Posts tagged ‘jokes’

Interview: Kerry Schultz, Saucon Valley High School

It sounds like the start of a math joke: Did you hear about the mathematical economist who became a teacher? The punch line is, “Her name is Kerry Schultz,” which, admittedly, isn’t very funny, but it’s absolutely true. Kerry used to work as an analyst for JPMorgan Chase but now teaches calculus and computer science at Saucon Valley High School in Hellertown, PA.

Seniors selected Kerry to be the faculty speaker at the 2021 SVHS commencement. During her speech, Kerry gave the graduates some sage advice. “When you get the choice to sit it out or dance, I hope you dance,” she told them, drawing from Lee Ann Womack’s 2000 hit. She also referenced one of my favorite publications:

After a difficult last two years, I promised to avoid the pandemic topic, and I wanted to be sure to keep this on the lighter side. So I brought my favorite book, Math Jokes 4 Mathy Folks. I’m pretty sure this book is the reason I was chosen to speak tonight.

As it turns out, Kerry and I have more in common than just our love of math jokes. We both have twins. (In fact, she has twin 10-year-old daughters and a 9-year-old son. I’ve never been good with numbers, but I’m pretty sure that means that, at one point, she had three kids under age two in her house. My goodness!) Like my wife and me, Kerry and her husband both love math jokes, math memes, and all things numeric. The two of them used to play The Game of 24 on long car rides; my wife and I played Dollar Nim with our kids.

The comparison ends when it comes to exercise, though. I’m active, but Kerry runs at 4:30 a.m. most mornings, because she spends her afternoons taking kids to their various activities (soccer, baseball, football, swimming, cross country, and golf). She’s finished 10 marathons and hopes to run the Chicago Marathon in 2022. (I’ve also never been asked to speak at a graduation. Yet.) In her limited downtime, Kerry enjoys traveling or reading a good book on the beach.

I caught up with Kerry when a friend forwarded her picture from the Lehigh Valley Press. As it turns out, Kerry has a fascinating story about her path to education.

Can you tell us how you got to Saucon Valley?

I went to college with the hopes of becoming a math teacher, but others convinced me that I was “too smart” for that. So I graduated from Colgate University in 2000 with a degree in mathematical economics, and I went to work as an analyst at JPMorgan Chase in midtown Manhattan. Some might say it was glamorous, with lots of fancy meals and car service home every night — but I hated pretty much everything about it.

I was working in midtown on September 11, 2001, and my brother was working on the 90th floor of the South Tower. He was extremely lucky to escape the attack on the World Trade Center, but many of his co-workers did not. This was a pivotal day for me. I realized life was way too short to spend it doing something I hated. In the following weeks, I began looking for graduate programs in mathematics education. In 2002, I enrolled at Lehigh University, and in 2004, I began teaching middle school math in the Saucon Valley School District.

I taught middle school math for five years while obtaining my principal certification from Lehigh. I then became a Coordinator of Academic Services and later an Instructional Coach for Math, all in Saucon Valley. In 2015, I requested a return to the classroom and was thrilled to be asked to teach high school math. I have been in the high school for five years now, teaching Algebra 2, Pre-Calculus, Calculus, and AP Computer Science Principles. I absolutely love my job!

And if you weren’t teaching math?

I’d love to be a professional athlete or work in an athletic setting — maybe a statistician for the NY Mets!

The kids! It’s important to get to know each and every one of my students as best I can. Nothing is better than knowing I have made a difference in the life of a student. Sometimes it’s by helping them solve a difficult problem, sometimes by building their confidence, sometimes by showing up to their lacrosse game, and sometimes it’s simply by being there when they’ve had a rough day. The relationships I’ve built with students over the years are by far the most important thing to me.

What is your favorite math joke(s)?

My oldest favorite has to be, “What did 0 say to 8?” Now that I teach computer science, I really like, “There are 10 kinds of people: those who understand binary, and those who don’t.”

Which math joke(s) do your students like best?

The jokes that poke fun at mathematicians tend to be class favorites. “What do you call a beautiful woman on the arm of a math graduate student? A tattoo.” And, “What’s the difference between a large pizza and a mathematician? A pizza can feed a family of four.”

What’s the funniest thing you’ve ever said during class? Or maybe, what’s the funniest thing that’s ever happened in class?

This is definitely a case of “you had to be there,” but one year I had an Honors Calculus student convince me, with the help of her classmates, that after high school she was going into the family business of designing chairs. I was skeptical at first, but they were so believable and had so many details, they had me convinced for days. They told me that her family designed chairs for Nicki Minaj, and to this day I can’t hear that name without dying of laughter.

What is your favorite area of mathematics? Is that also your favorite thing to teach?

I don’t have a personal favorite, but I definitely love teaching calculus. Calculus is a great challenge for many students, but most of them are willing and able to put forth the effort to succeed. I enjoy helping students work through the difficulties, and I’m just as excited as they are when it all starts to make sense. It is fantastic when you see the light bulb go on!

Getting Back to My Roots

For years, this blog represented the finest mathematical humor that the internet had to offer. That hasn’t been the case so much recently, so it’s time I got back to my roots — of course, for me, those would be cube roots…

I was inspired to craft this post of horrendously bad puns when my sister’s friend shared this photo with me:

And I figured if I have to suffer, you should, too.

How many math grad students does it take to change a light bulb? Just one, but it takes nine years.

What’s the best tool for math class? Multi-pliers!

When asked how good she was at algebra, the student replied, “Very able.”

Are you depressed when you think about how dumb the average person is? Well, I’ve got bad news for you… nearly half the population is even dumber.

How do you make one disappear? Add a g, then it’s gone.

Writing haiku is
tough, because you have to count.
Writers don’t like math.

Light travels faster than sound. This is why some people appear bright until you hear them speak.

The grad student had trouble getting the pizza box into the recycling can. It was like trying to put a square peg in a round hole.

How is the moon like a dollar? Both have four quarters.

Don’t look now, but there’s a suspicious man over there with graph paper. I think he’s plotting something.

If Jack Handey Were a Math Guy

In our old neighborhood, we had the Heidelberg Bakery, which we loved for cupcakes, Bavarian pretzels, and challah. But I really wish it were named the Heisenberg Bakery instead, so that one of the employees could have said to me:

Sorry, I can tell you the status of your order, or I can tell you the location of your order — but not both!

I went to a geometry lecture last night on circles that was fascinating. But it lasted two hours longer than expected, because the speaker kept going off on a tangent.

Math is everywhere, even English class, where there are add‑verbs, add‑jectives, and conjunctions.

But math really is in English class; you can use proportions to find the past tense of flew:

Sure, they say that the moon is made of cheese, but I prefer to think that it’s made of crust and filling. Then it’d be π in the sky!

To get from point A to point B, a mathematician takes a rhom‑bus.

Math for the Office:
1/2 hour of productivity + 7 1/2 hours on the internet = 1 good day at work!

The Math of Diets:
2 cheeseburgers + 46 fries + 1 diet soda = 1 totally healthy meal!

Square box. Round pizza. Triangular slices. WTF?

Today’s Special: Buy one cheeseburger for the price of two, and receive a second cheeseburger absolutely free!

I’m worried about that man over there drawing on graph paper. I think he’s plotting something.

Why is 6 afraid of 7?
Because math is terrifying.

If I had a dozen strips of bacon, and you took four of them, what would you have?
That’s right. You’d have a black eye.

It’s Been Too Long

I can’t help but channel my inner Foo Fighter as I start this post.

This is a call to all my past resignations;
It’s been too long…

Too long, indeed. My last post was August 8. I’ll use starting a new job and moving my family across the country as my excuse, but you deserve better. To get back into the swing of things, and to try to earn back your trust, I’ll start with a listicle of sorts. Let’s call it 12 Math Jokes You Should’ve Heard By Now. (Think that’s enough click-bait to get this post a thousand likes? We’ll see.)

Knock, knock.
Who’s there?
Pi.
Pi, who?
Don’t listen to me. I’m irrational.

I picked up a hitchhiker, and he seemed like a good guy. We had a pleasant conversation for a few minutes, and then he asked, “Thanks for picking me up. But weren’t you afraid I might be a serial killer?”

“Nah,” I said. “The odds of two serial killers in one car is extremely unlikely.”

I had a calculus test this morning. I thought about praying for a good grade. But I know God doesn’t work that way. So instead, I copied off my classmate who’s been accepted to Harvard, and I prayed for forgiveness.

I asked my wife, “What would you do if I won the lottery?” She said she’d take half and leave me. “Great!” I said. “I just won \$10. Here’s \$5. Don’t forget to write.”

Why did the math student ask a chemist for help?
He heard chemists have a lot of solutions.

Why was the fraction skeptical about marrying the decimal?
Because one of them would have to convert.

Atheists have difficulty with exponents because they don’t believe in higher powers.

The nurse apologized after realizing he’d put the splint on the patient’s incorrect finger. “You were really close,” said the patient. “You were only off by one digit.”

How is x2 + 2x + 4 = 0 like an artificial holiday tree?
Neither have real roots.

At a job interview, tell them you’re willing to give 110%. Unless you’re interviewing to be a statistician.

My girlfriend is like the square root of -100. She’s a perfect 10, but purely imaginary.

My wife calls me obtuse triangle, because I’m never right.

There Are 2 Things that Happened Yesterday…

Yesterday was a banner day.

Last night, I was finally able to carve out some time to binge-watch Season 2 of Trial & Error, and I was rewarded with a classic math joke in Episode 1. When lead investigator Dwayne Reed arrives at the house of accused murderer Lavinia Peck-Foster, he says:

There are two things that Reeds don’t trust: doctors, Pecks, and math.

I love it!

Upon realizing that I might be able to get my sitcom-writing career off the ground by reformulating stale math jokes, I promptly submitted my resume to NBC.

But, wait… there’s more!

Earlier in the day, I received NCTM‘s email newsletter Summing Up, which contained an unexpected surprise. In the section titled “NCTM Store,” there was a blurb about my most recent book, More Jokes 4 Mathy Folks, under the headline Just Published!

I had no idea that NCTM decided to sell my book, let alone that they were going to publicize it. My ignorance not withstanding, I couldn’t be more delighted!

If you’re looking for some great, light summer reading — something that can be enjoyed poolside while sipping a mojito — then pick up a copy of More Jokes 4 Mathy Folks from NCTM today! Not only will your purchase support a great organization (and my sons’ college fund), you’ll also receive a 20% discount for being an NCTM member.

Following the lead of Dwayne Reed, here are jokes that begin, “There are n kinds…,” all of which appear in More Jokes 4 Mathy Folks:

• There are only 2 kinds of math books: those you cannot read beyond the first sentence, and those you cannot read beyond the first page. (C. N. Yang, Nobel Prize in Physics, 1957)
• There are 2 kinds of people in the world: those who don’t do math, and those who take care of them.
• There are 3 kinds of people in the world: positive, negative, and relative.
• There are 2 kinds of people in the world: those who are wise, and those who are otherwise.
• There are 2 kinds of statistics: the kind you look up, and the kind you make up.
• There are 2 kinds of experienced actuaries: those who say they have made significant forecasting errors, and liars.
• There are 10 kinds of people in the world: those who understand binary, and those who don’t.
• There are 10 kinds of people in the world: those who understand binary, and 9 others.
• There are 10 kinds of people in the world: those who understand ternary; those who don’t understand ternary; and, those who mistake it for binary.
• There are 11 kinds of people: those who understand binary, and those who don’t.
• There are 8 – 3 × 2 kinds of people in the world: those who correctly apply the order of operations, and those who don’t think that 6 ÷ 2 × (1 + 2) = 9.
• There are 2 kinds of people in the world: logicians and ~logicians.
• There are 2 kinds of people in the world: those who can extrapolate from incomplete data…

8-15-17

Today is a glorious day!

The date is 8/15/17, which is mathematically significant because those three numbers represent a Pythagorean triple:

$8^2 + 15^2 = 17^2$

But August 15 has also been historically important:

But as of today, August 15 has one more reason to brag: It’s the official publication date of a bestseller-to-be…

Like its predecessor, this second volume of math humor contains over 400 jokes. Faithful readers of this blog may have seen a few of them before, but most are new. And if you own a copy of the original Math Jokes 4 Mathy Folks, well, fear not — you won’t see any repeats.

What kind of amazing material will you find on the pages of More Jokes 4 Mathy Folks? There are jokes about school…

An excited son says, “I got 100% in math class today!”

“That’s great!” his mom replies. “On what?”

The son says, “50% on my homework, and 50% on my quiz!”

There are jokes about mathematical professions…

An actuary, an underwriter, and an insurance salesperson are riding in a car. The salesperson has his foot on the gas, the underwriter has her foot on the brake, and the actuary is looking out the back window telling them where to go.

There are Tom Swifties…

“13/6 is a fraction,” said Tom improperly.

And, of course, there are pure math jokes to amuse your inner geek…

You know you’re a mathematician if you’ve ever wondered how Euler pronounced Euclid.

Hungry for more? Sorry, you’ll have to buy a copy to sate that craving.

To purchase a copy for yourself or for the math geeks in your life, visit Amazon, where MoreJ4MF is already getting rave reviews:

For quantity discounts, visit Robert D. Reed Publishers.

MORE Jokes 4 Mathy Folks

I know, I know.

You remember the day that you bought Math Jokes 4 Mathy Folks. You headed directly home from the bookstore and read it cover to cover. Then, once the tears of laughter had dried, you read it again. And sure, you were a little concerned that if you read it a third time, well, you might be accused of neglecting your family. But social reputation be damned… you’re a mathy folk, and neglecting people is what we do. So you returned to the first page and gave it one more go.

That day was several years ago.

Today, MJ4MF occupies a position of honor on your bathroom shelf, and while conducting your business you occasionally open to a random page, hoping to rediscover an old chestnut. But alas, you’ve read it so many times, you have every joke memorized, and the cover is falling off.

So, now what?

Well, don’t worry. You’ve waited patiently, and your patience is about to be rewarded. Announcing the release of the second volume in the MJ4MF franchise…

Head over to Amazon to order a copy today! Officially, it isn’t available until August 15, 2017 (bonus points if you know why that date was selected as the publication date), but you can get it now, and you’ll have plenty of time to memorize the jokes before the first day of school.

(And while you’re there, you should probably buy a replacement copy of Math Jokes 4 Mathy Folks, too. Get a new one with its cover intact. You don’t want to look like someone who doesn’t take care of your books, do you? Of course not. And besides, purchasing another copy for you will boost the sales ranking for me. Win-win.)

So, what will you find in this new collection? Over 400 jokes, from every branch of mathematics.

 Pentagon Hexagon Oregon

An excited son says, “I got 100% in math class today!”

“That’s great!” his mom replies. “On what?”

The son says, “50% on my homework, and 50% on my quiz!”

What is PA + PN + LA + LN?

A (P + L)(A + N) that’s been FOILed.

Heck, there are even jokes about other counting systems…

What happened in the binary race?

Zero won.

And what won’t you find in this new collection? You won’t find a single one of the 400+ jokes that were in the original Math Jokes 4 Mathy Folks. That’s right, this collection is 100% entirely new!

Don’t delay! Be the coolest kid on your block by ordering a copy of MORE Jokes 4 Mathy Folks today!

Book Review: Flightmares by Robert D. Reed

Bob Reed is likely one of the nicest guys you’ll ever meet. He’s certainly one of the nicest guys in the publishing industry. And he is absolutely, positively the nicest guy to have published Math Jokes 4 Mathy Folks.

Bob has now written his own book of jokes, Flightmares: Sky-High Humor. Chock full of zingers about pilots, flight attendants, mechanics, travel, and aerodynamics, Flightmares does for flying what Jaws did for swimming.

The following are just a few of the gems you’ll find inside:

Flying is the second greatest thrill known to man… landing is the first!

“Why is the mistletoe hanging over the luggage counter?” asked the airline passenger, amid the holiday rush.
The clerk replied, “It’s so you can kiss your luggage good-bye!”

I think my favorite jokes are the ones that could appear in a math joke book, with a little revision. Like this one, which I’ve heard in reference to a mathematician instead of a pilot:

What’s the difference between God and an airline pilot?
God doesn’t think He’s a pilot.

Or this one, if you replace flight attendants on an airplane with a math teacher in a geometry class:

What kind of chocolate should flight attendants hand out on airplanes?
Plane chocolate, of course.

And there’s even one that could be used in a math joke book directly:

Gunter’s Second Law of Air Travel: The strength of the turbulence is directly proportional to the temperature of the coffee.

What more can I tell you about Flightmares? Just like passengers on a jet that’s lost all four engines, it’s a scream! Well worth the price for some light summer reading.

To learn more about Flightmares, or for quantity discounts, visit Robert D. Reed Publishers. To purchase individual copies, visit Amazon.

2 Good 2 Be True

I was eating a bowl of shepherd’s pie at the Irish pub in our neighborhood. A man walks up to my table and asks, “What’s your favorite number?”

“Uh, 153,” I respond.

“And 153 × 2 is 306,” he says, then hurriedly scurries away.

He approaches another table, asks another patron for her favorite number, and again multiplies it by 2. He does this over and over, popping from table to table, annoying customer after customer. Eventually, the manager notices this eccentric behavior and approaches the man.

“Sir,” says the manager, “You can’t keep interrupting people’s dinners by asking them for a number and then multiplying by 2.”

“What can I say,” he responds. “I love Dublin!”

A little while later, the gentleman at the table next to me says to his companion, “I know a sure-fire way to double your money.”

This piqued my interest, so I leaned over to eavesdrop on his advice.

“Fold it in half,” he said.

Perhaps you’ve been wanting a copy of Math Jokes 4 Mathy Folks, but just haven’t pulled the trigger yet. Well, now’s the time. Robert D. Reed Publishers is offering a BOGO special for MJ4MF, so now you can buy a copy for yourself at regular price and get another for the special math geek in your life at no charge!

http://rdrpublishers.com/blogs/news/yes-math-is-fun

And check this out.

• If you buy 2 copies, you’ll get 2 additional copies absolutely free!
• If you buy 3 copies, you’ll get 3 more at no cost!
• Buy 4 copies, and 8 copies will be delivered to your door!
• And if you buy 50 copies? Why, you’ll have 100 copies arrive to your home, office, or post office box for the exact same price!
• If you want n copies, you’ll only pay for n/2 of them!

Folks, this is a linear relationship that you’d be foolish to ignore!

Halloween Math Jokes (Best Of)

I’d like to put together an entire collection of Halloween math jokes, but I don’t have the energy to write it.

I think I’ll use a ghost writer.

Did you hear about the ghost who earned 14% on his math exam?
He made a lot of boo-boos.

The following is blatantly stolen from all the other sites who blatantly stole it from somewhere else…

I’ve published a post with Halloween math jokes for the past several years.

Got any good Halloween math jokes? Please share!

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.