Big Data Humor: the Rigorousness of Mathematics

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math-jokesData science is all about the underlying mathematics from disciplines like computer science, mathematical statistics, and probability theory. It may appear odd that my partisan feelings toward mathematics can be so well-articulated through a joke, yet the bit of humor below superbly captures my appreciation of the mathematical sciences. This quip comes from Ian Stewart’s “Concepts of Modern Mathematics.” Enjoy!

An astronomer, a physicist, and a mathematician (it is said) were holidaying in Scotland. Glancing from a train window, they observed a black sheep in the middle of a field. “How interesting,” observed the astronomer, “all Scottish sheep are black?” To which the physicist responded, “No, no! Some Scottish sheep are black!” The mathematician gazed heavenward in supplication, and then intoned, “In Scotland there exists at least one field, containing at least one sheep, at least one side of which is black.”

Ahhh, the precision of mathematics!

Daniel – Managing Editor, insideBIGDATA


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