Thursday 20 January 2011

A Little Math Music Maestro

I recently wrote about the historical connection between math and poetry and now we have to think about the connection between music and math. Anyway, thanks to Dave Richeson who had this and several other "math songs" on his Division By Zero blog recently. My students may all be too young to remember Queen..

but Enjoy anyway.

And of course, a tired old joke I tell my students each year as we get to integration:
Two math professors are sitting in a pub.
"Isn't it disgusting", the first one complains, "how little the general public knows about mathematics?"
"Well", his colleague replies, "you're perhaps a bit too pessimistic."
"I don't think so", the first one replies. "And anyhow, I have to go to the washroom now."
He goes off, and the other professor decides to use this opportunity to play a prank on his colleague. He makes a sign to the pretty, blonde waitress to come over.
"When my friend comes back, I'll wave you over to our table, and I'll ask you a question. I would like you to answer: x to the third over three. Can you do that?"
"Sure." The girl giggles and repeats several times: "x to the third over three, x to the third over three, x to the third over three..."
When the first professor comes back from the washroom, his colleague says: "I still think, you're way too pessimistic. I'm sure the waitress knows a lot more about mathematics than you imagine."
He makes her come over and asks her: "Can you tell us what the integral of x squared is?"
She replies: "x to the third over three."
The other professor's mouth drops wide open, and his colleague grins smugly when the waitress adds: " C."

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