Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Strangest Textbook Title

There are a lot of strange textbook titles, but this one may be the strangest of all:

Discrete Mathematics with Ducks.

That's just silly! Everybody knows that you do discrete mathematics with geese, not ducks.


Narad said...

Submit it for the Diagram Prize!

I saw that one on the latest CRC catalogue; since I am teaching Discrete Math, I requested an evaluation copy :-)

Laurence A. Moran said...

Surely you meant to say "chickens," right? I'd hate to think you were actually a geeser. That's a lot worse than being a ducker.

Tom English said...

Well, I always thought that the "pigeonhole principle" was dubious. I've seen many pigeons, but nary a pigeonhole. So why should I accept that pigeons go into pigeonholes?

The "pigeonhole principle" was originally (in 1834) the "drawer principle," and given that everyone has seen things go into drawers, I find it highly suspicious that "drawer" got changed into "pigeonhole." Is it a coincidence that Darwin obsessed over pigeon breeding in the Origin of Species (1859)? I don't think so. Darwinism has crept into all areas of intellectual endeavor, and clearly math is no exception.

Maybe pigeons actually did go into pigeonholes in Darwin's time. But we don't have a time machine to prove that. It's bad enough that we continue to teach students outmoded Victorian science. Teaching them unfalsifiable Victorian math is simply outrageous.

Anonymous said...

Duck, Grey Duck, Goose could be the basis for a base3 math system.

NAL said...

A physicist needs some help:

A mathematical puzzle