Monday, November 01, 2010

Spirit Week 2010

Pictures, as promised. First, crazy hair day. It's hard to see well in these pictures, but my quasi-mohawk/stegosaurus impersonation was quite the hit. The flowers were a last-minute addition in the morning that I'm glad to have made. There were only two problems: first, by the end of the day I had a terrible headache, which I eventually realized was from having my hair pulled so tightly for 9 hours. Second, I had to meet with a parent in the afternoon, which I was prepared for by choosing a hairstyle that could be undone (unlike my colleague Lisa, as you can see below). But in all the rush of after-school meetings, there was no time to turn myself into someone who you'd trust with your child so the whole meeting was kind of awkward. I hope that the kid explained to his mom that his teachers don't usually look like that.

Now on to the really good ones: Halloween. I am extremely proud to be part of a math department that came up with such phenomenal costumes. As I have chronicled, math costumes are not easy to come up with. There was some serious costume competition from the English department where all the women dressed as different Lady Gagas and the one man was "Alejandro," but I think our department wins on (1) creativity, (2) bad humor, (3) incorporation of academic content. Let's be honest: our department is by far the most fun and it's no coincidence that we often have the highest happy hour turnout and usually dominate faculty team-building competitions. Halloween is just reflective of our awesomeness.

I'll let you guess the bad math jokes. Zoom in to see if the math I'm wearing gives you a hint. 

To narrow it down, here are a few of the things that my students (incorrectly) guessed:
- The Monopoly guy
- A mathematician
- Calculus
- Pythagoras (clearly I did not convey very well that he was from ancient Greece)
- "Jersey Shore" (relevant, but still misses the mark)

Below is the rest math department. Don't bother guessing on Kieran, the tall guy in the middle (he doesn't get into the math department bonding with the rest of us) or Mark, the one on the far left (he didn't seem to understand until Friday morning that the rest of us were in math-related costumes). The rest are brilliant.

Here are your mathematical hints:
- Julian (2nd from the left): inverse of e^x
- Maura (sunglasses in the middle): the reason why correlation does not necessarily imply causation
- Trevor (standing next to me): (r, theta)

See below for answers:

From left to right:
- Mark (doesn't count as a legitimate math costume): "math-magician"
- Julian: Natural log
- Maura: Lurking variable (there is a better picture somewhere where she is lurking in the corner while the rest of us take a group picture)
- Kieran (5,000 points if you got this one right): Mr. Johnson, our school's physics teacher
- Trevor: Polar coordinates
- Me: Tangent (a Tan Gent)

I love Halloween. Except that the scariest thing alway seems to be how little math people know.

1 comment:

David said...

I love it! I guessed "tangent", but not "tan gent" and natural log, but couldn't get the others. Math department definitely wins - hands down.