Mathematically funny…

Math problems?

Call 1 -800 -[(10x)^(13i)^2 ] -[ sin (x y) / 2.362x].

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“This is a one line proof…if we start sufficiently far to the left.”

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A math professor is one who talks in someone else’s sleep.

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To mathematicians, solutions mean finding the answers.

But to chemists, solutions are things that are still all mixed up.

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Some mathematicians become so tense these days that they do not go to sleep during seminars.

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“Do you love your math more than me?”

“Of course not, dear – I love you much more.”

“Then prove it!”

“OK… Let R be the set of all lovable objects…”

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A physicist and a mathematician are sitting in a faculty lounge. Suddenly, the coffee machine catches on fire. The physicist grabs a bucket and leap towards the sink, filled the bucket with water and puts out the fire. Second day, the same two sit in the same lounge. Again, the coffee machine catches on fire. This time, the mathematician stands up, got a bucket, hands the bucket to the physicist, thus reducing the problem to a previously solved one.

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A biologist, a physicist and a mathematician were sitting in a street cafe watching the crowd. Across the street they saw a man and a woman entering a building. Ten minutes they reappeared together with a third person.

– They have multiplied, said the biologist.

– Oh no, an error in measurement, the physicist sighed.

– If exactly one person enters the building now, it will be empty again, the mathematician concluded.

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Several scientists were all posed the following question: “What is 2 * 2 ?”


The engineer whips out his slide rule (so it’s old) and shuffles it back and forth, and finally announces “3.99”.


The physicist consults his technical references, sets up the problem on his computer, and announces “it lies between 3.98 and 4.02”.


The mathematician cogitates for a while, then announces: “I don’t know what the answer is, but I can tell you, an answer exists!”.


Philosopher smiles: “But what do you mean by 2 * 2 ?”


Logician replies: “Please define 2 * 2 more precisely.”

The sociologist: “I don’t know, but it was nice talking about it”.


Behavioral Ecologist: “A polygamous mating system”.


Medical Student : “4”

All others looking astonished : “How did you know ??”


Medical Student : :I memorized it.”

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Mathematician: 3 is a prime, 5 is a prime, 7 is a prime, and by induction – every odd integer higher than 2 is a prime.


Physicist: 3 is a prime, 5 is a prime, 7 is a prime, 9 is an experimental error, 11 is a prime. Just to be sure, try several randomly chosen numbers: 17 is a prime, 23 is a prime…


Engineer: 3 is a prime, 5 is a prime, 7 is a prime, 9 is an approximation to a prime, 11 is a prime,…

Programmer (reading the output on the screen): 3 is a prime, 3 is a prime, 3 a is prime, 3 is a prime….


Statistician: Let’s try several randomly chosen numbers: 17 is a prime, 23 is a prime, 11 is a prime…


Salesperson<span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-size:sm

all;”>: 3 is a prime, 5 is a prime, 7 is a prime, 9 — we’ll do for you the best we can,…


Computer Software Salesperson: 3 is prime, 5 is prime, 7 is prime, 9 will be prime in the next release,…


Biologist: 3 is a prime, 5 is a prime, 7 is a prime, 9 — results have not arrived yet,…


Psychologist: 3 is a prime, 5 is a prime, 7 is a prime, 9 is a prime but tries to suppress it,…


Chemist: What’s a prime?


Professor: 3 is prime, 5 is prime, 7 is prime, and the rest are left as an exercise for the student.


Advertiser: 3 is a prime, 5 is a prime, 7 is a prime, 11 is a prime,…


Lawyer: 3 is a prime, 5 is a prime, 7 is a prime, 9 — there is not enough evidence to prove that it is not a prime,…


Accountant: 3 is prime, 5 is prime, 7 is prime, 9 is prime, deducing 10% tax and 5% other obligations.

Politician: “Some numbers are prime.. but the goal is to create a kinder, gentler society where all numbers are prime… ”

Programmer: “Wait a minute, I think I have an algorithm from Knuth on finding prime numbers… just a little bit longer, I’ve found the last bug… no, that’s not it… ya know, I think there may be a compiler bug here – oh, did you want IEEE-998.0334 rounding or not? – was that in the spec? – hold on, I’ve almost got it – I was up all night working on this program, ya know… now if management would just get me that new workstation that just came out, I’d be done by now… etc., etc. …”

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A mathematician organizes a lottery in which the prize is an infinite amount of money. When the winning ticket is drawn, and the jubilant winner comes to claim his prize, the mathematician explains the mode of payment: “1 dollar now, 1/2 dollar next week, 1/3 dollar the week after that…”

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The Evolution of Math Teaching

    • 1960s: A peasant sells a bag of potatoes for $10. His costs amount to 4/5 of his selling price. What is his profit?</l

      i>

    • 1970s: A farmer sells a bag of potatoes for $10. His costs amount to 4/5 of his selling price, that is, $8. What is his profit?
    • 1970s (new math): A farmer exchanges a set P of potatoes with set M of money. The cardinality of the set M is equal to 10, and each element of M is worth $1. Draw ten big dots representing the elements of M. The set C of production costs is composed of two big dots less than the set M. Represent C as a subset of M and give the answer to the question: What is the cardinality of the set of profits?
    • 1980s: A farmer sells a bag of potatoes for $10. His production costs are $8, and his profit is $2. Underline the word “potatoes” and discuss with your classmates.
    • 1990s: A farmer sells a bag of potatoes for $10. His or her production costs are 0.80 of his or her revenue. On your calculator, graph revenue vs. costs. Run the POTATO program to determine the profit. Discuss the result with students in your group. Write a brief essay that analyzes this example in the real world of economics.

~ Kaustubh

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