Miscellaneous Math Jokes

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    President Bush's morning security briefing is wrapping up.   Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld is concluding his part and says, "Finally, three Brazilian soldiers were killed yesterday near Baghdad."

    "OH MY GOD!" shrieks Bush, and he buries his head in his hands for a seemingly interminable 30 seconds.   Stunned at the unexpected display of emotion, the President's staff sits speechless, not sure how to react.

    Finally, Bush looks up and asks Rumsfeld, "How many is a brazillion?"
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    Do you know why they never have beer at a math party?
    Because you can't drink and derive...
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    Did you hear about the teacher who was arrested trying to board an airplane with a compass, a protractor and a calculator?
    He was charged with carrying weapons of math instruction.
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    If it's zero degrees outside today and it's supposed to be twice as cold tomorrow, how cold is it going to be? -- Steven Wright
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    One day, Jesus said to his disciples:
    "The Kingdom of Heaven is like y = 3 x^2 + 8 x - 9."

    A man who had just joined the disciples looked very confused and asked Peter:
    "What, on Earth, does he mean by that?"

    Peter smiled. "Don't worry. It's just another one of his parabolas."

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    A man will pay $2 for a $1 item he needs.
    A woman will pay $1 for a $2 item that she doesn't need.
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    A scientist has two large jars before him, one containing many fleas, the other empty. He gently removes a flea from the flea jar, places it on the table before the empty jar, steps back, and commands "Jump," whereupon the flea jumps into the empty jar. Methodically he gently removes each flea, places it on the table, says "Jump," and the flea jumps into the originally empty jar.

    When he has transferred all the fleas in this way, he removes one from the now full jar, carefully pulls off its back legs, and places it on the table before the original jar. He commands "Jump," but the flea does not move. He takes another flea from the jar, carefully pulls off its back legs, and places it on the table. Again he commands "Jump," but the flea does not move. Methodically, he goes through this same procedure with the remaining fleas, and gets the same results.

    The scientist records in his notebook, "A flea, when its back legs are pulled off, cannot hear."

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    The philosopher and mathematician Rene Descartes was sitting in a bar having a few drinks. The bartender came over and asked Rene if he'd like another round, to which Rene responded, "I think not." Rene immediately disappeared.
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    Two mathematicians were having dinner. One was complaining, "The average person is a mathematical idiot. People cannot do arithmetic properly, cannot balance a check book, cannot figure tips, cannot do percents,..." The other mathematician disagreed, "You're exaggerating. People know all the math they need to know."

    Later in the dinner, the complainer went to the men's room. The other mathematician beckoned to the waitress and said, "The next time you come past our table, I am going to stop you and ask you a question. No matter what I say, I want you to answer by saying 'x-squared."

    When the other mathematician returned, his companion said, "I am tired of your complaining. I am going to stop the next person who comes by our table and ask him or her an elementary calculus question, and I bet the person can solve it." Soon the waitress came by and he asked, "Excuse me, Miss, but can you tell me what the integral of 2x with respect to x is?" The waitress replied, "x-squared." The mathematician said, "See!" His friend said, "Oh I guess you're right." And the waitress said, "Plus a constant."

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    Six engineers and six mathematicians are attending a conference and are traveling by train.

    One by one, each of the engineers goes up to the ticket counter and buys a ticket to the conference. But only one of the mathematicians does. The engineers look puzzled and one of the mathematicians says, "Optimization."

    The twelve get on the same car and one mathematician stands at each end of the car. Now the engineers are really puzzled. After a while, the mathematician at one end, yells, "Conductor!" On that cue, all the mathematicians pile into the rest room and lock the door.

    The conductor enters the car and announces, "Tickets, please. Tickets!" He passes the engineers and punches each of their tickets. At the end of the car, he notices the restroom is occupied and knocks on the door, "Ticket, please."

    The ticket slides out from under the door, he punches it and slides it back, then leaves the car and continues to the next car.

    The engineers look at each other and decide how clever the mathematicians have been, and then wink at each other.

    They all attend the conference and have a good time. Upon arriving at the train station, one engineer buys a ticket and they giggle at each other. The mathematicians do not buy any. This time again, the engineers look puzzled, and the same mathematician says, "Optimization."

    This time all the mathematicians sit down and the engineers have the lookouts. One engineer, peers down a couple of cars and shouts, "Conductor!" Immediately all the engineers pile into the rest room, while the mathematicians just sit there. Once the engineers are in the rest room, one of the mathematicians knocks on the door and says, "Ticket, please." The ticket slides out under the door, the mathematician grabs it and along with the other mathematicians, runs to the other rest room and they lock themselves in.

    -- contributed by Keith Mealy (and the next one, too)

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    Three statisticians went rabbit hunting one day. While walking along, they scared a rabbit out of the brush and send him running. The first statistician shot and there was a puff of dust 1 yard behind the rabbit. The second shot next and there was a puff of dust one yard in front of the rabbit. The third one yelled, "We got it!!"
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    Deep Thoughts ... By Jack Handey
    Instead of having 'answers' on a math test, they should just call them 'impressions' and if you got a different 'impression' so what, can't we all be brothers?
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    The ark lands after The Flood. Noah lets all the animals out.
    He says, "Go and multiply." Several months pass. Noah decides to check up on the animals. All are doing fine except a pair of snakes. "What's the problem?" says Noah.

    "Cut down some trees and let us live there", say the snakes.

    Noah follows their advice. Several more weeks pass. Noah checks on the snakes again. Lots of little snakes, everybody is happy.

    Noah asks, "Want to tell me how the trees helped?"

    "Certainly", say the snakes.

    "We're adders, and we need logs to multiply."

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    There's an old MIT football cheer:

    E to the x, dy, dx,
    E to the x, dx.
    Secant, tangent, cosine, sine,
    Square root, cube root, log base e,
    Cheers for math at MIT.

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    I believe five out of four people have trouble with fractions. -- Steven Wright
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    Did you hear about the geometer who went to the beach to catch the rays and became a tangent ?
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    My geometry teacher was sometimes acute, and sometimes obtuse, but always, he was right.
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    Is it possible to cut a prime rib with a steak knife or is a prime rib divisible only by itself and by the number one?
    (sent in by Izzy Kushner)
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    A mathematician once was asked in his class: "What is mathematics good for?"
    He replied: "This question makes me sick.
    Like when you show somebody the Grand Canyon for the first time, and he asks you,
    `What's it good for?' What would you do?
    Why, you would kick the guy off the cliff".
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    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..."
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    Biologists think they're biochemists.
    Biochemists think they're chemists.
    Chemists think the're physical chemists.
    Physical Chemists think they're physicists.
    Physicists think they're God.
    God thinks he is a mathematician.
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    There are three kinds of mathematicians -- those who can count and those who can't.

    Click here for comic

    Click here for another comic

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    There are two groups of people in the world; those who believe that the world can be divided into two groups of people, and those who don't.
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    There are two groups of people in the world: Those who can be categorized into one of two groups of people, and those who can't.
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    There are 10 groups of people in the world: those who understand binary, and those who don't.
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    There are two groups of people in the world: those that don't do math, and those that take care of them.
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    A woman worries about the future until she gets a husband.
    A man never worries about the future until he gets a wife.
    A successful man is one who makes more money than his wife can spend.
    A successful woman is one who can find such a man.
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    Mathematics is made up of 50 percent formulas, 50 percent proofs, and 50 percent imagination.
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    A mathematician went insane and believed that he was the differentiation operator. His friends had him placed in a mental hospital until he got better. All day he would go around frightening the other patients by staring at them and saying "I differentiate you!"

    One day he met a new patient; and true to form he stared at him and said "I differentiate you!", but for once, his victim's expression didn't change.

    Surprised, the mathematician marshalled his energies, stared fiercely at the new patient and said loudly "I differentiate you!", but still the other man had no reaction. Finally, in frustration, the mathematician screamed out "I DIFFERENTIATE YOU!"

    The new patient calmly looked up and said, "You can differentiate me all you like: I'm e to the x."

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    The functions are sitting in a bar, chatting (how fast they go to zero at infinity etc.). Suddenly, one cries "Beware! Derivation is coming!"
    All immediately hide themselves under the tables, only the exponential sits calmly on the chair.

    The derivation comes in, sees a function and says "Hey, you don't fear me?"
    "No, I am e to the x", says the exponential self-confidently.
    "Well" replies the derivation "but who says I differentiate along x?"

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    Mathematicians are like Frenchmen: whatever you say to them, they translate it into their own language, and forthwith it means something entirely different. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
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    Approximately ten excuses for not doing homework:
    • I accidentally divided by zero and my paper burst into flames.
    • I could only get arbitrarily close to my textbook. I couldn't actually reach it.
    • I have the proof, but there isn't room to write it in this margin.
    • I have a solar powered calculator and it was cloudy.
    • I locked the paper in my trunk but a four-dimensional dog got in and ate it.
    • I couldn't figure out whether I am the square of negative one or I am the square root of negative one.
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    The Dictionary: what mathematics professors say and what they mean by it:

    Clearly: I don't want to write down all the "in-between" steps.

    Trivial: If I have to show you how to do this, you're in the wrong class.

    It can easily be shown: No more than four hours are needed to prove it.

    Check for yourself: This is the boring part of the proof, so you can do it on your own time.

    Hint: The hardest of several possible ways to do a proof.

    Brute force: Four special cases, three counting arguments and two long inductions.

    Elegant proof: Requires no previous knowledge of the subject matter and is less than ten lines long.

    Similarly: At least one line of the proof of this case is the same as before.

    Two line proof: I'll leave out everything but the conclusion, you can't question 'em if you can't see 'em.

    Briefly: I'm running out of time, so I'll just write and talk faster.

    Proceed formally: Manipulate symbols by the rules without any hint of their true meaning.

    Proof omitted: Trust me, It's true.

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    Lumberjacks make good musicians because of their natural logarithms.
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    Pie are not square. Pie are round. Cornbread are square.
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    The answer to the problem was "log(1+x)". A student copied the answer from the good student next to him, but didn't want to make it obvious that he was cheating, so he changed the answer slightly, to "timber(1+x)"
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    A teacher was trying to impress her students with the fact that terms cannot be subtracted from one another unless they are like terms. "For example," she continued, "we cannot take five apples from six bananas."
    "Well," countered a pupil, "can't we take five apples from three trees?"
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    The limit as n goes to infinity of sin(x)/n is 6.

    Proof: cancel the n in the numerator and denominator.

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    A somewhat advanced society has figured how to package basic knowledge in pill form.
    A student, needing some learning, goes to the pharmacy and asks what kind of knowledge pills are available.
    The pharmacist says "Here's a pill for English literature."
    The student takes the pill and swallows it and has new knowledge about English literature!
    "What else do you have?" asks the student.
    "Well, I have pills for art history, biology, and world history," replies the pharmacist.
    The student asks for these, and swallows them and has new knowledge about those subjects.
    Then the student asks, "Do you have a pill for math?"
    The pharmacist says "Wait just a moment", and goes back into the storeroom and brings back a whopper of a pill and plunks it on the counter.
    "I have to take that huge pill for math?" inquires the student.
    The pharmacist replied "Well, you know math always was a little hard to swallow."
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    The West Virginia High School League instituted tough new eligiblity criteria this year for all high school athletes. Each player must pass both a verbal and a mathematics test.
    The coach of one of the local high schools asked if he could be present when they tested his star quarterback. He was allowed to sit in the back during the oral test.
    The player was asked to spell his name for the verbal part of the test. He said, "B - U - B - B - A."
    "Well done! Now for the math part, what is 6 plus 2?" The quarterback answered, "8." And the football coach, yells out, "Give him another chance!"
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    The Planes Indians practiced polygamy, and one chief had three squaws.
    The first squaw lived in a teepee of elk hide, the second in a teepee made of buffalo hide, and the youngest in a teepee of hippopotamus hide.
    Then he slept with each wife on the eve of his great hunting trip.
    He was gone nine moons and when he returned, he went into the elk hide teepee and found that his wife had borne him a son. Likewise, in the buffalo hide teepee, that squaw, too, had borne him a son. So, imagine his surprise when he found twin baby boys in the hippopotamus hide teepee.

    This just proves that ...

    The squaw of the hippopotomus is equal to the sum of the squaws of the other two hides.

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  • Click here for a similar proof

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    Q: What do you get when you cross an elephant and a banana?
    A: |elephant|*|banana|*sin(theta)

    Q: What do you get when you cross an elephant and a mountain climber?
    A: It's undefined, since the mountain climber is a "scaler".

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    Question: "How many seconds are there in a year?"
    Answer: "Twelve. January second, February second, March second, ..."
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    Teacher: "What is seven Q plus three Q?"
    Student: " Ten Q"
    Teacher: "You're Welcome."
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    Q. How do we know that the following fractions are in Europe? A/C, X/C and W/C ?
    A. Because their numerators are all over C's.
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                     A SLICE OF PI
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    Q. Why was six afraid of seven?
    A. Because 7 8 9.
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    Q. What did one math book say to the other?
    A. Don't bother me! I've got my own problems!
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    A math teacher is one who talks in someone else's sleep.
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    "The problems for the exam will be similar to the ones discussed in the class.
    Of course, the numbers will be different.
    But not all of them. Pi will still be 3.14159... "
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    Q: Why did the chicken cross the Moebius strip?
    A: To get to the other ... er, um ...
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    Q: how many times can you subtract 7 from 83, and what is left afterwards?
    A: I can subtract it as many times as I want, and it leaves 76 every time.
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    Q: Did you hear the one about the statistician?
    A: Probably....
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    Q What does trigonometry have in common with a beach?
    A: Tan Gents
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    Q: How do hearing impared people greet one another?
    A: They sine waves.
    (For a microwave you just use your pinky.)
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    How many mathematical logicians does it take to replace a lightbulb??
    None: They can't do it, but they can prove that it can be done.

    How many numerical analysts does it take to replace a lightbulb??
    3.9967: (after six iterations).

    How many classical geometers does it take to replace a lightbulb??
    None: You can't do it with a straight edge and a compass.

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    You Might Be a Mathematician if...

    you are fascinated by the equation .

    you know by heart the first fifty digits of pi.

    you have tried to prove Fermat's Last Theorem.

    you know ten ways to prove Pythagoras' Theorem.

    your telephone number is the sum of two prime numbers.

    you have calculated that the World Series actually diverges.

    you are sure that differential equations are a very useful tool.

    you comment to your wife that her straight hair is nice and parallel.

    when you say to a car dealer "I'll take the red car or the blue one", you must add "but not both of them."


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