Friday, August 15, 2008

Mathmo

According to the site mathmo.org, the word mathmo is an "offensive-ish" term! I always used it as a short hand for a mathematician, but the site states the following:

"The term mathmo came into being during the last century. It signifies a certain kind of living entity which can most easily be met in its refuges at universities and libraries. As they are known to be extremely shy, it is recommended to bring with you some tea or coffee and something to eat, if you want to call attention. Mathmos got their name by art students in Cambridge who had observed some students to have significant properties such as being smelly, shy and horrendously brainy, going along with mathematical ability. Therefore mathmo is misused as a four letter word up to today, which is obviously wrong."

The site even has a mathmo test, which I found quite amusing! What's your mathmo score? (Be honest now!!) I got 26, and before anyone disagrees, the joke "Why did the chicken cross the Moebius strip? - To get to the same side." is amusing! (I didn't tick the boxes for things that I once knew eg. prime numbers less than 100, otherwise I get more...) I think I am also guilty when it came to "Do you make excruciatingly bad puns?"... People are too kind to say this to me you see... or I am deeply skilled in turning a deaf ear at the right time! (I think the latter is more true). Why would that quiz cause any offence?

Anyway, to reuse my favourite quote of humpty dumpty -- 'When I use a word, it means just what I choose it to mean, neither more nor less.' I use Mathmo in a positive sense!

The other day an old friend of my Dad visited us after quite some time, and I remember him from when I was an ickle kid. I supposedly erm... was quite exuberant when I first met him as a child, and everyone can't stop reminding me about how I first greeted him. (I would rather not mention this!) Anyway, I was quite amused to find my Dad say "Bean's is a mathematician so you two should get on well now!" (We didn't get of to a good start when I was five-ish). Well that's the first time I have been introduced as a mathematician in a positive way. I think I like my Dad's old friend now.

12 comments:

Steph said...

43

Beans said...

Hi Steph,

Do you think that there is a connection between your mathematical age and the score of that test? :p I wonder how some of my lecturers would score!

KTC said...

31

Beans said...

Not a bad score KTC. So if the aim is to get the highest score, I would say that Steph is our winner at the moment!

(And in the spirit of the Olympics, the gold medal will be yours!)

KTC said...

"Do you think that there is a connection between your mathematical age and the score of that test? :p I wonder how some of my lecturers would score!"
Using a sample size of 3, I'll say yes. PhD student got 43, BSc (3/4 years in Maths) got 31, current undergraduate got 26. :D

Beans said...

Lol, I think your score strengthened my claim!

*waits for counterexample to pop up*!

By the way, if you don't mind me asking, what do you do since you have graduated?

Steph said...

Hmm. I thought I had posted a response to this. :-)

I do not think that my score would be much different if I took to say, when I reach 23. Unless by then I forget how to play Go..

Note: I do not think demanding grammatical accuracy as pedantry.

Beans said...

Hi Steph,

Well it depends on how old you will be mathematically when you turn 23! (The more years you have studied maths, the older you are. :p)

Martin Speirs said...

35, and I am 18 years old... so that doesnt quite support the link between age and points..

Beans said...

Hi Martin,

It was very tempting to not publish your comment. :p Haha, but a counter example is a counter example! (However, how old are you mathematically? Are you currently at university?)

KTC said...

Nothing. Just being a bum. :D Though am looking for a job (sortof).

Beans said...

From where I'm sat, that sounds great! My four weeks down time makes it seem like the holidays are going to be over too soon.

What kind of a job would you be interested in/looking for?