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:
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
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.
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!