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Re: Favorite math jokes

Posted: Mon Sep 06, 2010 9:16 am UTC
by Monika
Huh?

Did you hear about the 1-line proof of Fermat's Last Theorm?

Posted: Fri Oct 08, 2010 7:40 pm UTC
by LSK
It's the same as the normal proof, but it's written on a really long strip of paper.

Re: Favorite math jokes

Posted: Sat Oct 09, 2010 8:04 am UTC
by nachomancer
An infinite number of mathematicians walk into a bar. The first one orders one beer. The second orders two beers. The third orders four beers, and the fourth orders 8 beers. The bartender complains, "If you all keep this up, I'm going to end up owing you a beer"


Spoiler:

Re: Favorite math jokes

Posted: Sat Oct 09, 2010 11:54 pm UTC
by ++$_
Three investment bankers met for a power lunch.

"Guys," said the first banker, "I just had a billion-dollar idea."
"You'd better tell us," said the other two bankers simultaneously. They could smell the scent of their impending bonus checks, even over the delicious aroma ascending from the filet mignon.
"It's a simple matter of probabilities," said the first banker, adjusting his tie. "You know the lottery, right? Suppose I go out to the store and buy a ticket. What are the two possibilities?"
"Well," said the second banker, furrowing his brow, "I can think of one. There are really two?"
"I'm stumped too," said the third banker. "You'd better tell us."
"Well," said the first banker, feeling very proud of his insight, "either I win, or I lose."
"Oh, of course," said the second banker. "I had thought of both of those. I just counted them wrong."
"Anyway," said the first banker, "there are two possibilities. As everyone knows, that means the probability of each is 1/2! So if I play the lottery, the probability that I win is 1/2!" He pounded his fist on the table.
"Gentlemen," he said, "I think I'm going to open a new fund. I'll call it 'Modern Probabilistic Investment Fund.' I can offer you the opportunity to contribute some capital for a minority stake..."

"Wait a moment," said the second banker, interrupting the negotiations. "Suppose I were to tell you how you could make twice as much money. Could I be an equal partner in the fund if I did that?"
"I suppose so," said the first banker. "What's your idea?"
"Well," said the second banker, "we've just seen that if you buy one lottery ticket, the probability that you win is 1/2. So if you buy a second lottery ticket, the probability that you'll win with that one is also 1/2, right?"
"Of course," said the first banker. "Go on."
"Now, what is 1/2 plus 1/2?" asked the second banker.
"Seven!" said the third banker. "Wow! A probability of seven! Who ever heard of such a thing?"
"I don't think that's right," said the first banker, who had taken a calculator from his briefcase. "My calculator says that the answer is 1."
"Good," said the second banker. "That's what I got too. So if you buy two tickets, the probability of winning is 1. That's twice as much as if you had bought only one ticket!"
"Brilliant!" said the first banker. "I knew you guys wouldn't let me down. So, about that fund. I'll be the chairman, and you can be the president."
"No," said the second banker. "I want to be the chairman. You can be the president."
"No," said the first banker. "I'm definitely going to be the chairman."

After this had been going on for some time, the third banker at last broke in.
"Wait a minute," he said. "I just thought of a problem with your idea."
"Hey, enough of your negative thinking," said the first banker. "That's the kind of thing that brings down companies, you know."
"It couldn't hurt to hear it, though," said the second banker. "Let's see what he says before we dismiss it. It's good to keep an open mind."
"Thank you," said the third banker. "Now, when you buy two lottery tickets, would you buy two with the same numbers selected, or with different numbers?"
"Well, obviously with different numbers," said the first banker scornfully. "If they had the same numbers, then you'd split the pot with yourself if you win, so it would just be the same as buying one ticket. We're not as stupid as you think."
"That's not the problem," said the third banker. "But now consider the possibilities. Since the tickets have different numbers, only one of them can win, right?"
"Of course," said the second banker.
"OK," said the third banker. "So there are three possibilities. Either the first ticket wins, or the second ticket wins, or neither ticket does. That's three possibilities, and you win in two of them. So the probability of winning is actually 2/3!"
"So what?" said the second banker. "2/3 is still better than 1/2. And even with a probability of 1/2 we'll still make enough money."
"There's no such thing as enough money," said the first banker. "But whatever. I don't see the problem."
"Well," said the third banker, "Let's say the jackpot is one million dollars. If you leverage the one-ticket method, you get an average of 500,000 dollars, but you have to pay one dollar to do it. So your return on investment is 50,000,000%. If you leverage the two-ticket method, you get an average of 666,667 dollars, but you have to pay two dollars to do it, so your return on investment is only 33,333,333%. So the best method is the one-ticket method, and not the two-ticket method!"
"Whatever," said the second banker. "I still get to be chairman."
"No, I do," said the first banker.

"Wait a moment," said the second banker. "If the one-ticket method is better than the two-ticket method, then wouldn't the best method be the ZERO-ticket method? After all, one is less than two, and zero is even less than one! You could make even more money that way!"
"I don't know," said the third banker. "You just went way beyond my mathematical abilities. But I'll call my quant. He's got a PhD in math, so I'm sure he'll know the answer."
So the third banker got out his Blackberry and dialed a number. "Vitaly," he said into the phone, "we've been having a power lunch and we need to know the answer to a question."
There was something said on the other end of the phone that neither of the other bankers could hear.
"Here's the question," said the third banker. "Is it true that the best number of lottery tickets one can buy is zero?" There was a tense pause. Even the waiters froze in their tracks, waiting. The fate of the city, the planet, and even the entire known universe seemed to hang in the balance.
"Vitaly says yes," said the third banker. "The best number of lottery tickets to buy is zero."
"But," said the first banker, "if we don't buy any lottery tickets, then we won't make any money at all!"
"That's too bad," said the second banker.
"A shame," said the third banker.
They turned sadly back to their filet mignon.

Re: Favorite math jokes

Posted: Sun Oct 10, 2010 4:15 pm UTC
by oxoiron
++$_, that was excellent. I owe you one (1) lottery ticket.

Re: Favorite math jokes

Posted: Sun Oct 10, 2010 10:31 pm UTC
by chridd
++$_ wrote:Three investment bankers met for a power lunch, etc.
how_banking_works.png

oxoiron wrote:++$_, that was excellent. I owe you one (1) lottery ticket.
Aha! That's the optimal strategy: getting other people to give you lottery tickets. That way you get an ∞% return on your investment.

Re: Favorite math jokes

Posted: Wed Oct 27, 2010 12:43 am UTC
by Mike_Bson
Student: ''Would you like the window opened or closed?''
Mathematician: ''Yes.''

Re: Favorite math jokes

Posted: Fri Oct 29, 2010 1:31 am UTC
by snowyowl
http://www.galactanet.com/comic/view.php?strip=39

"Officer, we were travelling toward the light. From our inertial reference frame, the shortened wavelength made the light appear green."
"Is that so? *works out the Lorentz transform* Then you were speeding."

Math Joke...

Posted: Sat Nov 06, 2010 4:16 am UTC
by MoTLD
Found this somewhere and thought it sounded very xkcd...

An engineer, a physicist and a mathematician find themselves in an
anecdote, indeed an anecdote quite similar to many that you have no doubt
already heard. After some observations and rough calculations the
engineer realizes the situation and starts laughing. A few minutes later
the physicist understands too and chuckles to himself happily as he now
has enough experimental evidence to publish a paper. This leaves the
mathematician somewhat perplexed, as he had observed right away that he
was the subject of an anecdote, and deduced quite rapidly the presence of
humour from similar anecdotes, but considers this anecdote to be too
trivial a corollary to be significant, let alone funny.

-Mo

Re: Favorite math jokes

Posted: Sun Nov 07, 2010 7:52 pm UTC
by Spots
Was it, perhaps, here?

Seriously, somebody should go through this thread and delete all duplicates. It would cut it down to around 10 pages.

And here's my contribution (not quite a math joke, but hopefully good enough):

Esteemed court!
On February 3rd 2009, I have, indeed, observed a circular sign next to the road with a red rim and number 70 in the middle. I did not, however, observe any unit next to the number, indicating what the number refers to. As you know, the Parliament has declared the official units of measurement used in the country to be part of the SI system, in which the unit for length is a meter and the unit for time is a second, thus the unit for speed should be m/s. Therefore, if the sign does not contain a unit of measurement, one can only assume that the intended unit was the one declared by law. That is why I, esteemed members of the court, have assumed that the limit is 70 m/s, which is slightly more than 250 km/h. As I was driving only 180 km/h, which is far from the limit of 70 m/s, I ask that you return my driving licence that was unlawfully taken from me.

Also one you've probably heard already, but it wasn't posted here yet:
http://www-users.cs.york.ac.uk/susan/joke/exoendo.htm

Re: Favorite math jokes

Posted: Sun Nov 07, 2010 10:27 pm UTC
by Monika
Spots wrote:Seriously, somebody should go through this thread and delete all duplicates. It would cut it down to around 10 pages.

There aren't really significant numbers of duplicates in this thread. Even most of the n-mathematicians-walk-into-a-bar jokes are mutually different.

Re: Favorite math jokes

Posted: Mon Nov 08, 2010 3:37 pm UTC
by Yakk
How many different n-mathematicians walk into a bar jokes are there?
Spoiler:
I don't know, but the answer sure is excited!
Spoiler:
It depends how choosy you are.
Spoiler:
Wedge you want to know?
Spoiler:
Which neighborhood?

Re: Favorite math jokes

Posted: Mon Nov 08, 2010 4:46 pm UTC
by Monika
I don't understand these four jokes.

But I like your evil signature.

Re: Favorite math jokes

Posted: Sun Nov 21, 2010 10:12 am UTC
by coolguy5678
Two sets are sitting in a subway. The first one asks the second, "Are you excited about the new Axiom of Regularity they introduced?"
The second one answers, "Am I excited? I can't contain myself!"

Sorry.

Re: Favorite math jokes

Posted: Sun Nov 21, 2010 10:16 am UTC
by SlyReaper
I will stop at nothing to avoid having to use negative numbers.

Re: Favorite math jokes

Posted: Tue Nov 23, 2010 4:32 pm UTC
by bert5412
there are 10 types of people in this world
-those who assume this joke is in base 2
-those who assume this joke is in base 10
-those who realize that this joke is actually in base 3

Re: Favorite math jokes

Posted: Tue Nov 23, 2010 5:33 pm UTC
by Eebster the Great
bert5412 wrote:there are 10 types of people in this world
-those who assume this joke is in base 2
-those who assume this joke is in base 10
-those who realize that this joke is actually in base 3

Every base is base 10.

Re: Favorite math jokes

Posted: Tue Nov 23, 2010 6:50 pm UTC
by chridd
bert5412 wrote:there are 10 types of people in this world
-those who assume this joke is in base 2
-those who assume this joke is in base 10
-those who realize that this joke is actually in base 3
...so what are the other five types?

Re: Favorite math jokes

Posted: Tue Nov 23, 2010 6:53 pm UTC
by snowyowl
There are 10 types of people in the world:
-Those who read the joke in base 2
-Those who read the joke in base 3
-Those who read the joke in base 4
...
-Those who read the joke in base 10
-Those who don't get the joke.

Question: What base is the joke written in?
Answer: Base 10.

Re: Favorite math jokes

Posted: Tue Nov 23, 2010 10:30 pm UTC
by joshz
Base 10, of course.

Re: Favorite math jokes

Posted: Thu Nov 25, 2010 12:31 am UTC
by snowyowl
(I put the correct answer underneath the riddle in the same colour as the background.)

Re: Favorite math jokes

Posted: Thu Nov 25, 2010 1:22 am UTC
by chridd
snowyowl wrote:(I put the correct answer underneath the riddle in the same colour as the background.)
Why not use the
Spoiler:
spoiler tag
instead?

Re: Favorite math jokes

Posted: Thu Nov 25, 2010 1:23 am UTC
by snowyowl
I'm a mathematician. When I forget established results, I try to derive them from first principles.

Back on-topic:

A wavefunction is not a surfing technique.
A finite field is not a vegetable patch.
A linear map does have a rank, but it cannot be promoted to Lieutenant.

Re: Favorite math jokes

Posted: Thu Nov 25, 2010 3:50 am UTC
by Arariel
What's the derivative of jerk?

Spoiler:
Inauguration


Why?

Spoiler:
Change of jerk

Re: Favorite math jokes

Posted: Thu Nov 25, 2010 4:38 am UTC
by Yakk
snowyowl wrote:I'm a mathematician. When I forget established results, I try to derive them from first principles.

Note that this is a web board. The interface is highly customizable. I'd be shocked if background color was constant.

Re: Favorite math jokes

Posted: Sun Nov 28, 2010 4:25 pm UTC
by TheChewanater
pi mathematicians walk into a bar. The first one orders e1 - pi beers, the second one orders e2 - pi beers, and so on. When the last one comes up, the bartender decides to be generous and gives him twenty beers.

Re: Favorite math jokes

Posted: Sun Nov 28, 2010 4:44 pm UTC
by Talith
TheChewanater wrote:pi mathematicians walk into a bar. The first one orders e1 - pi beers, the second one orders e2 - pi beers, and so on. When the last one comes up, the bartender decides to be generous and gives him twenty beers.

Your calculator must have rounding errors, the bartender wasn't being generous at all!

Re: Favorite math jokes

Posted: Sun Nov 28, 2010 6:06 pm UTC
by KrO2
TheChewanater wrote:pi mathematicians walk into a bar. The first one orders e1 - pi beers, the second one orders e2 - pi beers, and so on.

How much did he charge the ln(π)th mathematician, or the ones before him?

Re: Favorite math jokes

Posted: Sun Nov 28, 2010 7:50 pm UTC
by Goldstein
Talith wrote:Your calculator must have rounding errors, the bartender wasn't being generous at all!

The guy just gave him 20 beers! How hard to please are you?

Re: Favorite math jokes

Posted: Sun Nov 28, 2010 9:09 pm UTC
by 314man
TheChewanater wrote:pi mathematicians walk into a bar. The first one orders e1 - pi beers, the second one orders e2 - pi beers, and so on. When the last one comes up, the bartender decides to be generous and gives him twenty beers.


I wish I knew how to order negative beer. Then it'd contain negative alcohol and my saturday mornings won't be so bad anymore.

Re: Favorite math jokes

Posted: Sun Nov 28, 2010 9:17 pm UTC
by KrO2
Terry Pratchett has an answer for you. And the 0th through ln(pi)th mathematicians.
Klatchian Coffee:
A strong, nearly magical coffee, brewed in Klatch and drunk only by the initiated in very small cups. Not only does it sober you up, it sends you to the other side of sobriety. This state is referred to as knurd, which dispells the soft pink cushions of sobriety and lets you see the world for what it is. In Klatch it is drunk with Orakh (a very violent alcohol made from scorpion venom and cactus sap) to counteract its effects. After a few screams, a lie down and a stiff drink, the occasional drinker will try never to be knurd again.

Re: Favorite math jokes

Posted: Sun Dec 05, 2010 1:00 pm UTC
by Monika
Did we have any of the hot air balloon jokes already? One version of it:

A man is in a hot air balloon and realizes that he has lost his way. He reduces height. When he discovers another man on the ground he calls out to him: "Excuse me, can you h elp me? I promised a friend to meet him half an hour ago, but I don't know where I am."
The man on the ground thinks for a while and says then: "You're in a hot air balloon."
"You must be a mathematician."
"I am, how do you know?"
"You see, you needed forever to get a result. You answer is completely correct. And it is completely useless."
The mathematician replies: "You must be a manager."
"Oh yes, I am. How did you know?"
"You see, you don't know where you are and where you are going. You have promised something, you have no idea how to keep this promise, and you expect me to solve your problem. As a matter of fact you are in completely the same position as before meeting me, but somehow it is my fault now."


A sociologist, a physicist and a mathematician are on a train. They look out of the window and see a black sheep.
Sociologist: "There are black sheep here."
Physicist: "Nope. There is at least one black sheep."
Mathematician: "Still wrong. There is at least one sheep which is black on at least one side."


A priest, a physicist and a mathematician are standing on the 13th floor of a hotel when they notice it is burning. There is no way to flee, the staircase is alreay full of smoke. The only way out is to jump into the swimming pool.
The priest prays shortly and jumps - into the middle of the pool!
The physicist makes a rough calculation, jumps - and lands in the middle of the pool, too!
The mathematician calculates and calculates and calculates, the flames are coming closer and closer, when he finally jumps - and flies upwards to the sky!
Sign error.

Re: Favorite math jokes

Posted: Sun Dec 05, 2010 2:30 pm UTC
by Certhas
Monika wrote:The mathematician replies: "You must be a manager."
"Oh yes, I am. How did you know?"
"You see, you don't know where you are and where you are going. You have promised something, you have no idea how to keep this promise, and you expect me to solve your problem. As a matter of fact you are in completely the same position as before meeting me, but somehow it is my fault now."


Shouldn't there bne something along the lines: "Your position is sustained entirely by hot air" in that list?

Re: Favorite math jokes

Posted: Sun Dec 05, 2010 5:52 pm UTC
by Monika
Hmm, there wasn't in the version from which I translated it, but it would fit in really well.

Re: Favorite math jokes

Posted: Sun Dec 05, 2010 11:52 pm UTC
by UrielZyx
bert5412 wrote:there are 10 types of people in this world
-those who assume this joke is in base 2
-those who assume this joke is in base 10
-those who realize that this joke is actually in base 3



There are 10 types of people:
Those who don't know binary,
Those who do know binary,
Those who know how to use induction,
Those who know how to use induction,
Those who know how to use induction,
Those who know how to use induction,
Those who know how to use induction,
Those who know how to use induction,
etc...

Re: Favorite math jokes

Posted: Mon Dec 06, 2010 1:55 am UTC
by letterX
UrielZyx wrote:
bert5412 wrote:there are 10 types of people in this world
-those who assume this joke is in base 2
-those who assume this joke is in base 10
-those who realize that this joke is actually in base 3



There are 10 types of people:
Those who don't know binary,
Those who do know binary,
Those who know how to use induction,
Those who know how to use induction,
Those who know how to use induction,
Those who know how to use induction,
Those who know how to use induction,
Those who know how to use induction,
etc...


Christ. There are ten types of people:
The one person who first posted a joke along these lines.
The second person that didn't read that joke, and then reposted a nearly identical joke.
The third group that didn't read that joke either, and then reposted the same nearly identical joke.
The fourth group that did read the above jokes, but then forgot, and posted the same joke again later.
The fifth group that never reads threads and always posts at the bottom anyways.
The sixth group that (surprisingly) came up with a new variation that we hadn't heard of before, but forgot to note all the other postings of similar jokes.
The seventh group who are actually members of the second group forgetting that they've already posted an identical joke.
The eighth group that re-told the joke in original, binary format, just in case we'd forgotten.
The ninth group that came up with a similar joke, making fun of people continuing to re-tell this joke.
The tenth group, consisting of everybody who's tired of hearing this joke.

Re: Favorite math jokes

Posted: Mon Dec 06, 2010 4:14 am UTC
by Yakk
Did you intend to make a roman-numeral Christ pun? Because you did.

Re: Favorite math jokes

Posted: Mon Dec 06, 2010 4:22 am UTC
by letterX
Yakk wrote:Did you intend to make a roman-numeral Christ pun? Because you did.

... I hesitate to ask, but... I did?

Re: Favorite math jokes

Posted: Mon Dec 06, 2010 4:23 am UTC
by skullturf
letterX wrote:
Yakk wrote:Did you intend to make a roman-numeral Christ pun? Because you did.

... I hesitate to ask, but... I did?


XX days before Xmas.

Re: Favorite math jokes

Posted: Mon Dec 06, 2010 8:41 am UTC
by Talith
On the eighth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me a group that re-told the joke in original, binary format, just in case we'd forgotten?

Yeh I can see that working, who's up for going carolling after lectures?

In the spirit of Christmas, maybe we should write our own maths parody of the 12 days of Christmas in a new thread.