Category Archives: math

The fate of marriages

It is often cited that there are half as many divorces as marriages in the US, so one concludes that average marriages have a 50% chance of ending by divorce. While I was a graduate student, among my peers there were twice as many divorces as marriages, leading us to conclude that average marriages would end twice…

Debate about the box

An engineer, a physicist, and a mathematician are trying to set up a fenced-in area for some sheep, but they have a limited amount of building material. The engineer gets up first and makes a square fence with the material, reasoning that it’s a pretty good working solution. “No no,” says the physicist, “there’s a better way.” He takes the fence and makes a circular pen, showing how it encompasses the maximum possible space with the given material.Then the mathematician speaks up: “No, no, there’s an even better way.” To the others’ amusement he proceeds to construct a little tiny fence around himself, then declares:”I define myself to be on the outside.”

Reducing travel risk

There was this statistics student who, when driving his car, would always accelerate hard before coming to any junction, whizz straight over it , then slow down again once he’d got over it. One day, he took a passenger, who was understandably unnerved by his driving style, and asked him why he went so fast over junctions. The statistics student replied, “Well, statistically speaking, you are far more likely to have an accident at a junction, so I just make sure that I spend less time there.”

Log negative one zero

Theorem: log(-1) = 0Proof:a. log[(-1)^2] = 2 * log(-1)On the other hand:b. log[(-1)^2] = log(1) = 0Combining a) and b) gives:2* log(-1) = 0Divide both sides by 2:log(-1) = 0

The results of statistics

1. Ten percent of all car thieves are left-handed2. All polar bears are left-handed3. If your car is stolen, there’s a 10 percent chance it was taken by a Polar bear1. 39 percent of unemployed men wear spectacles2. 80 percent of employed men wear spectacles3. Work stuffs up your eyesight1. All dogs are animals2. All cats are animals3. Therefore, all dogs are cats1. A total of 4000 cans are opened around the world every second2. Ten babies are conceived around the world every second3. Each time you open a can, you stand a 1 in 400 chance of becoming pregnant