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Because it's Friday: Maths Jokes

David Smith's picture

Looking for some cocktail party conversation to use over the weekend? Try some of these maths jokes collected by Google engineer Dominic Mazzoni. Some of my faves:

Q. How many mathematicians does it take to change a lightbulb?
A. 1, he gives the lightbulb to 3 engineers, thus reducing the problem to a previously solved joke.

Halfway through a recent airplane flight from Warsaw to New York, there was nearly a major disaster when the flight crew got sick from eating the fish. After they had passed out, one of the flight attendants asked over the intercom if there were any pilots in the cabin. An elderly gentleman, who had flown a bit in the war, raised his hand and was rushed into the cockpit of the 747. When he got there, took the seat, and saw all the displays and controls, he realized he was in over his head. He told the flight attendant that he didn't think he could fly this plane. When asked why not, he replied, "I am just a simple Pole in a complex plane". So, they just had to rely on the method of steepest descents.

If the punchline escapes you (and I had to reach waaay back to my university Pure Mathematics courses for the second one above), Dominic has provided explanations for the jokes for your mathematically-challenged cocktail party guests. (By the way, Explain XKCD is a similarly-useful resource if you ever find an XKCD comic puzzling.)

Anyone got any good Statistics jokes?

Dominic Mazzoni: Math Jokes