Engineers, Mathematicians, and others

  • Understanding Engineers ...
    • "Normal people ... believe that if it ain't broke, don't fix it.
    • Engineers believe that if it ain't broke, it doesn't have enough features yet."
      ----- Scott Adams, The Dilbert Principle
  • Understanding Engineers ...
    • To the optimist, the glass is half full.
    • To the pessimist, the glass is half empty.
    • To the engineer, the glass is twice as big as it needs to be.
      Click here for a comic strip
  • A pastor, a doctor and an engineer were waiting one morning for a particularly slow group of golfers.
    The engineer fumed, "What's with these guys? We must have been waiting for 15 minutes!"
    The doctor chimed in, "I don't know, but I've never seen such ineptitude!"
    The pastor said, "Hey, here comes the greenskeeper. Let's have a word with him."

    "Hi George. Say, what's with that group ahead of us? They're rather slow, aren't they?"
    The greenskeeper replied, "Oh, yes, that's a group of blind firefighters. They lost their sight saving our clubhouse from a fire last year, so we always let them play for free anytime."

    The group was silent for a moment. The pastor said, "That's so sad. I think I will say a special prayer for them tonight."
    The doctor said, "Good idea. And I'm going to contact my ophthalmologist buddy and see if there's anything he can do for them."
    The engineer said, "Why can't these guys play at night?"

  • What College graduates ask...
    • The graduate with a Science degree asks, "Why does it work?"
    • The graduate with an Engineering degree asks, "How does it work?"
    • The graduate with an Accounting degree asks, "How much will it cost?"
    • The graduate with a Liberal Arts degree asks, "Do you want fries with that?"
  • Equations and the Real World
    • Engineers think that equations approximate the real world.
    • Scientists think that the real world approximates equations.
    • Mathematicians are unable to make the connection...
  • A Mathematician, a Biologist and a Physicist are sitting in a street cafe watching people going in and coming out of the house on the other side of the street.

    First they see two people going into the house. Time passes. After a while they notice three persons coming out of the house.

    • The Physicist: "The measurement wasn't accurate.".
    • The Biologist's conclusion: "They have reproduced".
    • The Mathematician: "If now exactly 1 person enters the house then it will be empty again."
  • In some foreign country a priest, a lawyer and an engineer are about to be guillotined. The priest puts his head on the block, they pull the rope and nothing happens -- he declares that he's been saved by divine intervention -- so he's let go. The lawyer is put on the block, and again the rope doesn't release the blade, he claims he can't be executed twice for the same crime so he is set free too. They grab the engineer and shove his head into the guillotine, he looks up at the release mechanism and says, "Wait a minute, I see your problem..."


  • A doctor, a lawyer and a mathematician were discussing the relative merits of having a wife or a mistress.

    • The lawyer says: "For sure a mistress is better. If you have a wife and want a divorce, it causes all sorts of legal problems.
    • The doctor says: "It's better to have a wife because the sense of security lowers your stress and is good for your health.
    • The mathematician says: " You're both wrong. It's best to have both so that when the wife thinks you're with the mistress and the mistress thinks you're with your wife --- you can do some mathematics.
  • ---------------------------------------------------


    • If you enjoy pain.
    • If you know vector calculus but you can't remember how to do long division.
    • If you chuckle whenever anyone says "centrifugal force."
    • If you've actually used every single function on your graphing calculator.
    • If it is sunny and 70 degrees outside, and you are working on a computer.
    • If you frequently whistle the theme song to "MacGyver."
    • If you know how to integrate a chicken and can take the derivative of water.
    • If you think in "math."
    • If you've calculated that the World Series actually diverges.
    • If you hesitate to look at something because you don't want to break down its wave function.
    • If you have a pet named after a scientist.
    • If you laugh at jokes about mathematicians.
    • If you can translate English into Binary.
    • If you can't remember what's behind the door in the engineering building which says "Exit."
    • If you have to bring a jacket with you, in the middle of summer, because there's a wind-chill factor in the lab.
    • If you are completely addicted to caffeine.
    • If you avoid doing anything because you don't want to contribute to the eventual heat-death of the universe.
    • If you consider ANY non-engineering course "easy."
    • If when your professor asks you where your homework is, you claim to have accidentally determined its momentum so precisely, that according to Heisenberg it could be anywhere in the universe.
    • If the "fun" center of your brain has deteriorated from lack of use.
    • If you'll assume that a "horse" is a "sphere" in order to make the math easier.
    • If you understood more than five of these indicators.
    • If you make a hard copy of this list, and post it on your door (or your home page!)


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