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(Slate)   "What's it like to be a mathematician?" Presumably, it's a derivative existence full of pluses and minuses   ( slate.com) divider line
    More: Obvious, existence  
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2885 clicks; posted to Main » on 14 Oct 2013 at 7:51 AM (4 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»

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2013-10-14 07:11:36 AM  
4 votes:
Apparently, there are a lot of limits and its full of inequality for those that don't integrate well. :-/
2013-10-14 07:36:51 AM  
3 votes:
I was once told that the way you "win" at being a mathematician is you have to hold a special conference to give a special talk about what you do to the five other people on Earth who might possibly understand you.
2013-10-14 02:35:52 PM  
2 votes:
Here's Brangoose's IQ Test for Cashiers.

But 12 identical items and arrange them in a rectangle on the rolling rubber thingie (I don't remember the world--I've never been a cashier).

The dumbest cashiers will count each item by hand.

Smarter cashiers may count by threes or fours: 3, 6, 9, 12 or 4, 8, 12.

The brighter cashiers will multiply 3 x 4 = 12.

And a few genius cashiers will look at the rectangle and think 12.

If they look at the rectangle and think 385 mm x 12 cans = 4620, with factors 1, 2, 2, 3, 7, 5, 11, 21, and 231, then they are either autistic or poorly paid mathematicians moonlighting.
2013-10-14 08:23:39 AM  
2 votes:
fta Most of the time, you work on something for weeks or months, only to realize that it doesn't work. But you never give up, you go back and try to analyze the data that you have, and try to see the analogies and connections to try to come up with a new hypothesis. Then you try to test that.

But enough about my wife.

/tip your waitstaff
2013-10-14 08:16:53 AM  
2 votes:
Probably runs rings around working in my field.
2013-10-14 11:44:47 PM  
1 vote:
From personal experience:

"Why are the university administrators such farking morons?" : 45%
"Why are the undergraduates such farking morons?" : 20%
"Why is the NSF not funding useful, interesting research?" : 10%
"Why does the coffee the university provides suck so much?" : 5%
"Why is my favorite baseball team always in the dang cellar in September?" : 5%
"Why has my son become a penguin-herding sysadmin instead of going into mathematics?" : 15%

(...note that Your Mathematician May Vary and that I Could Be Wrong. I could never deal with the abstract concepts that pure mathematicians deal with every day, but then again my father couldn't un-fark a farked LAMP box. I guess it's all in what you've trained for....)
2013-10-14 04:19:40 PM  
1 vote:

phaseolus: Probably runs rings around working in my field.

Yeah, unless you hate working in groups.

/too busy grading homework to say the word "module"
2013-10-14 02:50:57 PM  
1 vote:
It's worthwhile to remember that a dozen cans of cola are about 4.6 liters. If you know this, then you can save money and time on buying cola by comparing the price for a box to the price for 2 liter bottles very quickly.

Sorry about misspelling my own name. My laptop is getting old and some of the keys don't work very well. You can tell the letter frequency in English from my keyboard. The most frequently used letters are no longer labeled:  e, t, (a), (o), i, n, m. The letter "o" should be in there after "a", but for some reason those two keys aren't very worn at all.

I think "o" must be the easiest key to strike and thus the least affected by wear. The "e" is easy to strike but by far the most frequently used letter. The "a" is similarly unworn. "M" is very worn despite low frequency, but it is very hard to strike relative to the other keys that are worn.

But I digress.
2013-10-14 02:24:49 PM  
1 vote:
What is a mathematician's idea of a scary costume?

An applied scientist.
2013-10-14 02:24:10 PM  
1 vote:
What does a mathematician dress up as for Halloween?

a) A dodecahedral die.
b) Gauss. No, I said Gauss.
c)  A zombie. They're always looking for branes, branes, branes!
2013-10-14 09:35:53 AM  
1 vote:
Standard deviation not enough for kinky mathematician?
2013-10-14 09:06:00 AM  
1 vote:

Ker_Thwap: LouDobbsAwaaaay: As a career, being a mathematician is like being a scientist, yet you somehow make even less money.

This.  I graduated in 1986 with a math major with all kinds of wild expectations that employers would actually care.

The XKCD "Fields Arranged by Purity" comic is almost a "Fields Arranged by Salary" comic in reverse; all you would have to do is replace the sociologist with a business-major.
2013-10-14 08:49:13 AM  
1 vote:
As a career, being a mathematician is like being a scientist, yet you somehow make even less money.
2013-10-14 08:46:04 AM  
1 vote:
You can run red lights, park wherever you want, and get hot and cold running chicks.
2013-10-14 08:43:16 AM  
1 vote:
...and you have a better understanding of the universe than 99.99999% of anyone who ever lived.
2013-10-14 08:28:52 AM  
1 vote:
Who has that pic of the check written to some utility by a very angry mathematically-inclined customer?
2013-10-14 08:07:59 AM  
1 vote:

Crewmannumber6: Dear math teacher: Please stop looking for X, she's not coming back. Don't ask Y.

Or at least have a sense of humour when we grow bored of you asking the same question over and over again.
guzer.comView Full Size
2013-10-14 07:58:04 AM  
1 vote:
They should take it as a sign that they shouldn't be mean to non-math people.
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