My Love for You Is a Monotonically Increasing…

November 13, 2010 at 09:30 (mathematics, silly)

Just now I ran across a funny question over at Yahoo! Answers on mathematical pick-up lines, and I decided to pick out a few favourites (taken from Y!A and elsewhere):

  • My love for you is a monotonically increasing unbounded function. (I think in order to see this as funny you have to imagine somebody saying it with feeling.)
  • Your beauty cannot be spanned by a finite basis of vectors.
  • I don’t like my current girlfriend. Mind if I do a you-substitution?
  • I wish I were your problem set, because then I’d be really hard, and you’d be doing me on the desk.

Also worthy of mention:

  • Your lab bench, or mine?
  • Your mama’s so fat she has a proper subgroup isomorphic to herself.
  • I’m a fermata… hold me.

Last but not least, there is this gem:

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Modeling Sequences with Polynomials

November 11, 2010 at 20:10 (math.RA, mathematica)

Suppose I asked you to find the next term in the sequence

2, 4, 6, 8, 10, …

Of course the expected answer is 12. But then I could tell you that these terms correspond with the formula

f(n) = -2 + \frac{197}{30}n - \frac{15}{4}n^2 + \frac{17}{12}n^3 - \frac{1}{4}n^4 + \frac{1}{60}n^5

so the actual sequence has

2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 14, 26, 58, 130, 272, …

This illustrates a common misconception that there is a unique solution to these sorts of problems. In fact, starting with the first five evens, we can pick any real number as the sixth term and find a polynomial of degree at most 5 to model it using some basic linear algebra.

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A Model for Everything

November 1, 2010 at 06:56 (silly)

Let f(x) be a function of interest. Then we can find a model ∀x: f(x) ≈ 0 ± G where G is Graham’s number. I think this model will prove useful in many branches of science!

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