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What's Purple and Commutes? Professor Compiles Thousands of Math Jokes, Comics, and Cartoons

February 5, 2010

Mathematician Pablo Flores Martínez (University of Granada) loves the funny side of mathematics.

In the last 14 years, he's collected 4,000 math-related jokes by humorists from all over the world—and uses the material to enhance his course called “Didactics of Mathematics."

Scouring the humor sections of daily newspapers and specialized web sites, Martínez enters the most interesting jokes, comics, and cartoons into a database. He categorizes them under these subject headings: numbers; geometry; algebra; operations; measure theory; analysis; statistics; proportions; and functions.

In order to be included, the humor must contain the word “mathematics” or a derivative; use terms identified with the subject (such as numbers, figures, graphic representations, and mathematical signs); present situations which can be mathematically solved; or deal with mathematics teaching.

Portions of his extensive collection will appear in the book "Graphic Humor in the Classroom of Mathematics."

If you can't wait for the book (and understand Spanish), check out some of the humor here. And if you have any math-related jokes, send them to Martínez at

Source: Scientific Computing

Start Date: 
Friday, February 5, 2010