# Math joke/riddle

My mom must find numerous ways to engage her students since most people have a fear and hatred of math. She often attempts to tells jokes that relate to something she is teaching. She learned this joke from a colleague.  “You have a kitchen and there is a pot of water on the floor. How do you boil the pot of water? Simple, you pick up the pot of water, place it on the stove, and turn the stove on. Now, how do you boil a pot of water on the counter?…… You place it on the floor and use part A.” My mom likes this joke because it resembles how one would use an existing proof in another proof. She also likes it because it has a deceptively easy answer that most people don’t think of. My mom has a degree in biochemistry and a Master’s degree in educations. She teaches math to high schoolers. She enjoys doing math puzzles and learning to code. As a result, she has collected an enormous amount of folklore. Predominantly from her students, but also from colleagues and conferences. Some of this folklore is unique to each niche while other pieces span multiple groups. This provides a unique perspective on folklore from these rather similar groups. Since my mom and I are quite similar I think the joke is funny for very similar reasons. Since I do a lot of proofs for my classes I think the answer to this joke is a “oh duh” moment. I usually have one of those when I finally figure out how to solve a problem and prove the answer. There is generally one step that makes the whole answer fit together and most of the time it is something annoyingly obvious. This joke just reminds me of those moments which are funny looking back on them, but while I was working on the problem they weren’t so funny.

# Lochness Monster Legend

My friend Henry who is of predominantly Irish decent told me a story about the Lochness monster. He heard this story from his cousin who is half Scottish. He said, “So my cousin saw the monster. He went looking for it. He was just walking around the lake trying to be casual and calm. He would stop at different points around the loche and just sit and watch the water for the monster. The first few times he went to the loche he didn’t see anything. But he had full faith that the monster is real. So he kept going back ya know. Then on a cloudy day in March he saw it. He was sitting in one of his usual viewing spots and he saw something stir the calm water. He pulled out his binoculars and looked that the disrupted spot. He watched for what he said was hours but really he has a short attention span so it was probably like ten minutes. He said that he saw a dark figure emerge from the water. He said he saw flippers but then a boat horn went off and the monster disappeared. This was not enough to convince me that the monster actually exists. I still think it is just a legend. My cousin couldn’t give me any proof of the monster. People have been creating hoaxes for years. I won’t believe it until I see it with my own eyes.” This is not an uncommon story. People have been ‘spotting’ the monster for years. Many research articles about the monster reference these sightings. One article that I have read believes that everyone can be split into believers and nonbelievers. Believers believe that the creature exists even if they haven’t seen it themselves. The nonbelievers need to see the creature with their own eyes before they will believe it. I would be classified as a nonbeliever. I would have to see the creature myself in order to fully believe in its existence.

My friend is a computer science major. As part of the computer science community she collects and forwards a myriad of folklore specific to this unique group. Computer science folklore is unique and reflects the beliefs and the culture of the group. Per my informant, as well as personal experience, computer science majors have a unique sense of humor that develops from the difficult coursework, the long hours spent on the computer coding, and the group dynamic required to get through the major. This humor is often expressed through memes and jokes only members of this group can understand and appreciate.

Lyons, Stephen . “The Legend of Loch Ness.” PBS SoCal. Nova, 12 Jan. 1999. Web. 27 Mar. 2017. <http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/ancient/legend-loch-ness.html>.

# Computer Science Joke

While working with a few of my friends on a project for our software development class we were trying to figure out why we kept receiving a compilation error. We painstakingly went through every line of code until we finally found that we were just missing a semicolon. My friend turned to me and said “You know the semicolon has been the hide and seek champion since 1958.” The rest of us in the group laughed because this is such a common problem. Some code editors alert users to specific issues while others just give a general compiler error. I asked my friend where she learned the joke. She said that she heard it from one of our TA’s when he was debugging another student’s code. Other than that she is not sure of the origin. I believe that the joke probably developed soon after coding languages since this is a very common problem. My friend is a computer science and business administration major with a cybersecurity minor. As part of the computer science community he collects and forwards a myriad of folklore specific to this unique group. Computer science folklore is unique and reflects the beliefs and the culture of the group. Per my informant, as well as personal experience, computer science majors have a unique sense of humor that develops from the difficult coursework, the long hours spent on the computer coding, and the group dynamic required to get through the major. This humor is often expressed through memes and jokes only members of this group can understand and appreciate.

# Computer Science Joke

In the beginning of the semester my professor reviewed shortest path algorithms. Essentially the algorithm finds the shortest path from point a to point b. These algorithms are incredibly useful in many everyday applications such as google maps. This picture is a larger scale version of the Trolley problem. The Trolley problem is predominantly a philosophical one in which you stand at a lever. You can pull the lever and change the course of the trolley or you can do nothing. The trolley has no brakes and is headed for two paths. Generally, one path has only one person and the other path has multiple people. Some versions just have one path have more people on the tracks than the other. The idea is that you cannot remove the people from the tracks. Your only power is with the lever. You decide who lives and dies. This meme combines the ideas of shortest path algorithms and the Trolley Problem. My friend showed this to me at the end of lecture. She said, “I think this solve our professor’s problem lol.” I found it funny.  The meme provides a possible solution to the Trolley problem. However, people disagree on how this situation should be handled. The main debate is centered around the question, “Does one person get to decide the fate of others? Is that fair?” It is not clear whether or not the shortest path algorithm would be the best solution to the problem. It is a presented as a silly or trivial solution. It opens the door to thinking about this philosophical problem in terms of an algorithm. My friend is a computer science major with a game development emphasis. As part of the computer science community she collects and forwards a myriad of folklore specific to this unique group. Computer science folklore is unique and reflects the beliefs and the culture of the group. Per my informant, as well as personal experience, computer science majors have a unique sense of humor that develops from the difficult coursework, the long hours spent on the computer coding, and the group dynamic required to get through the major. This humor is often expressed through memes and jokes only members of this group can understand and appreciate.