Prince George's Community College

Spring 2024

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Four friends who have been doing really well in calculus decide to take a weekend road trip instead of studying for the final. Not surprisingly, they drink too much, oversleep on the morning of the final, and get back to campus after the exam is over. One of them concocts an explanation and asks for the professor's mercy. “We went to my parent's cabin for the weekend so we could have a quiet place to study. Driving back on Monday morning, we got a flat tire. We didn't have a spare, and it took hours for help to arrive.”

Sympathetically, the professor says, “I understand. Come back tomorrow morning, and I will allow you to take a make-up exam.”

On Tuesday morning, the professor seats the students in the four corners of a large lecture hall. The tests — which are just one page — are already on the desks, and the professor tells the students to begin. On the front side of the paper is just one question involving a definite integral, and all four students answer it easily.

On the back side of the paper is an even simpler question: “Which tire?”

A math major once faced the following question on an elementary physics exam: “You are given an accurate barometer. How would you use it to determine the height of a skyscraper?”

The student answered, “Go to the top floor, tie a long piece of string to the barometer, lower the barometer until it touches the ground, and then measure the length of the string.”

The professor, unsatisfied with the answer, interviewed the student. “Can you give me another method, one that demonstrates your knowledge of physics?”

“Sure. Go to the top floor, drop the barometer, and measure how long it takes to hit the ground.”

“That's not quite what I had in mind. Would you like to try again?”

“Okay,” said the student. “Make a pendulum of the barometer, measure its period at the bottom, then measure its period at the top.”

“Please try again,” the professor demanded.

“Measure the length of the barometer, mount it vertically on the ground on a sunny day, and measure its shadow. Then, measure the shadow of the skyscraper.”

“This is ludicrous,” announced the professor. “Again.”

“Walk up the stairs, and use the barometer as a ruler to measure the height of the walls in the stairwells.”

“Last chance, young man.”

“Find where the janitor lives, knock on his door, and say ‘Please sir — if I give you this barometer, will you tell me the height of the skyscraper?’”

A dairy farmer has a cow that isn't producing good milk. The farmer hires three experts to figure out what's wrong with the cow: a psychiatrist, an engineer, and a physicist. He tells them each to study the cow for a day and report back their proposed solution.

The psychiatrist goes first. After spending a day with the cow, he tells the farmer that the cow is not happy inside the barn, and that the inside of the barn should be painted green so the cow will feel more at home. The farmer isn't sure this will help so he asks the engineer to study the cow.

After his day with the cow, the engineer tells the farmer that the cow isn't being milked efficiently, and gives the farmer a design for a milking machine. The farmer is still not convinced and asks the physicist to take a look.

After a day of study the physicist goes to see the farmer. The physicist walks to a chalkboard and draws a big circle with lines coming out of it and says “Consider a spherical cow in a vacuum, uniformly radiating milk in all directions...”

René Descartes is in a bar. The bartender asks, “Would you like another?” Descartes replies, “I think not,” and he disappears.

Millihelen: The amount of beauty required to launch one ship.

Q.   What do you get when you cross an elephant with a banana?

Ans.   Elephant banana sine θ.

Two hydrogen atoms walk into a bar. One says, “I've lost my electron.” The other says, “Are you sure?” The first replies, “Yes, I'm positive...”

Q   How many theoretical physicists specializing in general relativity does it take to change a light bulb?

Ans.   Two. One to hold the bulb and one to rotate the universe.

The Law of Conservation of Filth: Nothing can become clean without something else becoming dirty.

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Page last updated: January 22, 2024.