The fate of marriages

It is often cited that there are half as many divorces as marriages in the US, so one concludes that average marriages have a 50% chance of ending by divorce. While I was a graduate student, among my peers there were twice as many divorces as marriages, leading us to conclude that average marriages would […]

Misunderstood people

1. They speak only the Greek language. 2. They usually have long threatening names such as Bonferonni, Tchebycheff, Schatzoff, Hotelling, and Godambe. Where are the statisticians with names such as Smith, Brown, or Johnson? 3. They are fond of all snakes and typically own as a pet a large South American snake called an ANOCOVA. […]

Reducing travel risk

There was this statistics student who, when driving his car, would always accelerate hard before coming to any junction, whizz straight over it , then slow down again once he’d got over it. One day, he took a passenger, who was understandably unnerved by his driving style, and asked him why he went so fast […]

Worries while flying

Two statisticians were travelling in an airplane from LA to New York. About an hour into the flight, the pilot announced that they had lost an engine, but don’t worry, there are three left. However, instead of 5 hours it would take 7 hours to get to New York. A little later, he announced that […]

Debate about the box

An engineer, a physicist, and a mathematician are trying to set up a fenced-in area for some sheep, but they have a limited amount of building material. The engineer gets up first and makes a square fence with the material, reasoning that it’s a pretty good working solution. “No no,” says the physicist, “there’s a […]

Refrigerate elephants

Analysis: 1. Differentiate it and put into the refrig. Then integrate it in the refrig. 2. Redefine the measure on the referigerator (or the elephant). 3. Apply the Banach-Tarsky theorem. Number theory: 1. First factorize, second multiply. 2. Use induction. You can always squeeze a bit more in. Algebra: 1. Step 1. Show that the […]

The math one-liners

Math problems? Call 1-800-[(10x)(13i)^2]-[sin(xy)/2.362x]. If parallel lines meet at infinity – infinity must be a very noisy place with all those lines crashing together! Maths Teacher: Now suppose the number of sheep is x… Student: Yes sir, but what happens if the number of sheep is not x? Zenophobia: the irrational fear of convergent sequences. […]

The birthday study

It is proven that the celebration of birthdays is healthy. Statistics show that those people who celebrate the most birthdays become the oldest. — S. den Hartog, Ph D. Thesis Universtity of Groningen.

Risk of plane bombs

A mathematician and a non-mathematician are sitting in an airport hall waiting for their flight to go. The non has terrible flight panic. “Hey, don’t worry, it’s just every 10000th flight that crashes.” “1:10000? So much? Then it surely will be mine!” “Well, there is an easy way out. Simply take the next plane. It’s […]

The results of statistics

1. Ten percent of all car thieves are left-handed 2. All polar bears are left-handed 3. If your car is stolen, there’s a 10 percent chance it was taken by a Polar bear 1. 39 percent of unemployed men wear spectacles 2. 80 percent of employed men wear spectacles 3. Work stuffs up your eyesight […]