Wednesday, September 1, 2010

F*cking Maths, How Do They Work

So I hope posting some nerdy stuff doesn't completely kill my awesome rep. Anyways these quotes are 100% real, they come from a math prof. at the University of Toronto and when he says them he's completely serious and I think he actually thinks they make sense. He always uses analogies that make you want to shove your pencil up his nose.

Quotes after the jump.
Soheil Hanayoumi:

"Area is like pizza. This one time, I was visiting my Grandmother back home. She wasn't a very religious lady, she only really believed in the things she saw and used. So when I visited her, she was making pizza with my mom and me, and I ask grandma what area is. Of course, she doesn't really care to rationalize something infinitately thin, so she dismisses the conversation. So then I take the rolled out pizza dough, and squish it all together. Area is the rolled out pizza dough being squished together.

"What is a limit? How about we imagine a line of men, all marching forward without looking at what is ahead of the person in front of them. I'm going to stand on a chair and look down at them. I see that they are about to run into a wall... but nobody knows that except the marcher in the front. So they all walk, walk, walk, walk, and accumulate at the wall. The wall is the limit."

"At this point you all know how to prove a limit exists using epsilon-delta, so now you have to learn how to prove a limit does not exist. If you recall, we use epsilon-delta to show that we can come up with a smaller distance, delta, given any epsilon. So to prove a limit doesn't exist, we must show that there isn't always a smaller distance. Let's think about it this way. I set up a hotdog stand here, and my rival sets up his hot dog stand 5m down the street. If I want to compare our success, I have to see our profits. So if at first, I look at the profits in 10m of my stand, I see business is good. Does this mean my business is good? There is no way to tell yet. I can look over at my rival and see that he has a huge line in front of him... Perhaps I need to change my scope. I'll look at the profits within 1m from my stand. Now I see that business is bad. Now I see that the limit doesn't exist."

"In my neighborhood, I see a person who I commonly assume to be a drug dealer. One day, I decide to follow him and observe him. I walk along behind him for a while, and suddenly he enters an alley while removing a bag from his pocket. A minute later he comes out with some cash. Perhaps he is a drug dealer, but maybe he was a good child and will go on to become a successful billionaire. There is a lot of hidden information in a function just from one point. You can guess the future with its derivative and its success with its concavity."

"Suppose you are going to a job interview. You want a good reference, so you ask your professor, and he agrees. He doesn't quite remember you though, but he can always pull up the transcript. You go to your job interview and the interviewer calls your professor. 'Is he a good student?' 'Sure', 'Does he work hard?' 'Sure', 'Is he smart?' 'Sure'. In actuality, the professor just sees your mark of '85' and assumes all theses things. You must not be so quick to judge a function just from its value."

"Have you ever gotten a bad mark... and just wished you could erase it? Well with integrals, you can do that!"

"I want to be your business partner, so let me give you a pitch. I have $500, want to work together? Probably not, you don't know how good of a worker I am. I have $500 and $5000 in the bank account, want to work together? Isn't that more appealing? It seems like I have more success in my life. I have $500, $5000 in the bank, and a stable job as a CEO, want to work together? Of course you would want to! You see that i have a high value, derivative, and second derivative."

P.S. I think this prof might actually be a true genius and hes just messing with us.


  1. he seems kind of awesome to me :)

  2. Funny!

    Follow me I am already following you.

  3. i love this movie, and i wish more people understood the difference between those two numbers...
    Following you to show respect and support.