Favorite math jokes

For the discussion of math. Duh.

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Re: Favorite math jokes

Postby SlyReaper » Mon Dec 06, 2010 9:05 am UTC

On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me, a textbook on number theory.

(it rhymes and is the right number of syllables at least)

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Re: Favorite math jokes

Postby phlip » Mon Dec 06, 2010 9:06 am UTC

The ω days of Christmas?

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Re: Favorite math jokes

Postby Monika » Mon Dec 06, 2010 9:59 am UTC

SlyReaper wrote:On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me, a textbook on number theory.

I am so going to steal this.
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Re: Favorite math jokes

Postby nehpest » Mon Dec 06, 2010 10:08 am UTC

On the second day of Christmas, my true love gave to me:
  • two calculators
  • and a textbook on number theory.
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Re: Favorite math jokes

Postby SlyReaper » Mon Dec 06, 2010 10:13 am UTC

On the twelfth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me...
12 ODEs
11 Chiral knots
10 Marsenne primes
9 Vector fields
8 Eigenvectors
7 Spirolaterals
6 Tensors tensing
5 Golden ratios
4 Peano curves
3 French Metro metrics
2 Riemann spheres
And a textbook on number theory.
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Re: Favorite math jokes

Postby TheChewanater » Mon Dec 06, 2010 12:11 pm UTC

Talith wrote:In the spirit of Christmas, maybe we should write our own maths parody of the 12 days of Christmas in a new thread.
On the nth day of Christmas my true love gave to me f(n), where:
f(n) = itemn * n + f(n - 1) if n > 0
f(n) = 0 if n <= 0
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Re: Favorite math jokes

Postby Monika » Mon Dec 06, 2010 12:35 pm UTC

TheChewanater wrote:
Talith wrote:In the spirit of Christmas, maybe we should write our own maths parody of the 12 days of Christmas in a new thread.
On the nth day of Christmas my true love gave to me f(n), where:
f(n) = itemn * n + f(n - 1) if n > 0
f(n) = 0 if n <= 0

That doesn't rhyme.
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Re: Favorite math jokes

Postby Eebster the Great » Mon Dec 06, 2010 3:56 pm UTC

TheChewanater wrote:
Talith wrote:In the spirit of Christmas, maybe we should write our own maths parody of the 12 days of Christmas in a new thread.
On the nth day of Christmas my true love gave to me f(n), where:
f(n) = itemn * n + f(n - 1) if n > 0
f(n) = 0 if n <= 0

See, without a general formula form itemn, this isn't really helpful.

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Re: Favorite math jokes

Postby undecim » Mon Dec 06, 2010 4:11 pm UTC

Heisenberg's wife: "I can't find my keys!"
Heisenberg: "You must know too much about their momentum."
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Re: Favorite math jokes

Postby Yakk » Mon Dec 06, 2010 4:16 pm UTC

Actually, X is used to replace the word Christ pretty often. And X is the roman numeral for 10.

So your Christ at the start of your post could be read as a reference to your list of ten things.

As a poor reflection on me, I found that wordplay funny.

On the first day of Christmas, Conway gave to me
1
On the second day of Christmas, Conway gave to me
2->2
On the third day of Christmas, Conway gave to me
3->3->3
On the forth day of Christmas, Conway gave to me
4->4->4->4
please wait... calculating
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Last edited by JHVH on Fri Oct 23, 4004 BCE 6:17 pm, edited 6 times in total.

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Re: Favorite math jokes

Postby letterX » Mon Dec 06, 2010 5:20 pm UTC

Yakk wrote:Actually, X is used to replace the word Christ pretty often.

Huh. Well I guess I'll file that under 'more random facts involving the Letter X.'

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Re: Favorite math jokes

Postby Eebster the Great » Tue Dec 07, 2010 2:13 am UTC

Yakk wrote:Actually, X is used to replace the word Christ pretty often. And X is the roman numeral for 10.

So your Christ at the start of your post could be read as a reference to your list of ten things.

As a poor reflection on me, I found that wordplay funny.

On the first day of Christmas, Conway gave to me
1
On the second day of Christmas, Conway gave to me
2->2
On the third day of Christmas, Conway gave to me
3->3->3
On the forth day of Christmas, Conway gave to me
4->4->4->4
please wait... calculating

3→3→3 is already 76255974849873 = [imath]\underbrace{3^{3^{3^{.^{.^{.}}}}}}_{7625597484987}[/imath]. So you might have some difficulty calculating that one, too.

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Re: Favorite math jokes

Postby martin878 » Wed Dec 08, 2010 7:37 pm UTC

Eebster the Great wrote:
MidsizeBlowfish wrote:Best dirty math joke ever:

What's the square root of sixty-nine?

Eight someting.

Meh


I know this is from ages ago, but I couldn't help pointing out that there's a new Rihanna song with these lyrics:

Rihanna ft Drake wrote:I heard you good with them soft lips
Yeah you know word of mouth
the square root of 69 is 8 something
cuz I’ve been tryna work it out, oooow


Meh.

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Re: Favorite math jokes

Postby Monika » Wed Dec 08, 2010 8:54 pm UTC

Rihanna's songwriter reads the xkcd forum :shock:
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Re: Favorite math jokes

Postby Yakk » Wed Dec 08, 2010 9:52 pm UTC

Eebster the Great wrote:3→3→3 is already 76255974849873 = [imath]\underbrace{3^{3^{3^{.^{.^{.}}}}}}_{7625597484987}[/imath]. So you might have some difficulty calculating that one, too.

Bah, that isn't that big in log* scales.

Not log, log*. log* is the number of times you have to recursively call log for the value to fall below 0. There was a reasonably funny case where they had an algorithm that seemed to behave linearly with regards to size of input, but nobody could prove it -- eventually, someone proved it was O(n log*n)...

I laughed out loud when I ran into that anecdote in Papadimitriou. So that's my joke contribution for this post.
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Re: Favorite math jokes

Postby Eebster the Great » Thu Dec 09, 2010 12:45 am UTC

Yakk wrote:
Eebster the Great wrote:3→3→3 is already 76255974849873 = [imath]\underbrace{3^{3^{3^{.^{.^{.}}}}}}_{7625597484987}[/imath]. So you might have some difficulty calculating that one, too.

Bah, that isn't that big in log* scales.

Not log, log*. log* is the number of times you have to recursively call log for the value to fall below 0. There was a reasonably funny case where they had an algorithm that seemed to behave linearly with regards to size of input, but nobody could prove it -- eventually, someone proved it was O(n log*n)...

I laughed out loud when I ran into that anecdote in Papadimitriou. So that's my joke contribution for this post.

Its trinary super-logarithm is still over seven trillion, so I would indeed consider it large on that scale. But at least 7625597484987 can be fully written out, I guess.

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Re: Favorite math jokes

Postby martin878 » Thu Dec 09, 2010 10:43 am UTC

Off topic much?

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Re: Favorite math jokes

Postby Yakk » Thu Dec 09, 2010 1:23 pm UTC

No.
One of the painful things about our time is that those who feel certainty are stupid, and those with any imagination and understanding are filled with doubt and indecision - BR

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Re: Favorite math jokes

Postby t1mm01994 » Thu Dec 09, 2010 4:54 pm UTC

Lol^

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Re: Favorite math jokes

Postby hnooch » Thu Dec 09, 2010 6:41 pm UTC

I searched for this and don't think it was posted. I think it's pretty humorous.

Theorem: The nth root of 2 is irrational for n >= 3.

Proof: Suppose not. Then there exist relatively prime integers p and q so that pn / qn = 2, and hence pn = qn + qn. By Fermat's Last Theorem, however, there can be no such integers. This is a contradiction, hence the nth root of 2 is irrational.

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Re: Favorite math jokes

Postby Eebster the Great » Thu Dec 09, 2010 8:13 pm UTC

hnooch wrote:I searched for this and don't think it was posted. I think it's pretty humorous.

Theorem: The nth root of 2 is irrational for n >= 3.

Proof: Suppose not. Then there exist relatively prime integers p and q so that pn / qn = 2, and hence pn = qn + qn. By Fermat's Last Theorem, however, there can be no such integers. This is a contradiction, hence the nth root of 2 is irrational.

Good one. In some sense that proof does seem valid.

Though it does beg the question . . . a lot.

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Re: Favorite math jokes

Postby ++$_ » Thu Dec 09, 2010 9:13 pm UTC

The best part is that Fermat's Last Theorem is not powerful enough to prove that [imath]\sqrt{2}[/imath] is irrational.

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Re: Favorite math jokes

Postby thorgold » Fri Dec 10, 2010 4:22 am UTC

Q: Who was the fattest knight at the Round Table?
A: Sir Cumference

Q: What was his favorite food?
A: Pie!

I deserve punishment for puns that bad :P
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Re: Favorite math jokes

Postby Monika » Fri Dec 10, 2010 9:09 am UTC

I like it.

Why do English-speaking people always apologize for puns?
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Re: Favorite math jokes

Postby Eebster the Great » Fri Dec 10, 2010 9:16 am UTC

Monika wrote:Why do English-speaking people always apologize for puns?

I think it's because they're not really funny, just annoyingly clever.

And some people have to apologize because they overuse them.

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Re: Favorite math jokes

Postby Yakk » Fri Dec 10, 2010 1:57 pm UTC

A riff on it:

Theorem: The nth root of 2 is irrational for n >= 3.

Proof: Suppose not. Then there exist relatively prime integers p and q so that pn / qn = 2, and hence pn = qn + qn. The remainder of this proof is too long to be written in this margin.
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Re: Favorite math jokes

Postby Eastwinn » Sun Dec 12, 2010 2:23 am UTC

Hopefully not a repost:

The Flood is over and the ark has landed. Noah lets all the animals out and says, "Go forth and multiply."

A few months later, Noah decides to take a stroll and see how the animals are doing. Everywhere he looks he finds baby animals. Everyone is doing fine except for one pair of little snakes. "What's the problem?" says Noah.
"Cut down some trees and let us live there", say the snakes.

Noah follows their advice. Several more weeks pass. Noah checks on the snakes again. Lots of little snakes, everybody is happy. Noah asks, "Want to tell me how the trees helped?"

"Certainly", say the snakes. "We're adders, so we need logs to multiply."
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Re: Favorite math jokes

Postby Monika » Sun Dec 12, 2010 4:15 am UTC

Aaaw, this is cute :D
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Re: Favorite math jokes

Postby cyanyoshi » Sun Dec 12, 2010 7:30 am UTC

Why was six afraid of seven?...Because seven "eight" nine!

Why was seven afraid of eight?...Mathematical induction.

Oh. You already heard that one...

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Re: Favorite math jokes

Postby BlackSails » Sun Dec 12, 2010 7:55 am UTC

hnooch wrote:I searched for this and don't think it was posted. I think it's pretty humorous.

Theorem: The nth root of 2 is irrational for n >= 3.

Proof: Suppose not. Then there exist relatively prime integers p and q so that pn / qn = 2, and hence pn = qn + qn. By Fermat's Last Theorem, however, there can be no such integers. This is a contradiction, hence the nth root of 2 is irrational.


Shouldnt it really be called the Wiles' theorem?

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Re: Favorite math jokes

Postby Mindworm » Sun Dec 12, 2010 4:09 pm UTC

Shouldnt it really be called the Wiles' theorem?

So you doubt that Fermat had a proof?
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Re: Favorite math jokes

Postby joshz » Sun Dec 12, 2010 4:19 pm UTC

Eebster the Great wrote:
hnooch wrote:I searched for this and don't think it was posted. I think it's pretty humorous.

Theorem: The nth root of 2 is irrational for n >= 3.

Proof: Suppose not. Then there exist relatively prime integers p and q so that pn / qn = 2, and hence pn = qn + qn. By Fermat's Last Theorem, however, there can be no such integers. This is a contradiction, hence the nth root of 2 is irrational.

Good one. In some sense that proof does seem valid.

Though it does beg the question . . . a lot.
I don't see how this begs the question. Fermat's Last Theorem has been proven, and I see no invalid algebraic steps in this proof.
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Re: Favorite math jokes

Postby Mindworm » Sun Dec 12, 2010 4:27 pm UTC

I don't see how this begs the question. Fermat's Last Theorem has been proven, and I see no invalid algebraic steps in this proof.

One would need to find out whether the statement he proved is used somewhere in the proof of Fermat's Last Theorem. I'm no expert on this
(or on any math, at this point), but I heard that Wiles used many results of higher math (things that have only been proven recently), and you would have to check every single one of them for this trivial lemma.
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Re: Favorite math jokes

Postby joshz » Sun Dec 12, 2010 5:03 pm UTC

Ah, OK. That makes sense.
You, sir, name? wrote:If you have over 26 levels of nesting, you've got bigger problems ... than variable naming.
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Re: Favorite math jokes

Postby Diadem » Mon Dec 13, 2010 9:54 am UTC

Mindworm wrote:
Shouldnt it really be called the Wiles' theorem?

So you doubt that Fermat had a proof?

Ehm, yes. I doubt so very much. Fermat may have been brilliant, but he is nothing compared to 4 centuries of exhaustive research by hundreds of thousands of mathematicians. If we still haven't found his proof, he didn't have one. And the proof Wiles gave couldn't possible have been the one Fermat had.

It's Wiles' Theorem.
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Re: Favorite math jokes

Postby Kirby » Tue Dec 14, 2010 4:23 am UTC

For the final question on an oral exam, a student was asked to find the limit to infinity of the following sequence: I know, I know that you know, I know that you know that I know, I know that you know that I know that you know, ...

Dazzled, all the student could come up with was, "I don't know."

The professor, equally baffled, replied, "Seriously? Come on. It's common knowledge!"

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Re: Favorite math jokes

Postby B.Good » Tue Dec 14, 2010 4:38 am UTC

BlackSails wrote:
hnooch wrote:I searched for this and don't think it was posted. I think it's pretty humorous.

Theorem: The nth root of 2 is irrational for n >= 3.

Proof: Suppose not. Then there exist relatively prime integers p and q so that pn / qn = 2, and hence pn = qn + qn. By Fermat's Last Theorem, however, there can be no such integers. This is a contradiction, hence the nth root of 2 is irrational.


Shouldnt it really be called the Wiles' theorem?

I'm glad that I'm not the only person who thinks this.

++$_
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Re: Favorite math jokes

Postby ++$_ » Tue Dec 14, 2010 5:45 am UTC

Why should it be called "Wiles's Theorem"? If you ask me, it should be called Serre's Theorem. After all, Serre didn't prove it OR formulate it, which makes him an appropriate person to name it after.

Alternatively, we could call it "Gauss's Theorem," because someday we are going to find out that Gauss proved it at age 10.

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Re: Favorite math jokes

Postby Dason » Tue Dec 14, 2010 10:40 am UTC

Meh. It's been called Fermat's Last Theorem for so long that it should probably just stay that way. Anyhow I don't really care that much about what name goes along with what theorem because typically it tells you nothing about who discovered or proved the theorem. I think there's a humorous 'law' named after this...

Edit: Stigler's Law!
double epsilon = -.0000001;

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Re: Favorite math jokes

Postby Diadem » Tue Dec 14, 2010 11:29 am UTC

++$_ wrote:lternatively, we could call it "Gauss's Theorem," because someday we are going to find out that Gauss proved it at age 10.

In that case we should name it Cauchy's Theorem. Because it seems to be a requirement in mathematics that every theory be named after Cauchy.
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