
Math Jokes  Fwds Home  Some jokes about Mathematics and Science  
A physicist, an engineer and a mathematician were all in a hotel
sleeping when a fire broke out in their respective rooms.
The physicist woke up, saw the fire, ran over to his desk, pulled
out his CRC, and began working out all sorts of fluid dynamics
equations. After a couple minutes, he threw down his pencil, got
a graduated cylinder out of his suitcase, and measured out a
precise amount of water. He threw it on the fire, extinguishing
it, with not a drop wasted, and went back to sleep.
The engineer woke up, saw the fire, ran into the bathroom, turned
on the faucets fullblast, flooding out the entire apartment,
which put out the fire, and went back to sleep.
The mathematician woke up, saw the fire, ran over to his desk,
began working through theorems, lemmas, hypotheses , you nameit,
and after a few minutes, put down his pencil triumphantly and
exclaimed, "I have *proven* that I *can* put the fire out!"ven* that I *can* put the fire out!"
He then went back to sleep.
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 mustard with that?"
A Physicist, an astronomer and a mathematician are walking one day
through the Scottish Highlands, when they chance to see a black
sheep.
"Ah!" says the astronomer, "that shows that scottish sheep are
black."
"No, come on, you can't say that from a single observation," says the
physicist, "all you can say is that black sheep are found in
Scotland."
"No," says the mathematician, "all you can say from this observation
is that from the angle we are looking at it, at this point in time,
this particular sheep, APPEARS to be black."
How do you prove that all odd numbers are prime?
Depends who you ask
Logician:
Hypothesis: All odd numbers are prime
Proof:
1) If a proof exists, then the hypothesis must be true
2) The proof exists; you're reading it now.
From 1 and 2 follows that all odd numbers are prime
Physicist:
3 is a prime s are prime
Physicist:
3 is a prime
5 is a prime
7 is a prime
9 is not prime, experimental error
Mathematician:
3 is a prime
5 is a prime
7 is a prime
by induction all the rest are prime
Engineer:
3 is a prime
5 is a prime
7 is a prime
9 is a prime
The engineer thinks of his equations as an approximation to reality.
The physicist thinks reality is an approximation to his equations.
The mathematician doesn't care.
A student is sitting his Physics exam, and quite an important one at
thatmaybe his final degree paper or his Oxford Entrance.
Anyway, one of the questions on the paper was to the effect of:
`Q: How could one measure the height of a building using a barometer?'
Being a wit, in the exam this chap puts:
Drop the barometer from the top of the building and time its descent. Using the formula `s = ut + a(t^2)/2' and knowing `a' which is `g' we can calculate the height of the building with reasonable accuracy.
He then goes on to describe in more detail the method he would use.
The examiners were a little concerned. Here was one of their star
students giving an answer they hadn't at all expected.
So they decided to call him in and give him an oral test to decide
whether or not to allow the answer which they did admit was perfectly
valid.
So they called him in and told him he had 15 minutes to make his
case. For ten minutes he said nothing but scribbled away furiously.
After these ten minutes the atmosphere was getting a little tensethis was
meant to be an oral after all, and his degree (or whatever) depended on it.
When they pointed this out to him he said that he was just trying to get
his thoughts in order as there were so many possible solutions. Here are
some of the ones he came up with:
1: What you wanted me to do, of course, was measure air pressure at
the top and bottom of the building, and from the difference and
knowing the pressure exerted by a column of air of unit height I
should be able to calculate the height of the building. But I
thought that would be terribly inaccurate and the answer I gave in the
exam and the following ones are all potentially more accurate.
2: Measure the length of shadow cast by the bulding and by the
barometer on a sunny day. Knowing the actual height of the barometer
one can compute the height of the building.
3: Tie the barometer to the end of a long bit of string and lower the
barometer from the top of the building to the ground. Measure the
amount of string payed out and you have the height of the building.''
He then gave several more but ended with:
`The best method by far, though, would be to go to the building's
janitor and say `If I give you this shiny new scientific barometer
will you tell me how high this building is?'
The student passed his exam.
Three men, a physicist, a engineer and a computer scientist, are
travelling in a car. Suddenly, the car starts to smoke and stops. The
three atonished men try to solve the problem:
 The physicist says: This is obviously a classic problem of
torque. It has overloaded the elasticity limit of the main axis.
 Engineer says : Let's be serious! The matter is that it has burned
the spark of the connecting rod to the dynamo of the radiator. I can
easily repair it by hammering.
 Computer scientist says : What if we get off the car, wait a
minute, and then get in and try again?
A statistician can have his head in an oven and his feet in ice, and
he will say that on the average he feels fine.

