Matrix Jokes

(NOTE: This is perhaps the dumbest post I’ve ever done. I couldn’t be prouder.)




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The Hyperbole of Elliptic Geometry (and 14 Other Math Cartoons)

These cartoons appeared on Twitter and Facebook throughout February 2018, and are preserved here, museum-like, for posterity and/or people who are too cool for social media.

Funny vs. Trying To Be Funny

2018.2.1 Neil deGrasse Tyson

It has since been pointed out to me that Emily Dickinson is, in fact, hilarious. I stand by this cartoon otherwise.


“Charter” Thoughts

2018.2.2 charters

I spent four years teaching at a charter school. That experience makes it hard to see the charter movement either as demon or panacea. More than a new type of school, I see them mostly as individual new schools – liable to make the same sorts of ambitious moves and avoidable mistakes as any new institution.


Multivariable Woes

2018.2.6 multivariable explanation

Sometimes the pursuit of a punch line leads you to throw more weight into the blow than your victim actually deserves.

This is probably not one of those times. Continue reading

The Third Millennium of Those “Find My Age” Algebra Problems

I’d explain the title of this post, but you already know what I’m talking about. I refer to questions like this one, from the 4th century:

Image (27) - Copy

I, for one, pity old Demochares—enumerating the fractions of his life, yet unable to recall his own age. It’s a bizarre, selective senility, like something from an Oliver Sacks book: “The Man Who Mistook His Life for a Math Problem.”

Or consider this problem, from the 21st century:

Image (27)

Over the last three millennia, much has changed. Civilizations have risen, collided, and fallen. Revolutions have left legacies in blood and ink. There have been, for good and for ill, 417 million Marvel films. Yet somehow, these age-based math puzzles have remained a constant.

What’s the case for them? Continue reading

The Limitations of Genies (and 18 other math cartoons)

These cartoons first appeared on Facebook and Twitter during the wild and woolly month of January 2018. If you have ever found yourself thinking, “I wish my daily social media experience featured more math puns,” then I encourage you to (A) Follow Math with Bad Drawings! and (B) Take a long, careful look in the mirror to see what you’ve become.

Welcome to 2018

2018.1.1 happy 2018

Some folks on Facebook offered optimistic predictions that the pattern is quadratic, with a negative leading coefficient. This is an adorable sentiment, so please don’t spoil their innocence by disagreeing with them.

Meanwhile, somebody on Twitter suggested sin(x)/x, which is a nice “end of history” prediction. My personal worry is that the world is more like x sin(x).

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The ABC Book of e

Roughly speaking, e is 2.718.

More precisely, e is the essence of existence, the fount of human joy, and (for folks who worry that Pi Day is kinda played out) the perfect constant around which to build your mathematical festivities (e-clairs, anyone?).

Get excited, citizens of math, because Wednesday, February 7th, 2018 is e Day: 2/7/18.

(Well… in America, anyway. Our international pals may wait until Monday, July 2nd.)

In honor of this noble number, I offer an alphabetical celebration:

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