The Funny Pages

Ah, summer! Sleeping in, reading fiction, traveling, and, of course, preparing for fall classes. I’ll be teaching a math history class, which will be fun but is entirely new to me. As I cling to the last few weeks of freedom before the semester starts, when I have the luxury of prepping at a nice leisurely pace, I sometimes find my browser wandering from the Convergence website, with its useful articles about teaching mathematics using history, to a couple of my favorite funny math blogs.

Math Prof 4 Life illustrates the glamorous life of a math professor with the finest animated gifs that imgur can provide. From students who don’t understand how exams work to students who nail a proof at the board, from Joint Meetings exhibit hall candy to interminable committee meetings to those pesky problems you just can’t quit, the author has an appropriate gif for all sorts of awkward and awesome academic occasions.

By the way, undergraduate abstract algebra professor, I’m sorry for that time I thought all finite groups were abelian. Now I know that this is how you felt inside.

Math Professor Quotes is a dangerous blog to visit if you teach math and think you’re funny. (Guilty as charged.) Because you might be disappointed when you refresh it after class and find that the students surreptitiously using their phones under the desk weren’t submitting your wit to the blog for posterity. But maybe you’ll find a few quotes that will spice up your lectures. (Because recycled jokes never feel forced!) Here are a few of my favorites from the site.

“Using the chain rule is like peeling an onion: you have to deal with each layer at a time, and if it is too big you will start crying.”
“Differentiating is like squeezing toothpaste out of the tube. Integrating is like putting the toothpaste back into the tube.”
“There are precisely as many numbers between zero and one as there are between zero and two. #thefaultinourℝ”
And especially for my math 3220 students from last year: “Heine-Borel is the kind of theorem that is essential for your life. I mean, you can handle doing grocery shopping without Bolzano-Weierstrass, but you would never succeed without Heine-Borel.”

Do you have any favorite funny math blogs?

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