A stereotype joke:
A mathematician, an engineer and a chemist are at a conference. They are staying in adjoining rooms. One evening they are downstairs in the bar. The mathematician goes to bed first. The chemist goes next, followed a minute or two later by the engineer. The chemist notices that in the corridor outside their rooms a rubbish bin is ablaze. There is a bucket of water nearby. The chemist starts concocting a means of generating carbon dioxide in order to create a makeshift extinguisher but before he can do so the engineer arrives, dumps the water on the fire and puts it out. The next morning the chemist and engineer tell the mathematician about the fire. She admits she saw it. They ask her why she didn't put it out. She replies contemptuously "there was a fire and a bucket of water: a solution obviously existed."A mathematical limerick:
- A dozen, a gross, and a score
- Plus three times the square root of four
- Divided by seven
- Plus five times eleven
- Is nine squared and not a bit more
- Person 1: What's the integral of 1/cabin?
- Person 2: A natural log cabin.
- Person 1: No, a houseboat – you forgot to add the c!
The first part of this joke relies on the fact that the primitive (formed when finding the antiderivative) of the function 1/x is ln(x). The second part is then based on the fact that the antiderivative is actually a class of functions, requiring the inclusion of a constant of integration, usually denoted as C — something which many calculus students forget. Thus, the indefinite integral of 1/cabin is "ln(cabin) + c", or "A natural log cabin plus the sea", ie. "A houseboat".