0410: "Math Paper"

This forum is for the individual discussion thread that goes with each new comic.

Moderators: Moderators General, Prelates, Magistrates

User avatar
skeptical scientist
closed-minded spiritualist
Posts: 6142
Joined: Tue Nov 28, 2006 6:09 am UTC
Location: San Francisco

0410: "Math Paper"

Postby skeptical scientist » Mon Apr 14, 2008 4:17 am UTC

Image

http://www.xkcd.com/410/

Alt text: That's nothing. I once lost my genetics, rocketry, and stripping licenses in a single incident.

Awesome comic. The mathier the better I always say.

Also, mathematicians need imaginary friends, as they haven't any real ones. (Oh, snap!)
I'm looking forward to the day when the SNES emulator on my computer works by emulating the elementary particles in an actual, physical box with Nintendo stamped on the side.

"With math, all things are possible." —Rebecca Watson

User avatar
Kurasuke
Posts: 25
Joined: Wed Nov 08, 2006 6:01 am UTC

Re: Math Paper

Postby Kurasuke » Mon Apr 14, 2008 4:18 am UTC

I was afraid that I was going to have to make the thread.

I chuckled at the last panel and then again at the alt text.
Words go here.

User avatar
rwald
Posts: 153
Joined: Mon Jan 29, 2007 7:14 am UTC
Contact:

Re: "Math Paper" Discussion

Postby rwald » Mon Apr 14, 2008 4:18 am UTC

Dammit, so close to getting frist post. Anyway, the best part of this comic is that somehow, Randall has given the stick figure a facial expression in the penultimate panel, despite the figure's not having a face.

User avatar
Glenn Magus Harvey
Posts: 77
Joined: Wed Mar 26, 2008 8:39 pm UTC

Re: Math Paper

Postby Glenn Magus Harvey » Mon Apr 14, 2008 4:20 am UTC

This comic is nice, though I have to admit that I kinda accepted that it worked, since I probably don't know enough mathematics to reason through it (though I am kinda lazy because I have homework right now). But I DO like the premise.

But the alt text disappoints me because it's part of the recent trend that some comics and/or their alt texts have grown more sketchy and less funny than I'd like them to be. This alt text is an example of that.

MythGuyDK
Posts: 31
Joined: Sat Nov 11, 2006 11:35 pm UTC
Contact:

Re: "Math Paper" Discussion

Postby MythGuyDK » Mon Apr 14, 2008 4:21 am UTC

ROFL!
I didn't know you needed a math license... or a stripping license... or that Randall HAD one. :P
Exactly!

User avatar
Linux0s
Posts: 247
Joined: Sat Dec 29, 2007 7:34 pm UTC

Re: Math Paper

Postby Linux0s » Mon Apr 14, 2008 4:22 am UTC

The one person looks like they have their head bandaged. Is that a doo thingy?
If the male mind truly were a machine it would consist of a shaft and a bushing.

User avatar
pyroman
Posts: 346
Joined: Sun Feb 10, 2008 5:35 am UTC
Location: University at Buffalo
Contact:

Re: "Math Paper" Discussion

Postby pyroman » Mon Apr 14, 2008 4:23 am UTC

hehe my friend once wrote "i= Jesus" on a white board. this girl almost cried when he explained it to her
They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety. - Benjamin Franklin

Fleshpiston
Posts: 37
Joined: Thu Jul 13, 2006 9:38 am UTC
Location: Florida

Re: "Math Paper" Discussion

Postby Fleshpiston » Mon Apr 14, 2008 4:24 am UTC

Thank you Randall.

I believe that I will always remember this comic, not just because I love math and it is a good one, but because this is the xkcd for April 14, 2008, which is the day my daughter is going to be born. We are going to have an induction at 6 am.

Wait, does that mean that if me having a daughter at time n implies that I have a daughter at time n+1, and some time today I will have a daughter, then I will always have a daughter?

[a math pun, to go with the attempted math pun in the comic]
Last edited by Fleshpiston on Mon Apr 14, 2008 4:49 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.

JayEye
Posts: 3
Joined: Fri Apr 06, 2007 6:00 pm UTC

Re: Math Paper

Postby JayEye » Mon Apr 14, 2008 4:24 am UTC

I've said things such as "a process forks, then waits for its children to die" that have elicited unkind remarks from the students, but I'm still allowed to teach :)

/ji
PS: There was no new thread when I checked the forum; I was trying to figure out how to start a new one, but someone beat me to it. (How *do* you start a new thread for the new comic strip anyway?)

User avatar
poprocks and coke
Posts: 57
Joined: Sun Apr 13, 2008 6:01 pm UTC

Re: Math Paper

Postby poprocks and coke » Mon Apr 14, 2008 4:27 am UTC

You just press the new topic button, than post the image, link and alt-text.

User avatar
UserGoogol
Posts: 90
Joined: Mon Jan 29, 2007 5:58 am UTC

Re: "Math Paper" Discussion

Postby UserGoogol » Mon Apr 14, 2008 4:27 am UTC

When I found out that sexy primes existed, my immediate reaction was that I wanted to become a professional mathematician in the field of number theory and write a paper which studied sexy primes and was very silly about it.

JoshuaZ
Posts: 401
Joined: Tue Apr 24, 2007 1:18 am UTC
Contact:

Re: "Math Paper" Discussion

Postby JoshuaZ » Mon Apr 14, 2008 4:28 am UTC

I don't like Randall's notation. d(n) is normally used to denote the number of divisors of n. I've seen a variety of notations for [imath]\frac{\sigma(n)}{n}[/imath] such as h(n). Of course, I already don't like the use of "friendly numbers" being different than "amicable numbers" which is just annoying especially because I've seen people use the term "friendly" to mean amicable numbers also.

The comic appears to in some ways be a hybrid of the one in which he is expelled from the crypto conference, and the one involving Mussolini and the trains.

Ok, that's enough logical analysis. This comic is awesome. I cannot describe in mere words how awesome this comic is.

dabigkid
Posts: 56
Joined: Wed May 09, 2007 3:09 am UTC
Location: NJ
Contact:

Re: "Math Paper" Discussion

Postby dabigkid » Mon Apr 14, 2008 4:33 am UTC

pyroman wrote:hehe my friend once wrote "i= Jesus" on a white board. this girl almost cried when he explained it to her

Not serious: Your friend is Jesus?!

Serious: That was mean of him!
wut

User avatar
UserGoogol
Posts: 90
Joined: Mon Jan 29, 2007 5:58 am UTC

Re: "Math Paper" Discussion

Postby UserGoogol » Mon Apr 14, 2008 4:40 am UTC

pyroman wrote:hehe my friend once wrote "i= Jesus" on a white board. this girl almost cried when he explained it to her


It's a fairly standard bit of Christian theology that God (and due to the nature of the trinity, Jesus) created Satan, but that Satan fell to sin due to his pride and thus sin entered the world. So I'm rather surprised that she cried when she heard that Jesus is the root of The Negative One. :3

top1214
Posts: 29
Joined: Wed Oct 17, 2007 6:06 am UTC

Re: "Math Paper" Discussion

Postby top1214 » Mon Apr 14, 2008 4:41 am UTC

skeptical scientist wrote:Alt text: That's nothing. I once lost my genetics, rocketry, and stripping licenses in a single incident.



The comic showing how he lost those licenses will appear in xkcd After Dark

jimic79
Posts: 12
Joined: Fri Dec 21, 2007 7:23 pm UTC

Re: "Math Paper" Discussion

Postby jimic79 » Mon Apr 14, 2008 5:06 am UTC

UserGoogol wrote:
pyroman wrote:hehe my friend once wrote "i= Jesus" on a white board. this girl almost cried when he explained it to her


It's a fairly standard bit of Christian theology that God (and due to the nature of the trinity, Jesus) created Satan, but that Satan fell to sin due to his pride and thus sin entered the world. So I'm rather surprised that she cried when she heard that Jesus is the root of The Negative One. :3


Don't use math to explain religion... Joking or not, you'll only encourage them... :wink:
sproif -
1. Usage: onomatopoeia - the sound of one's brain exploding due to reading a poorly written article.
2. Usage: noun - a poorly made blog with entries that have no relevance to anything useful... http://www.sproif.com

User avatar
Shadic
Posts: 500
Joined: Mon Oct 29, 2007 10:54 pm UTC
Location: Olympia, WA
Contact:

Re: "Math Paper" Discussion

Postby Shadic » Mon Apr 14, 2008 5:07 am UTC

UserGoogol wrote:When I found out that sexy primes existed, my immediate reaction was that I wanted to become a professional mathematician in the field of number theory and write a paper which studied sexy primes and was very silly about it.

That's amazing. I'm showing Sexy Primes to all of my Math-friends now.

User avatar
benjhuey
Posts: 3328
Joined: Sat Sep 08, 2007 2:35 am UTC
Location: A collection of rocks

Re: "Math Paper" Discussion

Postby benjhuey » Mon Apr 14, 2008 5:09 am UTC

xkcd is becoming the only reason I continue to take upper maths courses, just to better understand the punchline of comics like this one.
多么现在棕色母牛?

User avatar
vodka.cobra
Posts: 371
Joined: Thu Mar 27, 2008 6:50 pm UTC
Location: Florida
Contact:

Re: "Math Paper" Discussion

Postby vodka.cobra » Mon Apr 14, 2008 5:13 am UTC

This comic made me smile :D.
If the above comment has anything to do with hacking or cryptography, note that I work for a PHP security company and might know what I'm talking about.

mightymouse1584
Posts: 43
Joined: Thu Sep 20, 2007 12:40 am UTC
Location: Madison, WI
Contact:

Re: "Math Paper" Discussion

Postby mightymouse1584 » Mon Apr 14, 2008 5:18 am UTC

this is awesome. i cant even count the number of times ive tried working theories and proofs into some sort of pun.

if i can work a bunch of "pcp"s or "pb+j"s into a proof i definately try

anyday where i can get the answer to be some form of root(66) is a good day

User avatar
AltoidAddict
Posts: 34
Joined: Sat Aug 25, 2007 7:39 pm UTC
Contact:

Re: Math Paper

Postby AltoidAddict » Mon Apr 14, 2008 5:43 am UTC

Linux0s wrote:The one person looks like they have their head bandaged. Is that a doo thingy?


I think it's a woman with her hair in a bun.

User avatar
frozendevil
Posts: 18
Joined: Thu Apr 05, 2007 3:52 pm UTC
Location: Asheville, NC
Contact:

Re: "Math Paper" Discussion

Postby frozendevil » Mon Apr 14, 2008 6:27 am UTC

JoshuaZ wrote:[imath]\frac{\sigma(n)}{n}[/imath]
Why does this show up correctly when I'm not logged in, but when I log in, it turns back into moonspeak?

On topic: Of all the groups of people I'm acquainted with (musicians, lawyers, writers, meteorologists, druggies, etc) mathematicians seem to have the strongest attraction to bad puns.

Agent 86
Posts: 4
Joined: Tue Apr 01, 2008 8:49 am UTC

Re: "Math Paper" Discussion

Postby Agent 86 » Mon Apr 14, 2008 7:02 am UTC

frozendevil

I'm assuming it has something to do with the "jsMath" button on the bottom right of the page.

User avatar
VelociraptorEvader
Posts: 65
Joined: Wed Mar 26, 2008 9:56 am UTC
Location: Melbourne, Australia, Earth.

Re: "Math Paper" Discussion

Postby VelociraptorEvader » Mon Apr 14, 2008 7:03 am UTC

I like this one. the last frame is very good. 'I'm sorry, We're Revoking Your Math License.'. would someone be ultimately doomed without their math license?? Esp. day to day life. imaging the trouble in adding a bill, working out a tip and calculating the distanced saved using a good short cut with Pythagoras and others. An absolute living hell.
Microsoft: "You've got questions. We've got dancing paperclips."

User avatar
schmiggen
Posts: 383
Joined: Wed Nov 28, 2007 12:15 am UTC
Location: location, location

Re: "Math Paper" Discussion

Postby schmiggen » Mon Apr 14, 2008 7:04 am UTC

mightymouse1584 wrote:if i can work a bunch of "pcp"s or "pb+j"s into a proof i definately try

anyday where i can get the answer to be some form of root(66) is a good day

Dude. I am so going to copy you guys and your punniness.
Kabann wrote:Aw hell, as far as I'm concerned the world started in late 1967. Everything else is just semantics and busy-work.

User avatar
Luthen
Posts: 2021
Joined: Thu Feb 21, 2008 6:42 am UTC
Location: Dealing with xkcdian immigration
Contact:

Re: "Math Paper" Discussion

Postby Luthen » Mon Apr 14, 2008 7:40 am UTC

Maybe the maths licence is actually like a trucker's licence. Randall can't use complex numbers now but just simple arithmetic.

Following on from sexy primes, wikipedia has this wonderful list of other prime groups. Is the product of two cousin primes by definition not a regular prime? Bonus question: If there is a Higgs prime which other famous physicists are prime?
My fancy new blog Image I am not a vampire! Image PM my location for a prize!*

rnew: ALL GLORY TO THE HYPNOAVATAR!
*Terms + conditions changeable

User avatar
Dobblesworth
Dobblesworth, here's the title you requested over three years ago. -Banana
Posts: 1429
Joined: Wed May 30, 2007 12:06 pm UTC
Contact:

Re: "Math Paper" Discussion

Postby Dobblesworth » Mon Apr 14, 2008 8:05 am UTC

Looks like the return of Bunhead (and maybe Black Hat) Girl. I've lost count how many times my previous maths teachers would unleash such puns on us in class.

User avatar
x-Swamp
Posts: 142
Joined: Sun Dec 23, 2007 7:07 am UTC

Re: "Math Paper" Discussion

Postby x-Swamp » Mon Apr 14, 2008 8:09 am UTC

Randall seems to have developed the ability to draw a new type of hairstyle.

Glasses too it seems.

Has someone been taking drawing classes?
Under development - my html sucks.

http://www.hitpenguin.net - any comments?

User avatar
schrodingersduck
Posts: 130
Joined: Mon Aug 13, 2007 2:20 pm UTC
Location: People's Democratic Republic of Leodensia
Contact:

Re: "Math Paper" Discussion

Postby schrodingersduck » Mon Apr 14, 2008 8:34 am UTC

Luthen wrote:Is the product of two cousin primes by definition not a regular prime?


Until the inbreeding kicks in, anyway.

User avatar
Felstaff
Occam's Taser
Posts: 5181
Joined: Fri Feb 01, 2008 7:10 pm UTC
Location: ¢ ₪ ¿ ¶ § ∴ ® © ™ ؟ ¡ ‽ æ Þ ° ₰ ₤ ಡಢ

Re: "Math Paper" Discussion

Postby Felstaff » Mon Apr 14, 2008 8:35 am UTC

This comic, and its subsequent discussion, has made me aware of something called jsMath that appears to be installed on my FireBuffalo. It's very unobtrusive, like a meek friend standing just by the door trying to get your attention with a little wiggle of the finger and a gentle voice, (like Morris's) that says "um, excuse me, errr, hi, hi...just thought you'd like to know--that is, if it's not too bothersome--I've done a little bit of maths for you. You can see it if you like?"
Away, you scullion! you rampallion! You fustilarian! I'll tickle your catastrophe.

User avatar
hyperion
"I'll show ye...."
Posts: 1569
Joined: Wed Nov 29, 2006 2:16 pm UTC
Location: Perth

Re: "Math Paper" Discussion

Postby hyperion » Mon Apr 14, 2008 8:41 am UTC

frozendevil wrote:
JoshuaZ wrote:[imath]\frac{\sigma(n)}{n}[/imath]
Why does this show up correctly when I'm not logged in, but when I log in, it turns back into moonspeak?

I believe it only works if you're using prosilver
Peshmerga wrote:A blow job would probably get you a LOT of cheeseburgers.
But I digress.

Ronfar
Posts: 132
Joined: Mon Dec 04, 2006 6:04 am UTC

Re: "Math Paper" Discussion

Postby Ronfar » Mon Apr 14, 2008 9:12 am UTC

Somehow, I suspect actual mathematicians would be more favorably inclined toward such a paper than the ones in this comic.

What's purple and commutes?
Spoiler:
An abellian grape.
- Doug

chishm
Posts: 59
Joined: Sat Jun 02, 2007 7:10 am UTC
Location: Canberra, Australia

Re: "Math Paper" Discussion

Postby chishm » Mon Apr 14, 2008 9:13 am UTC

UserGoogol wrote:When I found out that sexy primes existed, my immediate reaction was that I wanted to become a professional mathematician in the field of number theory and write a paper which studied sexy primes and was very silly about it.

So primes that differ by two are twin primes, and must therefore share parents. Primes that differ by four are cousin primes and must therefore share grandparents. Primes that differ by six, by logical progression, must share great-grandparents and be second cousins. Does it count as incest if second-cousins are sexy?

On a related note, according to Wolfram, "there is only a single sexy quintuplet".

User avatar
aerojad
Wall O' AWESOME
Posts: 200
Joined: Wed Sep 26, 2007 8:54 am UTC
Location: Detroit, MI
Contact:

Re: "Math Paper" Discussion

Postby aerojad » Mon Apr 14, 2008 10:10 am UTC

aw, teacher looks so dejected
Image

User avatar
Dynastic
Posts: 19
Joined: Wed Oct 31, 2007 3:57 am UTC

Re: "Math Paper" Discussion

Postby Dynastic » Mon Apr 14, 2008 10:58 am UTC

How do we define the divisor function for a gaussian integer, is it just the number of irreducibles that are factors of the number?

User avatar
HiEv
Posts: 37
Joined: Wed Apr 11, 2007 7:45 am UTC

Re: "Math Paper" Discussion

Postby HiEv » Mon Apr 14, 2008 12:30 pm UTC

pyroman wrote:hehe my friend once wrote "i= Jesus" on a white board. this girl almost cried when he explained it to her

Ah, maybe that's why Andy Schlafly of the Conservapedia seems to think that complex numbers are a hoax as part of some liberal conspiracy or something. :shock: He actually insists that there is no such thing as imaginary numbers, which suggests to me that he's taken the word "imaginary" a bit too literally. I was just reading about this yesterday, so this comic was well timed for me.
The difference between intelligence and stupidity is that intelligence has its limits.

Kerubim
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Feb 25, 2008 4:48 pm UTC

Re: "Math Paper" Discussion

Postby Kerubim » Mon Apr 14, 2008 1:06 pm UTC

I only came in for speculation about what the "single incident" that revoked the genetics, rocketry, and stripping licenses was.

So far I'm sorely disappointed.

LarrySDonald
Posts: 44
Joined: Sun Sep 23, 2007 2:20 am UTC

Re: "Math Paper" Discussion

Postby LarrySDonald » Mon Apr 14, 2008 2:09 pm UTC

(5,11) isn't just sexy, it's also safe. Too bad it's the only one and I'm sure it's taken.

TemperedMartensite
Posts: 34
Joined: Tue Nov 20, 2007 4:32 am UTC

Re: "Math Paper" Discussion

Postby TemperedMartensite » Mon Apr 14, 2008 2:20 pm UTC

Kerubim wrote:I only came in for speculation about what the "single incident" that revoked the genetics, rocketry, and stripping licenses was.

So far I'm sorely disappointed.


I think it has something to do with the rubber rocket....

btilly
Posts: 1877
Joined: Tue Nov 06, 2007 7:08 pm UTC

Re: "Math Paper" Discussion

Postby btilly » Mon Apr 14, 2008 2:35 pm UTC

Kerubim wrote:I only came in for speculation about what the "single incident" that revoked the genetics, rocketry, and stripping licenses was.

So far I'm sorely disappointed.

The image that immediately popped into my mind was straight out of a Looney Tunes cartoon.
Some of us exist to find out what can and can't be done.

Others exist to hold the beer.


Return to “Individual XKCD Comic Threads”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: GlassHouses and 75 guests