Wild About Math! Making Math fun and accessible


Review: Math Jokes 4 Mathy Folks

Math Jokes 4 Mathy Folks is just that, a book of jokes for people who like Math. I particularly enjoy reading Math jokes that non-Math people won't get. This book is chock full of them.

"What happened to your girlfriend, that really cute math student?"

"She's not my girlfriend any more. She was cheating on me. A couple of nights ago, I called her on the phone, and she told me that she was in bed wrestling with three unknowns."

Here's another:

Why did the chicken cross the road?

Paul Erdos: It was forced to do so by the chicken-hole principle.

"Math Jokes" is 117 pages of pure (vs. applied) fun. The author, Patrick Vennebush, who I've exchanged a few emails with, is a great guy too. And, he's done important work to advance Math. I found this link to an article about Patrick winning a Penn State Achievement Award in 2007. Patrick is Online Projects Manager for the NCTM Illuminations Math teaching resources web-site.

Patrick has a blog. It's funny, just like the book. Here's a joke from the blog:

Several engineering students are taking a final. One of them is cheating and brought a slide rule to the exam.
“Hey,” the student next to him whispers. “Can you help me? What’s 3 × 6?”
The cheater reaches for his slide rule, and after a few seconds he replies, “19.”
“Are you sure?” asks the other.
The cheater again reaches for his slide rule, and after another few seconds he replies, “You’re right. It’s closer to 18… 18.3, to be precise.”

I had fun with this book. While I've heard a number of the jokes already, there were plenty of new ones to give me a chuckle. There are light bulb jokes, chicken jokes, one-liners, puns, and other assorted (and sordid) humor. There's something for everyone (who's a Math geek or loves one).

I must disclose that Patrick sent me a review copy of his. He actually insisted that I have a copy whether I was going to review it or not. But, if you're not as fortunate as I am you can buy a new copy on Amazon for $7.65 plus shipping or (get this) a used copy for $61.49 or more. (What's with the super high price for a used copy, Patrick?)

Comments (5) Trackbacks (1)
  1. I’d like to say that, like a fine wine, my book gets better with age — hence, the high price for used copies. But I honestly can’t explain it. I’ve seen some resellers charge that much when they were shipping it internationally, but this one seems to be shipping domestically. I’ll have to find out if anyone buys it at that price — and if so, I’ll increase the MSRP!

  2. My favorite math joke:

    There are 10 kinds of people in the world:
    Those who understand binary,
    And those who don’t.

  3. Personally I like this version:

    There are 10 kinds of people in the world:
    Those who understand binary,
    those who don’t,
    and those who understand arbitrary bases.

  4. Patrick will talk to the Math 2.0 Interest Group live on July 7th at 9:30 Eastern Time. The event is open to everyone. Here are details: http://mathfuture.wikispaces.com/Calculation+Nation

    If you miss it, the recording will be at the event page afterward.

  5. I recently heard another adaptation of the binary joke.

    There are 10 kinds of people in the world: Those who understand binary…
    and nine others.

Leave a comment