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## September 02, 2003

### Math Joke

I simply couldn't resist this one:

Q: How many mathematicians does it take to screw in a light bulb?

A: None. It's left to the reader as an exercise.

A': One. He gives it to six Californians, thereby reducing the

problem to an earlier joke.

A": One. He gives it to five Oregonians, thereby reducing the

problem to an earlier joke.

A'": In an earlier article, zeus!bobr writes:Q: How many mathematicians does it take to screw in a light bulb?

A: One. He gives it to six Californians, thereby reducing the

problem to an earlier joke...In earlier work, Wiener [1] has shown that one mathematician

can change a light bulb.If k mathematicians can change a light bulb, and if one more simply

watches them do it, then k+1 mathematicians will have changed the

light bulb.Therefore, by induction, for all n in the positive integers,

n mathematicians can change a light bulb.Bibliography:

[1] Weiner, Matthew P., <11485@ucbvax>, "Re: YALBJ", 1986

Posted by mbowen at September 2, 2003 08:29 PM

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