“This is a one line proof…if we start sufficiently far to the left.”
A math professor is one who talks in someone else’s sleep.
To mathematicians, solutions mean finding the answers.
But to chemists, solutions are things that are still all mixed up.
Some mathematicians become so tense these days that they do not go to sleep during seminars.
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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Medical Student : “4”
All others looking astonished : “How did you know ??”
Medical Student : :I memorized it.”
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,…
Chemist: What’s a prime?
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,…
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. …”
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…”
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
- 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.