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EASIER THAN YOU THINK...

Mathematical Humour

Cartoon Asking Student to Find x on a Drawing of a TriangleMathematics plays a big part in our world and, because so many people have struggled with it, it has become the source of much humour (some of it rather dark).

This collection is sure to grow.

You will find videos and a collection of images here, too

 

 

 

 

 

 

Image Collection

Cartoon Asking Student to Find x on a Drawing of a TriangleWade Clarke is a Sydney-based musician and 'jack of many trades.'

You will find his rather strange and varied collection of cartoons at his Ocular Trauma site. I think this is his only mathematical cartoon, but it spread virally throughout the world some years ago.

Well done, Wade, for your mischievous sense of humour!

 

 

 

 

Image of a Binomial Product Illustrating the Pun, Your Plan Has Been FoiledThis is one of my own, based on a rather bad pun that I encountered once.

If you know what a binomial product is (in algebra), you will probably have encountered the FOIL mnemonic.  I hope this 'nerdy' joke makes sense to you.

 

 

 

Image of a Houseboat with a Mathematical Pun Superimposed on the ImageThis is a terrible pun but, if you know how to integrate 1/x, you will appreciate the humour!

 

 

 

 

Image of an Iceberg with a Mathematical Pun Superimposed on the ImageWhen I was at school, my teacher shared this pun and the previous one with my class.

Almost everyone groaned!

 

 

 

 

 

Image of a Limerick Superimposed on a Faded Picture of an Array of EggsIt appears that this limerick was originally written by Jon Saxon, the author of mathematics text books.

Not only does it read well (rhyme and rhythm), but it is written in mathematical symbols and is arithmetically correct!  What an achievement!

 

 

 

Image of a Pun Based on the Integral of z-Squared dzThis amazing pun is quite well-known in mathematical circles.

It was created by Betsy Devine and Joel Cohen and first published in their 1992 book, Absolute Zero Gravity: Science Jokes, Quotes and Anecdotes (Simon and Schuster).

 

 

A Mathematical Pun ~ Explaining Binomial Products

One of the fundamental skills of algebra is being able to multiply larger expressions. Here, I explain one of the most common of these structures ... how to multiply two terms by two terms ... e.g. (2 + 4)(2x - 3).

Mathematically, we call this "multiplying a binomial by a binomial" or, simply, "a binomial product." Before you turn away in disgust, let me encourage you to watch the video ... whether you already know how to do this, or not!

If you are not good at algebra and do not understand the process (or do not care), you will learn why you have been using this thinking with great regularity all your life (it is very natural).

If you are already good at algebra and know how to calculate binomial products, you will be entertained with a mathematical pun. On second thoughts, maybe it will make you groan :-) ... but I think it will be worth a few minutes of your time.

Either way, I hope you enjoy the video!

Image of a Binomial Product Illustrating the Pun, Your Plan Has Been Foiled

A Mathematical Pun ~ Logarithms and Calculus on the High 'C's

This is a mathematical joke that I first encountered in school. It provides a good way to remember integrals that produce logarithms.

If you are learning calculus, you should appreciate and enjoy the contents of the video ... and, if you never understood or studied calculus, you can still enjoy the joke anyway (as I explain sufficient for you to understand the play on words).

Enjoy some of the light-hearted side of mathematics ...

Image of a Houseboat with a Mathematical Pun Superimposed on the Image

A Mathematical Pun ~ Arctic Calculus

This is a mathematical joke that I first encountered in school.

'Playing' with calculus is a good way to learn the rules and skills associated with the 'craft.' If you are learning calculus, you should appreciate and enjoy the contents of this video ... and, if you never understood or studied calculus, you can still enjoy the joke anyway (as I explain sufficient for you to understand the play on words).

Enjoy some of the light-hearted side of mathematics ...

Image of an Iceberg with a Mathematical Pun Superimposed on the Image

Mathematical Limerick ~ A Dozen, A Gross, and a Score

There is a world of scientific and mathematical humour that is inhabited by limericks and other devices.

This limerick is comparatively tame, but is well-known and deservedly so. It doesn't simply sound good, it creates an equation that is actually true!

A dozen, a gross, and a score
Plus three times the square root of four
Divided by seven
Plus five times eleven
Equals nine times itself ... nothing more.

It appears to have been written by Jon Saxon, author of a number of mathematical text books.

Please watch and learn and enjoy ...

Image of a Limerick Superimposed on a Faded Picture of an Array of Eggs

Mathematical Limerick ~ The Integral of z-Squared dz

Beware ... this is another mathematical limerick!

It is quite well known in mathematical circles ... and deservedly so ... created by Betsy Devine and Joel Cohen and first published in their 1992 book, Absolute Zero Gravity: Science Jokes, Quotes and Anecdotes (Simon and Schuster). If you wish to purchase a copy of their book, I believe it is out of print but you may obtain used copies of it via bookfinder.com.

The integral of z².dz
From one to the cube-root of three
Times the cosine
Of three-π on nine
Is the log of the cube root of 'e'

I hope you like it.

Image of a Pun Based on the Integral of z-Squared dz

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