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A friend sent me a pointer to the Philip Ball essay (in Nature, 4 Feb 2005) "Freudian Quips" concerning mathematicans and their sense of humor (or lack thereof, from the viewpoint of a nonmathematician). Among many sharp observations in the article, the most acute is a classic aphorism about the angles from which various personalities view the universe:

Engineers believe equations approximate the real world. Physicists think that the real world approximates equations. Mathematicians are unable to make the connection.

(origin: Mischa Sandberg, 1977, BMath Waterloo --- ref. M. Sandberg, 3 May 2005)
Article was based on "Foolproof: A Sampling of Mathematical Folk Humor" by Paul Renteln and Alan Dundes available here [1]

(see also ElectricalEngineer (30 Mar 2000), RubikCubism1 (16 Mar 2001), WarningSigns (22 Jan 2002), EngineeringVersusScience (14 Dec 2004), ...)

TopicScience - TopicHumor - Datetag20050221

(correlates: CigarConstruction, PlusOrMinus, CubistComrade, ...)