# Let ε < 0.

## 09.9.09

### Mathematical limericks, vol. 1

Filed under: Harmonic analysis — Travis @

#### There once was a mathematician named x…

Mathematics: of sciences, queen
Has more rules than I’ve ever seen.
There are no exceptions,
Just number deceptions.
On calculators, I am quite keen.

A mathematician confided
That the Moebius band is one-sided
And you’ll get quite a laugh
If you cut one in half
‘Cause it stays in one piece when divided.

A mathematician named Klein
Thought the Moebius band was divine
Said he: “If you glue
The edges of two
You’ll get a weird bottle like mine.”

A go-go lap dancer, a pip,
Was able to peel in a zip.
But she read science fiction
And died of constriction
Attempting a Moebius strip.

The Moebius strip is a pain,
When you cut it again and again,
But if you should wedge
A large disk round the edge
Then you just get a projective plane.

If you have a cross-cap on your sphere,
And you give it a circle-shaped tear,
Then just shake it about
And untangle it out
And a Moebius strip will appear!

A mathematician named Crottle
Poured water into a Klein bottle.
When asked, “Do you doubt
That some will run out?”
He replied, “No, I don’t. Quite a lot’ll.”

There was young maiden named List
Whose mouth had a funny half-twist.
She’d turned both her lips
Into Moebius strips…
‘Til she’s kissed you, you haven’t been kissed!

There was a young fellow named Fisk,
A swordsman, exceedingly brisk.
So fast was his action,
The Lorentz contraction
Reduced his rapier to a disc.

A conjecture both deep and profound
Is whether the circle is round;
In a paper by Erdos,
written in Kurdish,
A counterexample is found.

A challenge for many long ages
Had baffled the savants and sages.
Yet at last came the light:
Seems old Fermat was right–
To the margin add 200 pages.

A calc student upset as could be
That his antiderivative didn’t agree
With the one in the book
E’en aft one more look.
Oh! Seems he forgot to write the “+ C”.

A graduate student from Trinity
Computed the cube of infinity;
But it gave him the fidgets
To write down all those digits,
So he dropped math and took up divinity.

A mathematician called Bird,
Had students who thought him absurd.
There were cries of derision
When he said long division,
Meant one into one made a third.

A mathematician called Rumbold,
One day, quite by accident, stumbled
On the Meaning of Life,
Then went on, for his wife,
To find out why all her apple pies crumbled.

To a tightrope walker named Zekund
The a due to gravity beckoned.
His performance was great
At about 9.8
Meters per second per second.

Consider the pitiful plight
Of a runner who wasn’t too bright.
For he sprinted so fast,
That he vanished at last
By red-shifting himself out of sight.

In the near-light speed space-ship I’m in,
I went rocketting off from my twin;
But since I’ve been away
I’ve aged hardly a day
And just look at the state that he’s in!

There’s a leather-clad separatrix,
a vector-valued dominatrix
who divides a phase plane
into pleasure and pain
when she gets hold of more than one matrix. [CG]

Jack the mathematician
Had a very strange mission.
The problems he wrote,
He often would gloate,
Sen many a student a-wishin.’ [DG]

There once was a prof, Dr. K.,
Who taught calculus everyday.
From dawn until noon,
Integrating to the moon.
To him, derivatives were okay.

There was a prof named Kowalski
Who taught all this calculus to me.
On the final — no pass;
I must retake the class.
Why, we should all be so lucky. [ES]

Despite all the might fine teachin,’
I can’t help but find myself thinkin’
That Calculus I
Will be much more fun
The second time o’takin’. [MB]

Along cam Sir Isaac Newton
Doin’ mathematical computin’.
One day he contrived
To anti-derive
When findin’ signed areas is suitin’.

#### References

[CG] by Courtney Gibbons (of Brown Sharpie fame!).
[DG] by Dillon Glover.
[ES] by Eric Seifert.
[MB] by Matt Begeman.

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