A Nice (and Funny) Note

September 9, 2010 at 6:10 am Leave a comment

Professor Francisco Craveira de Carvalho from the math department at Universidade de Coimbra recently sent me two jokes.

Teacher: “… and this concludes the proof. PLOP!”
Student: “What was that?”
Student: “It’s his vocal version of the Halmos symbol.”

The Halmos symbol, which is also known as the mathematician’s tombstone, is a little black square (■) used to indicate the end of a proof. Named after mathematician Paul Halmos, it was created by Donald Knuth to be used in TeX to replace Q.E.D. when typesetting mathematics.

His second joke was graphical.

 But most importantly, Professor Craveira sent me a message —

I bought your book in NY. Great fun! Congratulations!

— about which I was very excited! Despite its brevity, the message contained much information. Specifically,

  • It proved that someone had actually read the introduction to Math Jokes 4 Mathy Folks. (PLOP!)
  • Even if others had read the introduction, this was the first time someone used the email address in the introduction to send me a message.
  • Professor Craveira told me that he bought my book at a Barnes & Noble on Fifth Avenue. To my knowledge, this is the first brick-and-mortar purchase of MJ4MF.

Professor Craveira’s brief message of just 45 characters (not including spaces) made my day. Thanks, Professor Craveira!

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Inversions A Funny Phone Call

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About MJ4MF

The Math Jokes 4 Mathy Folks blog is an online extension to the book Math Jokes 4 Mathy Folks. The blog contains jokes submitted by readers, new jokes discovered by the author, details about speaking appearances and workshops, and other random bits of information that might be interesting to the strange folks who like math jokes.

MJ4MF (offline version)

Math Jokes 4 Mathy Folks is available from Amazon, Borders, Barnes & Noble, NCTM, Robert D. Reed Publishers, and other purveyors of exceptional literature.

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