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mathematician, physicist, and engineer joke

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mathematician, physicist, and engineer joke

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I remember a joke from my college days that I still find funny:

"A mathematician, physicist and an engineer were asked how they would enclose sheep inside a fence with the minimum amount of fence.

The engineer first replied:
'I will count the sheep and calculate the minimum amount of fence necessary to enclose the sheep, and herd them in.'

The physicist thought and answered next:
'I will take a long fence, wrap it around the sheep and tighten the fence around them.'

The mathematician thought for a while and then answered:
'I will put a small fence around myself and declare that I am on the outside.'


I don't quite get the joke... I got the first one but not this...

By the way, you don't have to post three times.. :D

> By the way, you don't have to post three times.. :D

Of course I don't, but for some reason my computer that day wanted me to choose between 0 times and 3 times. I chose 3 times. Could an admin delete my duplicate posts, please?

> I don't quite get the joke... I got the first one but not this...

I guess I didn't quite tell it right. I've seen it in at least two different books, but that day I typed it from memory.

I think the joke is refering to mathematicians habits of coming up with tools to solve problems, but never actually putting them to use, we leave that for the physicists/engineers, or whoever it is that actually wants the answer to a specific problem. If you want a differential equation solved, ask an engineer or physicist. Not a mathematician. Hence the mathematician in the joke is happy once he sees that a solution exists, and doesn't feel the need to actually put it into practice.

That's one variation of an often-varied joke. I've read and heard several. For example:

"A mathematician, physicist and an engineer were the only ones lodged at a hotel in which the rooms had been spontaneously catching on fire for no apparent reason.

When the engineer's room caught on fire, he was ready with four different fire extinguishers. He selected the right extinguisher for the type of fire and put it out.

When the physicist's room caught on fire, he shut the windows and smothered the fire with a rubber tarp.

The mathematician saw all this, and said, "Ah, a solution exists!" He went to sleep and perished in the fire.

That's one variation of an often-varied joke. I've read and heard several. For example:

"A mathematician, physicist and an engineer were the only ones lodged at a hotel in which the rooms had been spontaneously catching on fire for no apparent reason.

When the engineer's room caught on fire, he was ready with four different fire extinguishers. He selected the right extinguisher for the type of fire and put it out.

When the physicist's room caught on fire, he shut the windows and smothered the fire with a rubber tarp.

The mathematician saw all this, and said, "Ah, a solution exists!" He went to sleep and perished in the fire.

That's one variation of an often-varied joke. I've read and heard several. For example:

"A mathematician, physicist and an engineer were the only ones lodged at a hotel in which the rooms had been spontaneously catching on fire for no apparent reason.

When the engineer's room caught on fire, he was ready with four different fire extinguishers. He selected the right extinguisher for the type of fire and put it out.

When the physicist's room caught on fire, he shut the windows and smothered the fire with a rubber tarp.

The mathematician saw all this, and said, "Ah, a solution exists!" He went to sleep and perished in the fire.

I loved this one:

A mathematician, a physicist, and a biologist observed two people enter an empty house. After some time passed, three people walked out.

The physicist:
'The measurements were inaccurate.'

The biologist:
'They must have reproduced.'

The mathematician:
'When exactly one person enters the house, it will be empty again.'

> I remember a joke from my college days that I still find
> funny:
>
> "A mathematician, physicist and an engineer were asked how
> they would enclose sheep inside a fence with the minimum
> amount of fence.
>
> The engineer first replied:
> 'I will count the sheep and calculate the minimum amount of
> fence necessary to enclose the sheep, and herd them in.'
>
> The physicist thought and answered next:
> 'I will take a long fence, wrap it around the sheep and
> tighten the fence around them.'
>
> The mathematician thought for a while and then answered:
> 'I will put a small fence around myself and declare that I
> am on the outside.'

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