# Let ε < 0.

## 10.31.08

### Catholic arithmetic

Filed under: Lower-division jokes — Travis @

A father is very much concerned about his young son Billy’s bad grades in math. In desparation, he decides to register Billy at a catholic school. After his first term there, Billy brings home his report card. And, lo and behold, he’s getting A’s in math.

The father is, of course, pleased, but wants to know: “Why are your math grades suddenly so good?”

Billy’s face goes a little white, and he replies, “when I walked into the classroom the first day, and I saw that guy on the wall nailed to a plus sign, I knew one thing: this place means business!”

## 10.30.08

### Boy’s Life jokes

Filed under: Lower-division jokes — Travis @

#### Part I

Ralph: Dad, will you do my math for me tonight?

Dad: No, son, it wouldn’t be right.

Ralph: Well, you could try.

#### Part II

Teacher: Ralph, if your father had 10 dollars and you asked him for six dollars, how many dollars would your father have left?

Ralph: Ten.

Teacher: You do not know your math.

Ralph: You do not know my father.

These jokes first appeared in Boy’s Life magazine. The first joke is from May of 1973. I do not know when the second was published.

## 10.29.08

### Arithmetic

Filed under: Lower-division jokes, Puns — Travis @

“My life is all arithmetic,” the young businesswoman explains. “I try to add to my income, subtract from my weight, divide my time, and avoid multiplying.”

## 10.28.08

### The Alps

Filed under: Lower-division jokes — Travis @

A party of mathematicians was climbing in the Alps. After several hours they became hopelessly lost. One of them studied the map for some time, turning it up and down, sighting on distant landmarks, consulting his compass, and finally the sun. After thinking for a moment, he said, “Okay, see that big mountain over there?”

“Well, according to the map, we’re standing on top of it.”

## 10.27.08

### A sub-atomic particle walks into a bar

Filed under: Puns, Science humor, Walks into a bar — Travis @

Two atoms walk out of a bar. “Oh dear, I’ve left my electrons back in the bar.” “Are you sure?” “I’m positive.”

A neutron walks into a bar. “How much for a beer?” “For you? No charge.”

Two alpha particles and a gamma ray walk into a bar… magnet.

## 10.26.08

### A mathematical object walks into a bar

A sphere walks into a bar and orders a drink. The bartender says, “I’m sorry, but we don’t serve spheres here.” The disgruntled sphere walks outside, but then gets an idea and performs Dahn surgery upon himself. He walks into the bar, and the bartender, who does not recognize him but thinks he looks familiar (or at least locally similar) and asks, “Aren’t you that sphere that just came in here?” “No, I’m a frayed knot.”

A definite integral walks and orders 10 shots of whiskey. “You sure about that, buddy?” “Yeah, I know my limits.” [CG]

A bar walks into a commutative algebraist.

sin(x) walks into a bar and asks for drink. The barman declines: “We don’t cater for functions.”

Two polynomials walk into a bar. The bartender, a derivative, asks them “Can I take you order?” The polynomials run out screaming “Help! The bartender threatened to kill me!”

Four fonts walk into a bar. The barman says “Hey you, get outta here! We don’t want your type in here.”

An initial condition walks into a bar. The barman says “I’ll serve you, but don’t start anything.”

The definite integral joke is modified from a gag told by Courtney Gibbons, of Brown Sharpie fame (and a former student!).

## 10.25.08

### More mathematicians walk into a bar

Rene Descartes walks into a bar. The bartender approaches him and askes, “Ah, good evening Monsieur Descartes! Shall I serve you the usual drink?” Descartes replies “I think not,” and promptly vanishes.

Three mathematicians walk into a bar. You’d think the third one would have ducked.

An infinite number of mathematicians walk into a bar. The first orders a beer. The second orders half a beer. The third orders a quarter of a beer. Before the next one can order, the bartender says, “You’re all assholes,” and pours two beers.

A dyslexic mathematician walks into a bra.

A mathematician, a physicist, and an engineer walk into a bar. The barman looks at the three and says, “Is this some kind of joke?”

The infinitely-manied version was told to me by Tyler Ernest.

## 10.24.08

### Two mathematicians walk into a bar

Filed under: Lower-division jokes, Walks into a bar — Travis @

Two mathematicians walk into in a bar.

The first one says to the second that the average person knows very little about basic mathematics. The second one disagrees, and claims that most people can cope with a reasonable amount of math.

The first mathematician goes off to the washroom, and in his absence the second calls over the waitress. He tells her that in a few minutes, after his friend has returned, he will call her over and ask her a question. All she has to do is answer “one third x cubed.”

She repeats: “one thir — dex cue?”

He repeats “one third x cubed.”

“One thir dex cuebd?”

“Yes, that’s right”, he says.

So she agrees, and goes off mumbling to herself, “one thir dex cuebd… one thir dex cuebd… one thir dex cuebd…”

The first guy returns and the second proposes a bet to prove his point, that most people do know something about basic math. He says he will ask the blonde waitress an integral, and the first laughingly agrees.

The second man calls over the waitress and asks “What is the integral of x squared?”

The waitress says “one third x cubed” and while walking away, turns back and adds with a wink “…plus a constant.”

There’s also a nice variation on this.

## 10.23.08

### A mathematician walks into a bar

Filed under: Upper-division jokes, Walks into a bar — Travis @

A mathematican walks into a bar accompanied by a dog and a cow. The bartender says, “Hey, no animals are allowed in here.”

The mathematician replies, “These are very special animals.”

“How so?”

“They’re knot theorists.”

The bartender raises his eyebrows and says, “I’ve met a number of knot theorists who I thought were animals, but never an animal that was a knot theorist.”

“Well, I’ll prove it to you. Ask them them anything you like.”

So the bartender asks the dog, “Name a knot invariant.”

“Arf! Arf!” barks the dog.

The bartender scowls and turns to the cow asking, “Name a topological invariant.”

“Mu! Mu!” says the cow.

At this point the bartender turns to the mathematican and says, “Very funny.” With that, he throws the three out of the bar.

Outside, sitting on the curb, the dog turns to the mathematican and asks, “Do you think I should have said the Jones polynomial instead?”

Notes. The dog is, of course, referring to the Cahit Arf-invariant of knot theory, while the cow is referring to the Milnor mu-invariant of algebraic topology.

## 10.22.08

### Counterexamples

Filed under: Upper-division jokes — Travis @

At a large mathematical conference, a young mathematician is demonstrating his first new result to a gaggle of respected mathematicians.

When he concludes its proof, someone in the audience interrupts him: “That proof must be wrong — I have two counterexamples to your theorem.”

The young mathematician shrugs. “That’s okay. I have three other proofs of it.”

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