- One evening Rene Descartes went to relax at a local tavern. The tender approached and said, "Ah, good evening Monsieur Descartes! Shall I serve you the usual drink?." Descartes replied, "I think not," and promptly vanished.
- A mathematician, a physicist, an engineer went again to the races and laid their money down. Commiserating in the bar after the race, the engineer says, "I don't understand why I lost all my money. I measured all the horses and calculated their strength and mechanical advantage and figured out how fast they could run..."
The physicist interrupted him: "...but you didn't take individual variations into account. I did a statistical analysis of their previous performances and bet on the horses with the highest probability of winning..."

"...so if you're so hot why are you broke?" asked the engineer. But before the argument can grow, the mathematician takes out his pipe and they get a glimpse of his well-fattened wallet. Obviously here was a man who knows something about horses. They both demanded to know his secret.

"Well," he says, "first I assumed all the horses were identical and spherical..."

- A mathematician and an engineer are on desert island. They find two palm trees with one coconut each. The engineer climbs up one tree, gets the coconut, eats. The mathematician climbs up the other tree, gets the coconut, climbs the other tree and puts it there. "Now we've reduced it to a problem we know how to solve."
- A team of engineers were required to measure the height of a flag pole. They only had a measuring tape, and were getting quite frustrated trying to keep the tape along the pole. It kept falling down, etc. A mathematician comes along, finds out their problem, and proceeds to remove the pole from the ground and measure it easily. When he leaves, one engineer says to the other: "Just like a mathematician! We need to know the height, and he gives us the length!"
- A mathematician and a physicist agree to a psychological experiment. The (hungry) mathematician is put in a chair in a large empty room and his favorite meal, perfectly prepared, is placed at the other end of the room. The psychologist explains, "You are to remain in your chair. Every minute, I will move your chair to a position halfway between its current location and the meal." The mathematician looks at the psychologist in disgust. "What? I'm not going to go through this. You know I'll never reach the food!" And he gets up and storms out. The psychologist ushers the physicist in. He explains the situation, and the physicist's eyes light up and he starts drooling. The psychologist is a bit confused. "Don't you realize that you'll never reach the food?" T he physicist smiles and replies: "Of course! But I'll get close enough for all practical purposes!"
- An engineer and a topologist were locked in the rooms for a day with a can of food but without an opener. At the end of the day, the engineer is sitting on the floor of his room and eating from the open can: He threw it against the walls until it cracked open. In the mathematician's room, the can is still closed but the mathematician has disappeared. There are strange noises coming from inside the can... When it is opened and the mathematician crawls out. "Damn! I got a sign wrong..."
- The Evolution of Math Teaching
- 1960s: A peasant sells a bag of potatoes for $10. His costs amount to 4/5 of his selling price. What is his profit?
- 1970s: A farmer sells a bag of potatoes for $10. His costs amount to 4/5 of his selling price, that is, $8. What is his profit?
- 1970s (new math): A farmer exchanges a set P of potatoes with set M of money. The cardinality of the set M is equal to 10, and each element of M is worth $1. Draw ten big dots representing the elements of M. The set C of production costs is composed of two big dots less than the set M. Represent C as a subset of M and give the answer to the question: What is the cardinality of the set of profits?
- 1980s: A farmer sells a bag of potatoes for $10. His production costs are $8, and his profit is $2. Underline the word "potatoes" and discuss with your classmates.
- 1990s: A farmer sells a bag of potatoes for $10. His or her production costs are 0.80 of his or her revenue. On your calculator, graph revenue vs. costs. Run the POTATO program to determine the profit. Discuss the result with students in your group. Write a brief essay that analyzes this example in the real world of economics.

- A student comes to the department with a shiny new cup, the sort of which you get when having won something. He explained: I won it in the Math Contest. They asked what 7 + 7 is. I said 12 and got 3rd place!
- A math professor is one who talks in someone else's sleep.
- "Do you love your math more than me?" "Of course not, dear - I love you much more." "Then prove it!" "OK... Let R be the set of all lovable objects..."
- There are three kinds of people in the world; those who can count and those who can't.
- Q: Did you hear the one about the statistician? A: Probably....