As a reponse to CAMBR.MAT, this is a list of humorous quotes
from people (mostly lecturers) in maths/computation circles
at Oxford......
*** 1989 ***************************************************
This lecturer seems to have a tautology problem:
"A mapping is 1-1 and onto if and only if it is 1-1 and onto."
From a lecturer who knows exactly what he intends to do:
"....and now we need to increase n. The best way to increase
n is to increase n."
Obviously a student who didn't like his lecturer:
"I didn't think he could live down to his reputation, but he
did."
Another dissatisfied student?:
"Oh dear, where's my rifle...."
Referring to exams? I hope not...:
"...because if you're dead earlier, you certainly are dead later on..."
Good helpful instruction here:
"You could sort a sequence by assigning 1,2,3... to it. That's the fastest
sort routine I know of!"
Confused medium?:
"Please yell out if there are any typing errors"
In the middle of a difficult proof:
"This is the stage where I strt to pray"
followed by
"Somebody up there is being kind to me, are they? No."
followed by
"I've done something silly with a square root of 2."
Guess which subject:
"I have a personality disorder: I don't like to assume things
are measurable."
More Lebesgue Integration quotes:
"You can sleep if you want."
"It's delicate to get your hands on it."
"Will we all agree to shut that one in a cupboard?"
"Well we can't quite stop yet - although I am tempted..."
Sounds too good to be true:
"This is fun: lots of magical ways to solve differential equations!"
Any idea of the context of this one?:
"If you watch T.V. you see there are such things as Marathons"
A disillusioned lecturer:
"In the old days, the pure days..."
A weensy big headed, are we?:
"I'm just showing off, seeing how fast I can do them..."
Some quotes from a statistics lecturer:
"This is a stupid example - you can see why; it's an exam question."
"We observe approximate approximation to .... "
A hopeful Rings and Groups lecturer:
"... a cube, so it has 8 faces ... "
A lecturer nicknamed 'Hurricane':
"Ok? Well, not very ok but you can find the mistake yourself"
followed by
"Whatever you need to get the answer"
An undergraduate talking about Fermat's last theorem, so I am told...:
"A millionth of a second is virtually forever"
and
"It doesn't really make a lot of difference between 8 and 33"
Yet *more* Lebesgue integration quotes:
"Integration by parts is not economical on paper"
"I can't be bothered. Can't we just go back and......"
"It's all so simple it's hard to remember"
"I worked it out last night - let's see if it works in the daylight"
This term's contradictions prize:
"I want to stop looking at inhomogeneous equations and start looking
at inhomogeneous equations"
Nope, this isn't 'Hurricane':
"Imagine me running towards you at root-three-over-two c"
Physicists? Thick?:
" '3+1' is physicists' notation for '4' "
You'll never guess what - we had an incredibly quotable Lebesgue
integration lecturer:
"Has anyone got it out yet? (Pause) You're not doing it are you?"
"It looks an incredibly integrable function"
"Proof's easy, by the way, provided I keep my act together"
[to a moving blackboard] "SIT!!!"
"Sorry about that - I'm teaching this to some engineers...they'd
have a fit if they saw"[a Lipschitz condition]
"My mind's gone crazy again"
"I'll just reassmble the duster"
"Take the computer and it will do lotsof things while you're
at the pub"
"In lectures, everywhere you have chaos"
Some quotes from a Rings and Groups lecturer:
"Examples come in two types: interesting ones and examination ones"
"This [z->conj(z)] is worse than bad"
"Now I run down the r's and up the b's"
"Just send one of the 1st years to check..."
A confuddled lecturer:
"Is this the right lecture theatre?"
Do I really need to tell you where these came from?:
"The proof is not required for finals, but I'm going to give you it
anyway because it's nice."
"multiplied by the stupid derivative dFx"
"I'd thought we'd spend the rest of the day in light entertainment:
Let's do some schools questions!"
"Questions are easy, with a bit of luck"
"Tonelli would tell us..." (undergraduate) "No he wouldn't, he's dead"
"Knock that sign for 6 and use Tonelli somewhere"
"If you want to cut corners, an intelligent corner to cut is not
to learn the proofs of any of these theorems"
"And that's the singularity that's going to save our bacon"
"I'll take a special delta when I see what I need"
"And the Riemann-Lebesgue lemma zaps it again"
"I am falling into a trap. I assume I know it's there -
I want to fall into it"
"If x were negative this would go sky-high - it would blast off the map"
"Can I bring along an elephant and some trumpets to draw your attention...
"Pinch yourself, kiss your neighbour, anything to draw attantion to
this" (loud kissing sound of student kissing neighbour)
"Let me make a mistake now"
"Meanwhile back at the ranch..."
"It's my lucky day!"[after a double-cancelling error]
"I actually like integrating"
"I love integrating"
[Referring to previous lecturer]
"That woman can't clean the board. I pay someone to clean the floor
at home and then I come here and spend 15 minutes mucking around"
"We could do it if we could pull the sum sign through and that's
what God gave us the monotone convergence theorem for"
"...and at this stage your heart should have a slight hiccup"
"...and at this stage you should go and have a beer"
"I'll massage this into a shape you can use the MCT on"
"Now we go into automatic drive and finish this off"
"I'm going to use this diagram. It's not completely silly"
After turning out all the lights:
"So that's what these switches do!"
From analysis lectures:
"The fact they're called divided differences suggests that they are
the difference of 2 things divided by something"
"10! is fairly small"
A different quotable lecturer:
"Are you bored?" [Students shout Yes]
"Are you mega-bored?" [Students shout YES]
"What a waste of life is coming to Oxford to get bored in lectures."
A talkative lecturer:
"No, let me stop gibbering my mouth off without thinking about it
beforehand... and I've just shot myself in the foot"
Obviously good at making mistakes:
"I've just realised I've done something crazy...in the notes this time"
A sad lecturer's tale:
"I used to be quite clever - it's the drink"
Proof technique obviously ok:
"Well I guess that's a respectable proof actually"
More of the prolific lecturer:
"You keep thinking you've got over the hiccups and then they come
back again"
"I like it. (referring to a lemma) It looks upside down to me."
"...there's the following delicious little proof"
"I've got two 2's, the third should be a 3"
"Let's fall into the trap - let's do the obviuos thing"
"(referring to a function) It looks like a case of Carling Black Label"
"The trick is not to write anything"
"Ugh. This is horrid, isn't it"
"It will enable you to pull derivavtives through integrals, which you
have wanted to do all your life - and some of you have been. This tells
you when you can legally do it."
Who said proofs were legal?:
"Watch this proof carefully - it looks like a confidence trick"
Remember continuity and differentiablity?:
"In other words this is going to be a 3 epsilon proof."
Referring to Lorentz:
"It's a garden trellis type transformation"
"To be consistent, call it *^(-1)"
"We get our own back by calling rotations in the plane 'Pseudo-Lorentz'"
From a computing lecture:
"A degree's worth more than a monitor"
In a differential equations lecture:
"As you can see, these equations are very easy to remember -
hold on, I've missed out a term..."
***1990*************************************************************
From a groups lecture:
"It's a bit like probability except that it can go negative and the
integral is not normally 1"
and
"I can't possibly tell you what this is - it's a very unpleasant space"
Starting off a course early in the year:
"The important thing to remember about this course is that it
doesn't actually mean anything."
My, my! Here's a helpful topology lecturer:
"I'll prove it with a diagram, and next time I'll translate it
into pictures."
From a respected computation lecturer:
"I don't have an I.Q."
and(in the middle of a lecture):
"What am I doing?"
An energetic lecturer:
"Note that one must always have his sleeves rolled up for discussing
this kind of thing."
Tautology-of-the-term prize:
"If you start off with a 72 elements and take away half, you're left with
the other half"