Posted by: gupta2 | November 14, 2008

Math jokes for the end of the week

Since this week has been fairly brutal for many of us, I thought a few Math jokes might help ease the pain. I went through a bunch of websites and sorted through to find the funniest ones:

A Mathematician and a Wall Street Broker
A mathematician and a Wall street broker went to races. The broker suggested to bet $10,000 on a horse. The mathematician was sceptical, saying that he wanted first to understand the rules, to look on horses, etc. The broker whispered that he knew a secret algorithm for the success, but he could not convince the mathematician.
“You are too theoretical,” he said and bet on a horse. Surely, that horse came first bringing him a lot of money.

Triumphantly, he exclaimed, “I told you, I knew the secret!”

“What is your secret?” the mathematician asked.

“It is rather easy. I have two kids, three and five year old. I sum up their ages and I bet on number nine.”

“But, three and five is eight,” the mathematician protested.

“I told you, you are too theoretical!” the broker replied, “Haven’t I just shown experimentally, that my calculation is correct! 3+5=9!”


Old mathematicians never die …
Old mathematicians never die; they just lose some of their functions.


An engineer, physicist & mathematician in a hotel
An engineer, a physicist and a mathematician are staying in a hotel.

The engineer wakes up and smells smoke. He goes out into the hallway and sees a fire, so he fills a trash can from his room with water and douses the fire. He goes back to bed.

Later, the physicist wakes up and smells smoke. He opens his door and sees a fire in the hallway. He walks down the hall to a fire hose and after calculating the flame velocity, distance, water pressure, trajectory, etc. extinguishes the fire with the minimum amount of water and energy needed.

Later, the mathematician wakes up and smells smoke. He goes to the hall, sees the fire and then the fire hose. He thinks for a moment and then exclaims, “Ah, a solution exists!” and then goes back to bed.


What’s 2 and 2?
Teacher: What’s 2 and 2?
Pupil: 4
Teacher: That’s good.
Pupil: Good?, that’s perfect!


Algebraic symbols
Algebraic symbols are used when you do not know what you are talking about.


A History of Teaching Math
1. Teaching Math in the 1950s: A logger sells a truckload of lumber for $100. His cost of production is 4/5 of the price. What is his profit?

2. Teaching Math in the 1960s: A logger sells a truckload of lumber for $100. His cost of production is 4/5 of the price, or $80. What is his profit?

3. Teaching Math in the 1970s: A logger exchanges a set “L” of lumber for a set “M” of money. The cardinality of set “M” is 100. Each element is worth one dollar. Make100 dots representing the elements of the set “M”. The set “C”, the cost of production contains 20 fewer points than set “M”. Represent the set “C” as a subset of set “M” and answer the following question: What is the cardinality of the set “P” of profits?

4. Teaching Math in the 1980s: A logger sells a truckload of lumber for $100. His cost of production is $80 and his profit is $20. Your assignment: Underline the number 20.

5. Teaching Math in the 1990s: By cutting down beautiful forest trees, the logger makes $20. What do you think of this way of making a living? Topic for class participation after answering the question: How did the forest birds and squirrels feel as the logger cut down the trees? There are no wrong answers.

6. Teaching Math in the 2000s: your call.


The Equation of earnings

Engineers and scientists will never make as much money as business executives. Now a rigorous mathematical proof has been developed that explains why this is true:

Postulate 1: Knowledge is Power.

Postulate 2: Time is Money.

As every engineer knows,

Work = Power * Time

Since Knowledge = Power, and Time = Money, we have:

Work = Knowledge * Money

Solving for Money, we get:

Money = Work / Knowledge

Thus, as Knowledge decreases, Money increases, regardless of how much Work is done.

Conclusion: The Less you Know, the More you Make.

Note: It has been speculated that the reason why Bill Gates dropped out of Harvard’s math program was because he stumbled upon this proof as an undergraduate, and dedicated the rest of his career to the pursuit of ignorance.

Refrigerate elephants
1. Differentiate it and put into the refrig. Then integrate it in the refrig.
2. Redefine the measure on the referigerator (or the elephant).
3. Apply the Banach-Tarsky theorem.

Number theory:
1. First factorize, second multiply.
2. Use induction. You can always squeeze a bit more in.

1. Step 1. Show that the parts of it can be put into the refrig. Step 2. Show that the refrig. is closed under the addition.
2. Take the appropriate universal refrigerator and get a surjection from refrigerator to elephant.

1. Have it swallow the refrig. and turn inside out.
2. Make a refrig. with the Klein bottle.
3. The elephant is homeomorphic to a smaller elephant.
4. The elephant is compact, so it can be put into a finite collection of refrigerators. That’s usually good enough.
5. The property of being inside the referigerator is hereditary. So, take the elephant’s mother, cremate it, and show that the ashes fit inside the refrigerator.
6. For those who object to method 3 because it’s cruel to animals. Put the elephant’s BABY in the refrigerator.

Algebraic topology:
Replace the interior of the refrigerator by its universal cover, R^3.

Linear algebra:
1. Put just its basis and span it in the refrig.
2. Show that 1% of the elephant will fit inside the refrigerator. By linearity, x% will fit for any x.

Affine geometry (Relates to recent work):
There is an affine transformation putting the elephant into the refrigerator.

Set theory:
1. It’s very easy! Refrigerator = { elephant } 2) The elephant and the interior of the refrigerator both have cardinality c.

Declare the following:
Axiom 1. An elephant can be put into a refrigerator.

Complex analysis:
Put the refrig. at the origin and the elephant outside the unit circle. Then get the image under the inversion.

Numerical analysis:
1. Put just its trunk and refer the rest to the error term.
2. Work it out using the Pentium.

1. Bright statistician. Put its tail as a sample and say “Done.”
2. Dull statistician. Repeat the experiment pushing the elephant to the refrig.
3. Our NEW study shows that you CAN’T put the elephant in the refrigerator.


Risk of plane bombs
A mathematician and a non-mathematician are sitting in an airport hall waiting for their flight to go. The non has terrible flight panic.

“Hey, don’t worry, it’s just every 10000th flight that crashes.”

“1:10000? So much? Then it surely will be mine!”

“Well, there is an easy way out. Simply take the next plane. It’s much more probable that you go from a crashing to a non-crashing plane than the other way round. So you are already at 1:10000 squared.”


The results of statistics
1. Ten percent of all car thieves are left-handed
2. All polar bears are left-handed
3. If your car is stolen, there’s a 10 percent chance it was taken by a Polar bear

1. 39 percent of unemployed men wear spectacles
2. 80 percent of employed men wear spectacles
3. Work stuffs up your eyesight

1. All dogs are animals
2. All cats are animals
3. Therefore, all dogs are cats

1. A total of 4000 cans are opened around the world every second
2. Ten babies are conceived around the world every second
3. Each time you open a can, you stand a 1 in 400 chance of becoming pregnant

Peter’s Fantastic Expansion:


I have definitely thought of doing this before:



To finish up here are some one-liners that relate to Stats:

A new government 10 year survey cost $3,000,000,000 revealed that 3/4 of the people in America make up 75% of the population.

According to recent surveys, 51% of the people are in the majority.

Did you know that 87.166253% of all statistics claim a precision of results that is not justified by the method employed?

80% of all statistics quoted to prove a point are made up on the spot.

According to a recent survey, 33 of the people say they participate in surveys.

Q: What do you call a statistician on drugs?
A: A high flyer.

Q: How many statisticians does it take to change a lightbulb?
A: 1-3, alpha = .05

There is no truth to the allegation that statisticians are mean. They are just your standard normal deviates.

Q: Did you hear about the statistician who invented a device to measure the weight of trees?
A: It’s referred to as the log scale.

Q: Did you hear about the statistician who took the Dale Carnegie course?
A: He improved his confidence from .95 to .99.

Q: Why don’t statisticians like to model new clothes?
A: Lack of fit.

Q: Did you hear about the statistician who was thrown in jail?
A: He now has zero degrees of freedom.

Statisticians must stay away from children’s toys because they regress so easily.

The only time a pie chart is appropriate is at a baker’s convention.

Never show a bar chart at an AA meeting.

Old statisticians never die, they just undergo a transformation.

Q: How do you tell one bathroom full of statisticians from another?
A: Check the p-value.

Q: Did you hear about the statistician who made a career change and became an surgeon specializing in ob/gyn?
A: His specialty was histerectograms.

The most important statistic for car manufacturers is autocorrelation.

Some statisticians don’t drink because they are t-test totalers. Others drink the hard stuff as evidenced by the proliferation of box-and-whiskey plots.

Underwater ship builders are concerned with sub-optimization.

The Lipton Company is big on statistics–especially t-tests.




  1. Well, I see Peter’s problem. \left(a + b\right)^n should clearly be expanded to \left(\;\; a \;\; + \;\; b \;\; \right) \;\; ^n … what was he thinking?

    (Hope that \LaTeX works, ’cause there isn’t a preview button)

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