a story told by Nobel laureate Ken Arrow. During World War II, Arrow was assigned to a team of statisticians to produce long-range weather forecasts. After a time, Arrow and his team determined that their forecasts were not much better than pulling predictions out of a hat. They wrote their superiors, asking to be relieved of the duty. They received the following reply, and I quote “The Commanding General is well aware that the forecasts are no good. However, he needs them for planning purposes.”Math jokes:

The logging problem

1960s:“Good reasons for not doing your math homework”

A logger cuts and sells a truckload of lumber for $100. His cost of production is four-fifths of that amount. What is his profit?

1970s:

A logger cuts and sells a truckload of lumber for $100. His cost of production is four-fifths of that amount, i.e. $80. What is his profit?

1970s (new math):

A logger exchanges a set L of lumber for a set M of money. The cardinality of set M is 100. The set C of production costs contains 20 fewer points. What is the cardinality of Set P of profits?

1980s:

A logger cuts and sells a truckload of lumber for $100. Her cost is $80 and her profit is $20. Find and circle the number 20.

1990s:

An unenlightened logger cuts down a beautiful stand of 100 trees in order to make a $20 profit. Write an essay explaining how you feel about this as a way to make money. Topic for discussion: How did the forest birds and squirrels feel?

I accidentally divided by zero and my paper burst into flames.And Anagrams

I have the proof, but there isn’t room to write it in this margin.

I could only get arbitrarily close to my textbook. I couldn’t actually reach it.

I couldn’t figure out whether i am the square of negative one or i is the square root of negative one.

I’ve included a reference to the solutions manual, reducing this assignment to one previously solved.

I had too much π and got sick.

committees – cost me time

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