Mathematical Humor

Now for some comic relief:

A new issue of the Notices of the AMS is out. It contains an entertaining article entitled Foolproof: A Sampling of Mathematical Folk Humor with many examples of mathematical humor. Physicists also put in an appearance.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to Mathematical Humor

  1. plato says:


    I understand you like films?

    The Sound of Music?🙂


  2. plato says:

    Humor was once defined, in a early historical way. That now, humour might be envisioned as some aether requirement preceding mathematical recognition?:) Is it, just a good gauss( I mean guess)?

  3. Peter says:

    When I first set this up, comments were oldest first, but someone complained that they should be newest first, so I changed it. I think I’ll leave it the way it is for now. At some point I’ll move the weblog to newer software, then I’ll see about maybe changing the ordering.

  4. dave says:


    You should make the comments such that when someone reads them, the first comment is at the top, and the last at the bottom.

  5. Anonymous says:

    There are three types of mathematicians: those who know how to count and those who don’t.

  6. The Wiener anecdote reminds me of another one about physicists this time, namely Pierre and Marie Curie. The Curie were one day eating their lunch, while discussing very intensely about some physics problem. Then, their very devoted maid, who had cooked the meal, asked them if the steack was good. “So it is a steack we had ? That may be.” said Pierre. Apparently Marie was not more aware of what she ate.
    This one is likely to be true, since it is their daughter Eve who wrote about this anecdote.
    A lot less funny, the legendary absent-mindedness of Pierre seems to have costed him his life when he crossed the street without watching.

    PS : the anecdote is probably more funny from a french point of view, since it is very unlikely that a french pays no attention to what he is eating !

  7. Anonymous says:

    Why did the flight to Warsaw crash?

    Because all the Poles were in the left half-plane.

    (Irrelevant context omitted)


  8. Lubos Motl says:

    Haha, very good jokes.

  9. plato says:

    What Is Real?

    The abundance of joking questions involving plays on mathematical terminology, as well as the jokes involving the stereotype of the mathematician,suggest that mathematicians like to play. The delight in playfulness would seem to run counter to the stereotype of the humorless pedant who is concerned only with precision, but there is no necessary contradiction. A predilection for fantasy…..

    whoa now…are you saying mathematician’s actually have humour?:)Imagine Lewis Carroll, and the stories he could tell. I think this man would rate higher in the folklore of the mathematicians?:)

    Maybe because mathematcians are getting older, they like to pass off physics, with mathematical myths?:)

Comments are closed.