math jokes

Postby Lord Bob » Thu Nov 08, 2007 1:32 am UTC

-1=i x i=sqrt(-1) x sqrt(-1)=sqrt((-1)(-1))=sqrt(1)=1

This is kind of cool, but does anyone know where the fuck-up is? (I think it's because sqrt(1)=+1 AND -1)
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Re: Favorite math jokes

Postby Unakau » Thu Nov 08, 2007 2:34 am UTC

I'm still not exactly sure why nobody posts more dinosaur comics. They're just so relevant.

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Re: Favorite math jokes

Postby antonfire » Thu Nov 08, 2007 2:48 am UTC

Lord Bob wrote:-1=i x i=sqrt(-1) x sqrt(-1)=sqrt((-1)(-1))=sqrt(1)=1

This is kind of cool, but does anyone know where the fuck-up is? (I think it's because sqrt(1)=+1 AND -1)
Also because sqrt(-1) is i and -i.
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Re: Favorite math jokes

Postby gmalivuk » Thu Nov 08, 2007 3:14 am UTC

antonfire wrote:
Lord Bob wrote:-1=i x i=sqrt(-1) x sqrt(-1)=sqrt((-1)(-1))=sqrt(1)=1

This is kind of cool, but does anyone know where the fuck-up is? (I think it's because sqrt(1)=+1 AND -1)
Also because sqrt(-1) is i and -i.

Actually, sqrt is a single-valued function that gives the positive of two square roots of its input. But yeah, the mistake is in assuming it's a one-to-one inverse of squaring something.
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Re:

Postby J Spade » Wed Nov 14, 2007 2:18 am UTC

Xial wrote:I have written a proof to prove that kids should not be required to go to school.

School=knowledge
knowledge=power
absolute(power)=absolute(corruption)

Therefore
power=corruption
knowledge=corruption
and finally
school=corruption


You see teachers are trying to debauch our children.


I disagree with power = corruption.
|-4| = |4|, but -4 ≠ 4

power ≠ corruption.

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Re: Favorite math jokes

Postby Gem » Wed Nov 14, 2007 9:23 am UTC

This is cringe inducing.

What do you call a climber's kettle when he boils it on the side of a mountain?

A high pot in use.

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Re: Favorite math jokes

Postby Droooo » Wed Nov 14, 2007 8:20 pm UTC

Gem wrote:This is cringe inducing.

What do you call a climber's kettle when he boils it on the side of a mountain?

A high pot in use.


That's almost as bad as one I know where the punchline is "Gee, I'm a tree" pronounced to sound like a certain branch of maths. I won't bother telling the rest of the joke, you can make it up yourself.
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Re: Favorite math jokes

Postby natenshisky » Wed Nov 14, 2007 9:57 pm UTC

I stole this from another forum, its great.

Once upon a time, (1/T) pretty little Polly Nomial was strolling through a field of vectors when she came to the edge of a singularly large matrix. Now Polly was convergent and her mother had made it an absolute condition that she never enter such an array without her brackets on. Polly, however, who had changed her variables that morning and was feeling particularly badly behaved, ignored this condition on the grounds that it was insufficient and made her way in amongst the complex elements. Rows and columns enveloped her on all sides. Tangents approached her surface. She became tensor and tensor. Quite sudenly, 3 branches of a hyperbola touched het at a single point. She oscillated violently, lost all sense of directrix, and went completely divergent. As she reached a turning point, she tripped over a square root protruding from the erf and plunged headlong down a steep gradient. When she was differentiated once more, she found herself, apparently alone, in a non-Euclidean space. She was being watched, however. That smooth operator, Curly Pi, was lurking inner product. As his eyes devoured her curvilinear coordinates, a singular expression crossed his face. Was she still convergent, he wondered. He decided to integrate improperly at once. Hearing a vulgar fraction behind her, Polly turned around and saw Curly Pi approaching with his power series extrapolated. She could see at once, by his degenerate conic and his dissipated terms, that he was up to no good. "Eureka," she gasped. "Ho, ho," he said. "What a symmetric little polynomial you are. I can see you are bubbling over with secs." "Oh, sir," she protested. "Keep away from me. I haven't got my brackets on." "Calm yourself, my dear," said our suave operator. "Your fears are purely imaginary." "I, I," she thought, "perhaps he's homogeneous then." "What order are you?" the brute demanded. "Seventeen," replied Polly. Curly leered. "I suppose you've never been operated on yet?" he asked.

"Of course not!" Polly cried indignantly. "I'm absolutely convergent." "Come, come," said Curly, "let's off to a decimal place I know and I'll take you to the limit." "Never," gasped Polly. "Exchlf," he swore, using the vilest oath he knew. His patience was gone. Coshing her over the coefficient with a log until she was powerless, Curly removed her discontinuities. He stared at her significant places and began smoothing her points of inflection. Poor Polly. All was up. She felt his hand tending to her asymptotic limit. Her convergence would soon be gone forever. There was no mercy, for Curly was a heavyside operator. He integrated by parts. He integrated by partial fractions. The complex beast even went all the way around and did a counter integration. What an indignity to be multiply connected on her first integration. Curly went on operating until he was absolutely and completely orthogonal. When Polly got home that night, her mother became frightened and stated "You're traveling in a forward direction to your auntie + uncle unit in the graph of Bel Air". I whistled for a cab and when it approached, the license plane said "New" and there were dotted cubes in the reflector, if anything I could state that this cab had a lesser chance than the rest but I thought disregard that fact, if you could operator, follow the lines that lead to Bel Air! I approached the compilation of three dimensional objects about 7/12 or 2/3 and I yelled to the operator attention, smell you some other time on this planar area! Looked at my Math house, My graph had finally reached a closed point, to finalize on my algorithmically correct point as the prince of the graph known as Bel Air.

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Re: Favorite math jokes

Postby 22/7 » Wed Nov 14, 2007 9:57 pm UTC

Gem wrote:This is cringe inducing.

What do you call a climber's kettle when he boils it on the side of a mountain?

A high pot in use.


Amazing. Best joke I've heard today.
Totally not a hypothetical...

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Re: Favorite math jokes

Postby Nimz » Thu Nov 15, 2007 4:52 am UTC

Blatm wrote:
user#471729 wrote:A physicist, a biologist and a mathematician are sitting in a street cafe opposite an empty house. They see two people go into the house. Time passes, and after a while they see three people walk out of the house.

The physicist says "The measurements were not accurate."
The biologist says "The people who went into the house have reproduced."
The mathematician says "Now, if exactly one person enters the house it will be empty again."


I particularly like this joke because on top of being funny, the mathematician's explanation is the only one that makes any sense, it's just poorly worded. :D

How about this rewording, then:
The mathematician says "Now, if exactly ei*pi people leave the house it will be empty again."
LOWA

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Re: Favorite math jokes

Postby Gem » Thu Nov 15, 2007 7:48 am UTC

22/7 wrote:
Gem wrote:This is cringe inducing.

What do you call a climber's kettle when he boils it on the side of a mountain?

A high pot in use.


Amazing. Best joke I've heard today.


Can't take the credit, sorry, that goes to my teacher. During Maths Week at school there was a new joke in the notices every day. That was one I remembered.

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Re: Favorite math jokes

Postby Gordon » Thu Nov 15, 2007 7:51 am UTC

Not going to lie, I cringed.

Then I lol'd.
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Re: Favorite math jokes

Postby Gem » Thu Nov 15, 2007 7:59 am UTC

Yeah that was my reaction when I first heard it.

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Re: Favorite math jokes

Postby Captain Strychnine » Tue Nov 27, 2007 2:36 am UTC

I'm a bit surprised that no one has posted the following:

A topologist is someone who doesn't know his ass from a hole in the ground, but does know his ass from two holes in the ground.

This is probably the only math joke that ever genuinely made me laugh out loud.

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Re: Favorite math jokes

Postby Qoppa » Tue Nov 27, 2007 4:50 am UTC

Q: Why do pirates work in polar coordinates?
A: So their work involves lots or AARRR!!!!

*leaves*

Code: Select all

_=0,w=-1,(*t)(int,int);a()??<char*p="[gd\
~/d~/\\b\x7F\177l*~/~djal{x}h!\005h";(++w
<033)?(putchar((*t)(w??(p:>,w?_:0XD)),a()
):0;%>O(x,l)??<_='['/7;{return!(x%(_-11))
?x??'l:x^(1+ ++l);}??>main(){t=&O;w=a();}

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Re: Favorite math jokes

Postby Torn Apart By Dingos » Tue Nov 27, 2007 12:04 pm UTC

Qoppa wrote:Q: Why do pirates work in polar coordinates?
A: So their work involves lots or AARRR!!!!

*leaves*

rdr!

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Re: Favorite math jokes

Postby Aradae » Tue Nov 27, 2007 4:10 pm UTC

quintopia wrote:d/dy x = 0, not 1.


wouldn't it be dx/dy?
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Re: Favorite math jokes

Postby Owehn » Tue Nov 27, 2007 4:16 pm UTC

Aradae wrote:
quintopia wrote:d/dy x = 0, not 1.


wouldn't it be dx/dy?


Both are acceptable notations. The one quintopia used is more generally used, because it is easier to write the differential of entire expressions this way.

You might also think about why the second derivative is notated d2x/dy2.
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