Math Humor





0. TRIGONOMETRY  (I was told to bring a sign and wave


Two mathematicians in a restaurant were arguing about the mathematical knowledge of the public.  The cynic said: I will bet you the cost of this dinner that the waitress can't  answer a simple math question.  The cynic excused himself to visit the men's room.  The other called the waitress over and said: Here is $10. When I ask you a question, say one third  x  cubed.  She agreed. 

The cynic  returned, called the waitress over, and said his friend had a question.  The question asked  was:         What is the integral of x squared?  After fidgeting and squirming a long time, she said: One third x cubed.          The cynic paid the check. The waitress walked away, and muttered under her breath:  Plus a constant..

Person 1: What's the integral of 1/cabind cabin?
Person 2: A log cabin.
Person 1: No, a houseboat. You forgot to add the C!

The limit, as n goes to infinity, of {sin x}/n is 6.  Divide numerator & denominator by n and you get six.  Not true.

What type of math is often discussed at the beach? ...intergull calculus!


God asked Noah to build an ark and later asked Noah to load the ark with a male and a female of each species.  After a flood occurred and the water subsided, God said the ark could be unloaded.  After this was done, Noah went into the hold to see if the ark was empty and found hundreds of snakes on a wooden table.  Noah exclaimed "but I only placed two of you here 40 days ago:.  Mrs. Snake said " we are Adders and when Adders are placed on a log table they multiply".


There once was a horse named DAY.  Who liked numbers better than hay.

He could add and subtract, multiply and divide.  His mathematical ability filled his master with pride.

But, when given a book, on geometry --  ANALYT.   Gave a loud whinny, and in his teeth took the bit. 

Galloped away, faster than lightning.  His master wondered, what caused the frightening. 

But, we know the answer, of course. No one should put DECARTES before DAY horse.   drs


A math professor arrived at his classroom 15 minutes early. He looked in his classroom and did not see any student so he waited in the corridor.  A few minutes later, the door to the classroom opened and one student came out. The professor thought: "If I enter the room it will now be empty".

A physicist, a biologist and a mathematician are sitting in a street cafe watching people entering and leaving the house on the other side of the street. First they see two people entering the house. Time passes. After a while they notice three people leaving the house. The physicist says, "The measurement wasn't accurate." The biologist says, "They must have reproduced." The mathematician says, "If one more person enters the house then it will be empty."

FullSizeRender (004)


An Indian chief had three daughters who were given permission to marry three braves, who had to provide  tepees for their brides.  The first brave placed a deerskin on the floor of the tepee he built, the second used a buffalo hide, and the third (who was a world traveler) used the hide of a hippopotamus.  Nine months after the three marriages had occurred, the first wife had a baby boy, the second wife had a baby boy, and the third wife had twin boys. This was predicted by Euclid:  the sons of the squaws on the two hides must equal the sons of the squaw on the hippopotamus.

What is the ratio of the Circumference of a Jack O Lantern to its Diameter?  Pumpkin Pi, of course.  In the artic, the ratio of the distance around an igloo to the distance across, is Eskimo Pi.  However, Eskimo Pi is only 3.00, as everything shrinks in the cold.  

Pi goes on and on, and e is just as cursed.  I wonder which is larger, when their digits are reversed?

Geometry  Are the eight balls moving in a circle or a straight line?


John Glen was asked what went through his mind when he was crouched in the nose-cone , awaiting blast off, replied: " I was thinking this rocket has 20,000 components, and each was made by the lowest bidder"

A firm is hiring mathematicians. Three recent graduates are interviewed: one has a degree in pure mathematics, one in applied math, and the third one obtained his degree. in statistics.
All three are asked the same question: "What is one third plus two thirds?"
The pure mathematician: "It's one."
The applied mathematician uses his pocket calculator and replies: "It's 0.999999999."
The statistician: "What do you want it to be?".

A mother is expecting her fourth child.
One evening, the eldest daughter says to her dad: "Do you know, daddy, what I've found out?"
"The new baby will be Chinese!"
"Yes. I've read in the paper that statistics shows that every fourth child born nowadays is Chinese...

Statistics show that teenage pregnancies drop off significantly after age 25.

7.  BASE 10 & BASE 8    

Mathematicians confuse Halloween & Christmas.  25 Dec = 31Oct   That is, 25 in base 10, equals 31 in base 8. 

Tom Lehrer was a mathematician, songwriter and satirist.    Lehrer stated that:  "Base 8 is just like Base 10, if you're missing 2 Fingers."   See     

But, in the Octal System of Base 8   12x12 =144  just like in the Decimal System  of Base 10.  The number 144 in the Octal System is really the number 100 in the Decimal System.

100 in the Decimal System is 144 in the Octal system and in base 6 it is 244.   12 in the Decimal system is 14 in the Octal System and 20 in Base 6.  So  in Base 6, 12x12 = 400.

8INFINITY et al Richard Phillips Feynman (1918-1988) 

"Did you know there are twice as many numbers as numbers?"

9.  NEGATIVE,  REAL, & IMAGINARY NUMBERS .                                                                                                   

Messages to leave on your telephone answering machine are: 

 If you received a negative response, hang up, rotate your phone 180 degrees, and try again.

 If you think you have reached an imaginary number, rather than a real number, hang up, rotate your phone ninety degrees, and try again.

 How many mathematicians does it take to change a light bulb?" and answers "-e^(ipi)  (which, of course, equals 1.

 Here is  an Argand diagram. Zero (0) is both real and imaginary!


An Argand diagram is a plot of complex numbers as points (z = x + iy) in the complex plane using the x-axis as the real axis and y-axis as the imaginary axis.   While Argand (1806) is generally credited with the discovery, the Argand diagram (also known as the Argand plane) was actually described by C. Wessel prior to Argand. Historically, the geometric representation of a complex number as a point in the plane was important because it made the whole idea of a complex number more acceptable. In particular, this visualization helped "imaginary" and "complex" numbers become accepted in mainstream mathematics as a natural extension to negative numbers along the real line. The x axis represents "real numbers" and the y axis represents "imaginary numbers", so 0 is both real and imaginary.


Count Lev Nikolgevich Tolstoy (1828 – 1910) said:  “A man is like a fraction whose numerator is what he is and whose denominator is what he thinks of himself.  The larger the denominator the smaller the fraction”.


See  (E.g.  Casey Stengel said "Never make predictions, especially about the future."


One day an actuarial student came into my office and asked if I would tell him how I became Chief Actuary.             I replied: "Good judgment".  The next day he asked how I got good judgment.  I replied: "Good experience."    The next day he returned and asked how I got good experience.  I replied: "Bad judgment."

A patient was told by her doctor she only had six months to live. She asked the doctor what she should do.  He said marry an actuary.  She wanted to know if that would make her live longer.  The doctor said: no, but it will seem much longer.

The difference between God and an actuary is that God does not think he is an actuary.

An American actuary can tell you the number of people in a room will die within one year.  An Italian actuary can give you their names.

A CEO, an actuary, an accountant, and an insurance salesperson are riding in a car. The CEO has his hands on the steering wheel, the Marketing Director has his foot on the gas, the CFO has his foot on the brake, and the Chief Actuary is looking out the back window, drawing a map, and telling them where to go.

An actuary is:
A place where they bury dead actors.
Someone who wanted to be an accountant but did not have enough personality for the job.
A professional who can solve a problem you didn't know you had in a way that you can't understand.
Someone who can determine a woman's cash surrender value

Actuaries never die, they just get broken down by age and sex.

Johnny, whose father was an actuary, asked his mother where he came from.  His mother said: ask your father.  Johnny replied: I don't want to know that much about it.

Jerry Tuttle, a Casualty Actuary has a web site.  See

The CEO of an insurance company died. Three candidates for the position were the Marketing Director , the CFO, and the Chief Actuary.  They sent each to a shrink to be evaluated. The shrink had boiled his testing down to one simple question as he spent most of his time playing golf.

What does the left side of the picture mean to you?

The Marketing Director said  a "doughnut hole".  I don't like to disturb my wife in the morning, so I go to the office early to map out marketing plans.  My secretary gets me a doughnut for breakfast.

The CFO said a "zero balance".  I don't leave the office at the end of the day unless there is a zero balance in the list of unauthorized expenditures.

The Chief Actuary said "Thursday". The shrink had never had that response and asked why.  The actuary said: from right to left they represent my work week:  Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. I play golf on Friday.

A lady asked the postmaster to weigh a package. When told it was too heavy and needed one more stamp, she said: I don't understand.  Will adding a stamp make it lighter?

An infinite crowd of mathematicians enters a bar.
The first one orders a pint, the second one a half pint, the third one a quarter pint.  etc. etc. 
"I understand", says the bartender - and pours two pints.

A mathematician is flying non-stop from Edmonton to Frankfurt. The scheduled flying time is nine hours. Later, the pilot announces that one engine had failed.  "Don't worry - we're safe. The only effect is that our total flying time will be ten hours instead of nine."  A few hours later, the pilot informs the passengers that another engine had failed. "But don't worry - we're still safe. Our total  flying time will go up to twelve hours." Some time later, a third engine fails. The pilot reassures the passengers:  "Don't worry - even with one engine, we're still perfectly safe. It just means that it will take sixteen hours total for this plane to arrive in Frankfurt."  The mathematician remarks to his fellow passengers: "If the last engine breaks down, too, then we'll be in the air for twenty-four hours altogether!"

Teacher Student
What is 2k + k? 3000!
Who can tell me what 7 times 6 is?  "It's 42!"
Very good! - And who can tell me what 6 times 7 is?  "It's 24!"
What did the zero say to the the eight? Nice belt.
What do you get if you add two apples and three apples? A high school math problem!
What is the difference between a Ph.D. in math and a large pizza? A large pizza can feed a family of four.
Why did the chicken cross the Moebius strip? o get to the other ... er, um ... 

Teacher:  Expand (a+b)n         Student:  (a + b)n       (a    +    b)n      (a      +       b)n        (a            +            b)n

A topologist is a person who can't tell the the difference between a coffee cup and a doughnut.

An introverted actuary looks at his shoes while talking to you.
An extroverted actuary looks at your shoes. 

An actuary is someone who wanted to be an accountant but did not have enough personality.  (The movie "About Schmidt", is about a retired nerd from the book by the same title.  The book had the retired nerd as a retired accountant, but that was changed in the movie to be a retired actuary!)

There are three kinds of actuaries in the world:  "Those who can count and those who can't." 

Definition of a computer:    "An actuary with a heart".

A lawyer, an accountant, and an actuary are arguing over whether it is better to have a married spouse or an unmarried lover. The lawyer says a lover because it's legally easier to disentangle yourself from a lover. The accountant says a spouse because you can get a tax deduction with a spouse. The actuary says it's better to have both because you can lie to each of them, telling each of them that you're with the other, and then go to the office to do some work.

Actuaries in Movies, Theater, TV, and Literature

What is an actuary's favorite desert?   Pi

1 + 1 =3, for sufficiently large one's.

A circle is a round straight line with a hole in the middle.

Ernst Eduard Kummer (1810-1893), a German algebraist, was sometimes slow at calculations.. Whenever he had occasion to do simple arithmetic in class, he would get his students to help him. Once he had to find 7 x 9. "Seven times nine," he began, "Seven times nine is er -- ah --- ah -- seven times nine is. . . ." "Sixty-one," a student suggested. Kummer wrote 61 on the board. "Sir," said another student, "it should be sixty-nine." "Come, come, gentlemen, it can't be both," Kummer exclaimed. "It must be one or the other."

An investment firm is hiring mathematicians. There are three applicants: a theoretical mathematician, an applied mathematician, and an actuary.  They are asked what starting salary they are expecting.
The theoretical mathematician: "Would $30,000 be too much?"
The applied mathematician: "I think $60,000 would be OK." 
The actuary:"$100,000."
The personnel officer gasped: "A pure mathematician will do the work for only $30,000."
The actuary replied: "I will keep $35,000, pay you $35,000, and pay $30,000 to the theoretical mathematician to do the work."

A CEO is interviewing three candidates for the position of CFO.  Each candidate is asked the same question: "How much is one and one?"  The accountant said: "Two".  The pure mathematician said: "It depends upon what base you are working in".  The actuary whispered in the CEO's ear: "What do you want it to be?"

George W Bush warned math professors not to misuse their position to give their political views to young Americans. "It is my understanding", the president said, "that you are frequently teaching algebra classes in which your students learn how to solve equations with the help of radicals. I can't say that I approve of that..."

Donald Rumsfeld gave George W Bush a briefing and concluded by saying: Yesterday, 3 Brazilian soldiers were killed. Oh no, the President exclaimed, That's terrible!  Exactly how many are in a brazillion?

Four friends have been doing really well in their calculus class. When it's time for the final, they decide to go to a weekend party in another city. They finally arrive on campus,  hung over and sleepy, but the exam is already over.
They go to the professor's office and say: "We went to our friend's birthday party, and when driving back  this morning we had a flat tire. We had no spare one, and since we were driving on back roads, it took hours until we got help." The professor nods sympathetically and says: "I see that it was not your fault. I will allow you to make up the exam tomorrow morning."  When they arrive next morning, the students seated so far apart from each other they had no chance to cheat. The exam booklets are already in place and the students begin. The first question - five points out of one hundred - is a simple exercise in integration, and all four finish it within ten minutes.  When the first of them has completed the problem, he turns over the page of the exam booklet and reads:

Problem 2 (95 points out of 100): Which tire went flat?


If brute force doesn't work, you're not using enough of it.

Mathematicians never die - they only loose some of their functions.

One cat has nine tails.                                                                                                                                        Proof. No cat has eight tails. Since one cat has one more tail than No cat, One cat must have nine tails.

A father who is very much concerned about his son's bad grades in math decides to register him at a catholic school. After his first term there, the son brings home his report card: He's getting "A"s in math.
The father is, of course, pleased, but wants to know: "Why are your math grades suddenly so good?"
"You know", the son explains, "when I walked into the classroom the first day, and I saw that guy on the wall nailed to a plus sign, I knew one thing: This place means business!"

In a class, a math professor claims that he can prove everything under the assumption that 1+1=1.
A student challenges him: "Then prove that you're the pope!"
The professor replies: "I am one, and the pope is one. Therefore, the pope and I are one."

After two hours, the professor called for the exams, and the students filed up and handed them in. All except the late student, who continued writing. Twenty minutes later, the last student came up to the professor who was sitting at his desk preparing for his next class. He attempted to put his exam on the stack of exam booklets already there. No you don't,  I'm not going to accept that. It's late.  The student looked incredulous and angry. Do you know who I am?   No, as a matter of fact I don't, and I don't care! replied the professor.  Good, replied the student, who quickly lifted the stack of completed exams, stuffed his in the middle, and walked out of the room.

The math teacher saw that little Johnny wasn't  paying attention in class. She called on him and said, Johnny! What are 2 and 4 and 28 and 44?  Little Johnny quickly replied:  NBC, CBS, HBO, and the Cartoon network!

An impatient math teacher snarled, And just how far are you from the correct answer?
The boy replied, Three seats.

At a nursery school a teacher talks to a four-year-old applicant.
"Mike, can you count for me?"
Mike counts very fast and with a lot of enthusiasm, "Fifty-nine, fifty-eight, fifty-seven"
"Super," says the teacher, "But how did you learn to count backwards?"
Mike replies proudly, "I can heat my own lunch in the microwave."

Teacher Student
What are whole numbers? 0, 6, 8, 9
And what about 10? It is half-whole, 1 doesn't have a hole.

Dad, will you do my math for me tonight?  No, son, it wouldn't be right.  Well, you could try.

A little girl asked an elderly woman: "Can you help me find the lowest common denominator?"
The woman said:  "Haven't they found that yet? They were looking for it when I was in school."

Knock knock.   Who's there?   Lois and Carmen.   Who?    Lois and Carmen Denominator.

Father, to his daughter returning home at 3 a.m. said: "I told you to be home by a quarter of 12!"
The daughter answered:  "But I learned in math that a quarter of 12 is 3!"

Where can you buy a ruler that is 3 feet long? At a yard sale.

 Math Types

 Sign Errors

When you have a 50-50 chance of getting something right, there's a 90% probability you'll get it wrong.

The probability of an open faced jelly sandwich falling jelly side up varies inversely with the price of the rug.

A military instructor says, "There is a 40% chance that we will hit our target."
One student asks, "What happens if we aim away from the target?"
The instructor replies, "We would have a 60% chance of hitting the target."

"Excuse me Professor, how can we possibly compute a kurtosis in a minute?"  The Professor looks at the class very reassuring: "No need to be worried, kids, it only takes a moment"

A team of statisticians has recently published a monumental finding. The team discovered what the leading cause of divorce is marriage.  Everyone who has been divorced has been married first.

A statistician who took a Dale Carnegie course and  improved his confidence from .95 to .99.

Statisticians never have to say they're certain.    Statistics is the art of never having to say you're wrong.

"There are lies, damned lies, and statistics."       97.3% of all statistics are made up.

62% of people have a below  average  IQ.
This is due to the fact that there is a limit to human intelligence, but no limit to human stupidity
Q: A statistician would always accelerate hard before coming to an intersection, whizz straight through it, then slow down again. One day a passenger asked him why he went so fast through intersections.
A: The statistician replied: "Statistically speaking, you are far more likely to have an accident at an intersection, so I just make sure that I spend less time there."

 Two blondes are sitting in an airport hall waiting for their flight to go. One has terrible flight panic. Her companion, a mathematician, said: "Hey, don't worry, it's just every 100,000th flight that crashes." The companion replied: " So much? Then it surely will be mine!"  The mathematician said: "Well, there is an easy way out. Simply take the next plane. It's much more probable that you go from a crashing to a non-crashing plane than the other way round."

Never show a bar chart at an AA meeting.

People believe what economists say about the future, but not what statisticians say about the past.

Statisticians are "mean" people.       Numbers are like people; torture them enough and they'll tell you anything.

Statistics in the hands of politicians are like a lamppost to a drunk --- used more for support than illumination.

When you smoke a fish, which end do you light?

Birthdays are beneficial for your health
A new statistical study unequivocally proved that the more birthdays one has the longer one lives.

Medicine makes people ill, mathematics make them sad, and theology makes them sinful. (Martin Luther)

Salesman: "Ma'am, this vacuum cleaner will cut your work in half."
Customer: "Terrific! Give me two of them."

If a man tries to fail and succeeds, which did he do?

A mathematician, a physicist, and an engineer are asked to test the following hypothesis:                        All odd numbers greater than one are prime.
The mathematician: "Three is a prime, five is a prime, seven is a prime, but nine is not a prime. Therefore, the hypothesis is false."
The physicist: "Three is a prime, five is a prime, seven is a prime, nine is not a prime, eleven is a prime, and thirteen is a prime. Hence, five out of six experiments support the hypothesis. It must be true."

Five actuaries and five accountants are traveling together by train to attend a conference. Each accountant has a ticket, but only one of the actuaries has one. Suddenly one of the actuaries shouts:: "Conductor coming!" All the actuaries run into one washroom.  The conductor checks the ticket of each accountant and then knocks on the washroom door: "Your ticket, please."  An actuary sticks the one ticket under the door. The conductor checks it and leaves. The accountants are impressed. On the return trip, the accountants decide to buy just one ticket for their group. The actuaries do not purchase any tickets.  Again one of the actuaries shouts: "Conductor coming!". This time all the accountants rush off to a washroom. One of the actuaries goes to that washroom, knocks at the door, and says: "Your ticket, please..."

A professor goes through the airplane security check, and a bomb is found in his carry-on-baggage. The security man asked: "Why do you want to blow up this airplane?"  "Sorry", the professor interrupts him. "I had never intended to blow up the plane. Statistics shows that the probability of one bomb being on an airplane is 1/1000. The chance that there are two  bombs is 1/1000000. If I already bring one, the chance of another bomb being around is actually 1/1000000, and I am much safer..."

Albert Einstein was walking across the quad at Princeton and met a student.  After chatting for a few minutes, Einstein asked: "Which direction was I coming from?" The student pointed at one path.       Einstein said: "Then I must have had lunch."
                                                                                                                                                                                         Albert Einstein had just about finished his work on the theory of special relativity, when he decided to take a break and go on vacation in Acapulco. Each day, late in the afternoon, sporting dark sunglasses, he walked in the white Mexican sand and breathed in the fresh Pacific sea air. On the last day, he  watched the sun set. When the large orange ball was just disappearing, the last beam of light seemed to radiate toward him. The event brought him back to thinking about his physics work. "What symbol should I use for the speed of light?" he asked himself. The problem was that nearly every Greek letter had been taken for some other purpose. Just then, a beautiful Mexican woman passed by. He asked as he lowered his dark sunglasses, "Do you not zink zat zee speed of light is very fast?" The woman smiled at Einstein  and replied, "Si."  And know you know the rest of the story. 

Although c is now the universal symbol for the speed of light, the most common symbol in the nineteenth century was an upper-case V which Maxwell had started using in 1865. That was the notation adopted by Einstein for his first few papers on relativity from 1905.  By 1907 when Einstein switched from V to c in his papers, it had become the standard symbol for the speed of light in vacuum for electrodynamics, optics, thermodynamics and relativity. History provides an ambiguous answer to the question "Why is c the symbol for the speed of light?", and it is reasonable to think of c as standing for either "constant" or "celeritas".

A little boy refused to run anymore.
When his mother asked him why, he replied: "I heard that the faster you go, the shorter you become."  

A student riding in a train looks up and sees Einstein sitting next to him. Excited he asks:                              "Excuse me, professor. Does Boston stop at this train?"

A six-year-old boy spotted Albert Einstein walking down the street and decided to try out his favorite joke on him: "Mr. Einstein! Why did the chicken cross the road?"
The famous physicist replied: "My young friend, zee question does not have a definite anzer. Vether zee chicken crossed zee road or zee road crossed zee chicken depends on your frame of reference."    

 If your car could travel at the speed of light, would your headlights work?

There was an old lady called Wright
who could travel much faster than light.
She departed one day
in a relative way
and returned on the previous night.

The Heineken Uncertainty Principle says "You can never be sure how many beers you had last night."
There is a sign in Munich that says, "Heisenberg might have slept here."

What is so special about 6.9?    It is 69 ruined by a period.

If nothing can go wrong, something will.   There's never time to do it right, but always time to do it over.  
The man who can smile when things go wrong,  has thought of someone he can blame it on.

An Amish boy and his father went to a large department store for the first time.  They saw an elevator, but did not know what it was.  An old lady with a cane, hobbled up to the elevator, and pushed a button on the wall, and a door opened.  She went into a small room and the door closed.  Then lights flashed above the doorway showing numbers.  The numbers stopped flashing at number five.  After a little while the numbers started flashing again,  and stopped at number one.  The door opened and out walked a beautiful blonde. The father shouted to his son:  Go get your mother!   

Euler's Identity is    e^{i \pi} + 1 = 0  It is used to answer the question: "How many mathematicians does it take to change a light bulb?"   The answer is:  minus e to the i pi  (which, of course, equals 1)

A well-known scientist (some say it was Bertrand Russell) once gave a public lecture on astronomy. He described how the earth orbits around the sun and how the sun, in turn, orbits around the center of a vast collection of stars called our galaxy. At the end of the lecture, a little old lady at the back of the room got up and said: “What you have told us is rubbish. The world is really a flat plate supported on the back of a giant  tortoise.” The scientist gave a superior smile before replying, “What is the tortoise standing on?” “You’re very clever, young man, very clever”, said the old lady. “But it’s turtles all the way down!” 


Mathematics of taxes: A speaker started his speech by saying: "Let me tax your minds."  Senator Ted Kennenedy jumped up and said "Why didn't I think of that?"


Home | Mathematics and  Beauty | Mathematics of Prime Numbers | Mathematicians | Mathematical Topics | Math Humor | Mathematics and Music | Mathematics Odds and Ends | Mathematics Series | Mathematics Interesting Mumbers



This site was last updated 11/23/17