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 […]

## 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 […]

## 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 […]

## Statistical one-liners

A new government 10 year survey cost $3,000,000,000 revealed that 3/4 of the people in America make up 75% of the population. According to recent surveys, 51% of the people are in the majority. Did you know that 87.166253% of all statistics claim a precision of results that is not justified by the method employed? […]

## Answering machine

Hello, this is probably 438-9012, yes, the house of the famous statistician. I’m probably not at home, or not wanting to answer the phone, most probably the latter, according to my latest calculations. Supposing that the universe doesn’t end in the next 30 seconds, the odds of which I’m still trying to calculate, you can […]

## Purchasing the shoes

A shoeseller meets a mathematician and complains that he does not know what size shoes to buy. “No problem,” says the mathematician, “there is a simple equation for that,” and he shows him the Gaussian normal distribution. The shoeseller stares some time at het equation and asks, “What is that symbol?” “That is the Greek […]

## 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. […]