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Euclidean Algorithm

I love the Math/Stat Department.

Popular math professors Colin Adams and Tom Garrity at Williams College will debate the next president of the “United States of Mathematics” on Saturday, Oct. 25, at 10 a.m. in Brooks-Rogers Recital Hall on the Williams College campus.

This years Family Days Faculty lecture will feature an assuredly hilarious contention between the figure-eight knot, which represents new mathematics, and the changes we believe in, and the Euclidean algorithm, which represents the stability originating from the traditional roots of mathematics. Which candidate will come out on top and claim empirical glory in this bare-knuckled debate? Only the votes will tell.

Did anyone attend? Why don’t other departments at Williams put on these sorts of events?

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#1 Comment By eph ’07 On October 27, 2008 @ 12:31 pm

Why don’t other departments do this? I would think it’s mainly because other departments don’t have the multiple comic personalities that the math department does.

#2 Comment By frank uible On October 27, 2008 @ 12:37 pm

Is there a causal relationship between the study of math and comedy?

#3 Comment By Dick Swart On October 27, 2008 @ 1:05 pm

They meet in Tom Lehrer. Listen to ‘New Math’ and ‘Lobachevsky’, the model for which was Danny Kaye’s ‘Stanislavsky’.

Which brings us to the great line: ‘Plagiarize, Let no one else’s work evade your eyes. Why do you think the good Lord made your eyes. so don’t shade your eyes – Plagiarize, Plagiarize, Plagiarize!. But remember to always call it, please, “Research”.’

We had him up from Harvard (he wrote ‘Fight Fiercely, Harvard’} for Winter Houseparty ’54.

Older readers (of which there are three) will remember him from ‘That was the week that was’.


#4 Comment By Parent ’12 On October 27, 2008 @ 2:08 pm


Thanks for the wikipedia link to Tom Lehrer. I wondered what happened to him. I & my immediate family love him. My son sang his songs as a child & probably still does.

I remember when he taught at UC Santa Cruz in the early 70s. A friend was very disappointed because he made no reference in his math courses to his early life or songs. My friend actually found the course boring.

#5 Comment By frank uible On October 27, 2008 @ 5:26 pm

The strains of “The Old Dope Peddlar” immediately come to my head (mostly because it is sung to the tune of The Old Lamplighter).