Mathematical Fun

Click here to see More Math Jokes and click here to see Non-math Fun

(Thanks to the nice people at the bottom of the page for some gems . Your joke or gem could go here, too.  Just e-mail me.)

“The miracle of the appropriateness of the language of mathematics for the formulation of the laws of physics is a wonderful gift, which we neither understand nor deserve.”---E.P. Wigner from ``The Unreasonable Effectiveness of Mathematics in the Natural Sciences'' in Symmetries and Reflections, (Oxbow Press, Woodbridge, Conn., 1979), p. 237 (found at

This link demonstrates the role math plays in science, technology, and culture.

For links between math and art, check out this exhibit of math in art and check out Tufts alum Lun-Yi Tsai's math art.


Factorization Diagrams illustrate artistically how natural numbers factor. Check out this to see diagrams and this to read about it.


Check out Vi Hart's site (opens in a new tab) for entertaining math videos that are real math! Check out the ones about doodling in math class and visual multiplication.

Here's a cool explanation why .99999....=1 and other cool facts about numbers by Vi Hart (opens in new tab).
Here's a nice New York Times article about her work.

Did you ever wonder about zero??  Read on!

Here are interesting facts about the whole numbers up to 9,999.

Here is a cool Ted talk about Fibonacci numbers

If you like to hear about Klein bottles, check out this.

Here's all about Tom Lehrer's new math. Try this site for his song on the elements in the periodic table.

In Math 135, Real Analysis, we prove the Bolzano Weierstrass Theorem, and here is a Rap version for the real line!! Rumor has it this will be on some final or another!

Here is a cool site for kids and adults with puzzles, logic games, including Sudoku, and illusions (opens in a new window).

In class, I talk about Mathamagicland. Here's the real thing (an interview with a mathamagician, Arthur Benjamin, on Colbert Nation)!

Lighter fare

For some historical perspective, here are report cards for some mathy folks.

If you want a theorem named after you, read on!

If that isn’t good enough, check out this site to tell if you’re really a pure mathematician.

If you ever wondered where mathematics stands in the intellectual hierarchy read on!

(these very cool jokes came from )


Here and here and are web sites for math jokes.  Here's one for math jokes by kids.

Here and here are web sites with cute math comics,

I ask my students for jokes and here are some good ones


Do you want to celebrate Pi Day every day? If you'd like the Beatles and Pi, then sing on!

How about learning pi to 1000 places, and here is pi to 2 places if you look closely.

Don't tell anyone, but my computer password is the last 8 digits of PI!






Speaking of numbers: I thought about taking the square root of two, but that is just irrational.






Do you know why 6 is afraid of 7??  Click here for the answer.
WARNING: I have been known to put this question on final tests!

If you want to hear the answer sung, click here! (gotten from )

What did the zero say to the eight??  Click here for the answer.

Do you know what you get when you add 1+2+3+4+5+6+...... +......

ANSWER: -1/12!

To see the "proof" click on the link. This caused some controversy since the "proof" uses rules you're not allowed to use in divergent series, so check out this link.

There are three types of people, those who know how to count and those who don't.


There are 10 types of people, those who know binary and those who don't.

Heisenberg and Schrödinger are in a car with Heisenberg driving. They get pulled over. The police officer walks up to the car and asks Heisenberg, "Do you know how fast you were going?" And Heisenberg replies, "No, but I know where we are." The officer says "about 80 mph." Heisenberg looks at his map, then back at the officer, and says, "Great. Now we're lost."

The office gets suspicious, so he ask, "Do you have anything in the car I should know about?" and Schrödinger says, "Well, there's a cat in the trunk." So the officer walks to the back of the car and opens the trunk, and yells,"This cat is dead!" and Schrödinger yells back, "well, now he is, you jerk."


TODD: Dad, can you write in the dark?
FATHER: I think so. What do you want me to write?
TODD: Your name on this report card.


Thoughts about math in school

Peanuts Math


e^x and a constant are walking down the street together when the constant sees a differential operator coming their way. He starts to run away, and e^x asks "Why are you running away?" The constant answers "That's a differential operator. If it acts on me, I disappear." e^x says "I'm e^x, I don't have anything to worry about." and keeps on walking. When he reaches the differential operator, he says "Hi, I'm e^x."

The differential operator responds, "Hi, I'm d/dy"

If you would like to derive click here!





A friend got this in a fortune cookie (really!!): 42.7 percent of all statistics are made up on the spot.

A professor gives a multiple choice test and sees a student flipping coins.  The prof. goes over and asks the student why he's flipping coins and the student explains he didn't study and figures that just random guessing would be better than anything he could do.

Finally, near the end of the test, the prof. sees the student furiously flipping coins and walks over and asks why.  Click here for reason.

.. and then there was the statistician who drowned in a river which was  only 5 inches deep

......on average.

In the same vein, check this out:



Theorem: All positive integers are interesting.
Proof: Assume the contrary. Then there is a lowest non-interesting positive integer. But, hey, that's pretty interesting! A contradiction.

Theorem: Consider the set of all sets that have never been considered. Hey!
They're all gone! Oh, well, never mind...

Q: How many chips does it take to finish a bowl of Guacamole?

A: Avocado's Number!

Here’s what your math profs mean when they use the following words:

Clearly: I don't want to write down all the "in-between" steps.
Trivial: If I have to show you how to do this, you're in the wrong class.
It can easily be shown: No more than four hours are needed to prove it.
Brute force: Four special cases, three counting arguments and two long inductions.
Elegant proof: Requires no previous knowledge of the subject matter and is less than ten lines long.
Similarly: At least one line of the proof of this case is the same as before.
Two line proof: I'll leave out everything but the conclusion, you can't question 'em if you can't see 'em.
Briefly: I'm running out of time, so I'll just write and talk faster.
Proceed formally: Manipulate symbols by the rules without any hint of their true meaning.
Proof omitted: Trust me, It's true.


What’s yellow, linear, normed, and complete??  Click here for answer.


What's complete, has an inner product, and is filled with satirical office humor? Click here for the answer.

Here are some good ones from

Q: What's purple and commutes? A: An Abelian grape.
Q: What is lavender and commutes? A: An Abelian semigrape.
Q: What's purple, commutes, and is worshipped by a limited number of people?
A: A finitely-venerated Abelian grape.
Q: What's nutritious and commutes? A: An Abelian soup.
Q: What do you call a function from a vector space to the reals if it's positive homogeneous, zero only at zero, subadditive, and friendly?
A: A social norm!

Q: What do you call a young eigensheep?
A: A lamb, duh.! (from

Q: What did the discontinuous function say about his limit?
A: "I don't know if I'm approaching this right..."

An engineer physicist and mathematician are asked to make a fence to
enclose the most land with the least fencing.

The engineer says "I can do that" and makes circular fence.

The physicist "I can do better" and makes a fence that goes around the

The mathematician bemusedly says" Oh" and makes a small fence around
"I declare this to be the outside!"


Click here to see More Math Jokes and click here to see Non-math Fun

Thanks to R. Ammon, S. Atlas, M. Babai, E. Barrera, A.Berrian, M.Birtwhistle, S. Bobrow, B. Boghosian, D. Brady, M. Burr, P. Burstein, A. Casale, B. Catanzarite, C. Collins, J, Cormack, S. Cugini, J. Cygelman, M. DeVoto, H. Gallagher, D. Grayson, D. Greisen, T. Gwena, E. Harris (and the play “Proof” by David Auburn), B. Hasselblatt, E. Hartman, E. Harvey, A. Haurwitz, J. Hugg, D. Ivy, S. Jara, E. Kalafarski, A. Kang ,R. Kufmann, R. Kelley, E. Kernfeld, D. Lauden, K. Lewis, Max I.L.S., H. Lin, T. London, A. Louis, K. Maxwell, S. MacLachlan, B.Z. Mayer, L. Mittel, A super Ottoson sixth grade math teacher, K. Mueller, S. Mullins, R. Mungar, Z. Munro, F. Nelson, K, Nichols-Schmolze, Z. Nitecki, Anne A.P., S. Patch, C. Pierce, B. Powers, J. Q., LQ, G. Raymond, J. Rennie, T. Schuster, W. Schwartz, J. Seltzer, N. Slaughter, E. St. Sauvier, K. Sawrey, C.M. Tan, R. Tobin, M. Tran, J. Waldman, M. Yan, J. Yorke, Y. Zhu, the Zigos, Uncle Karl, cousins Kaa, Karl III, Lisa, Nancy, and Nino, niece Ashley, and some kind anonymous soul.

Last modified by Todd Quinto on