Learning About Math Using Poetry

"It is true that a mathematician who is not also something of a poet will never be a perfect mathematician."--Karl Weierstrass

MathBabbler wrote this function related poem on 2 March 2008 to celebrate his first use of the word functioneer.

   We thought we had found a function...
   each input yielded one and only one output.

   We named the function eff and named the input ex...
   and we started to say "why equals eff of ex." [y = f(x)]

   It was an increasing function, this we knew...
   because the outputs increased as the inputs grew.

   All real numbers defined the function's domain...
   and the same could be said for the function's range.

   It was a linear function defined by y = mx + b...
   given a point and a value for 'b', the 
   function's slope 'm' we could clearly see.

Functioneers are finders of functions.

Yikes... a second function related poem.
   There once was a function named gee...
   It output a nine when the input was three.
   The function was defined by y = mx + b...
   and input 11 yielded output thirty-three.

   The function's graph was an increasing line... 
   and it passed through the origin perfectly fine.

   We used two points to find three was its slope...
   and now believe passing algebra is not beyond hope.

This Pi poem was written for Pi Day 2008.
   Every March 14th is Pi Day, 
   and people celebrate it in each their own way.

   Some people spend Pi Day celebrating 3.14,
   while others consider the day one huge bore.

   One way to celebrate Pi Day,
   is to hit the open highway.

   1:59:26 on Pi Day is considered Pi time,
   and doing Pi in PM rather than AM is just fine.

   Pi is an irrational transcendental number,
   and doing arithmetic with Pi by hand is a bummer.

   The 32nd decimal digit of Pi is the first occurrence of zero,
   but finding the next zero at digit 50 makes nobody a hero.

   Pi has been calculated to more than a trillion digits,
   yet 39 suffice to compute circumferences of most circular widgets.

   22/7 is a fraction frequently used to approximate Pi,
   but only 2 digits of accuracy makes many sigh.
   In European date format July 22 is Pi Approximation Day,
   so many will use this day for Pi play.

   Given a unit circle, 180 degrees equals Pi rads,
   but this is probably unknown to most moms and dads.

   Many celebrate Pi Day by eating their favorite pie,
   but PiDay.org offers ideas for other Pi stuff to try.

A poem about solving equations.
   We had to solve an equation for the variable en, 
   but fractional arithmetic disrupted our zen.

   The distributive property was used because variable en,
   was being held hostage inside parens.

   Setting en free allowed us to combine like terms,
   and we added and subtracted like we were math germs.

   Our last step was to divide both sides by en's coefficient, 
   and getting the correct answer made us feel A+ proficient.

   We got a second equation that was a solve for ex,
   but we left that exercise for a member of the opposite sex.

MathBabbler took the 1st verse of the Johnny Cash song "I Walk The Line" and algebratized it into "I Find The Line."
   I keep a close watch on these slopes of mine.
   I keep my intercepts labeled all the time.
   I keep the points for a function as it binds.
   Because it's assigned, I find the line.

YouTube.com:: I Find The Line

MathBabbler took the lyrics to "Just My Imagination" by The Temptations and morphed them into "Just My Fractionation."
   Each day through my window I watch her as she passes by.
   I say to myself, "You're such a lucky guy."
   To have a girl like her is truly a dream come true.
   Out of all of the fellas in the world she belongs to you...

   But it was just my imagination, once again...
   running away with me.
   I tell you it was just my imaginaaaaaaaaaaaation...
   running away with me.

From imagination to fractionation...

   Each day on my monitor I watch as bits scroll by.
   I say to myself, "You're such a nerdy guy."
   To have a unix system is truly a dream come true.
   Out of all the number systems in the world we use base-2.

   But it was just my fractionation, once again...
   dividing up my head.
   I tell you it was just my fractionaaaaaaaaaation...
   dividing up my head.

The following is the last verse to Commander Cody's "Seeds and Stems Again Blues."
   Well my dog died just yesterday and left me all alone.
   The finance company dropped by today and repossessed my home.
   That's just a drop in the bucket compared to losing you,
   And I'm down to seeds and stems again, too.
   Got the Down to Seeds and Stems again Blues.

The verse computized...

   Well my computer crashed yesterday and left me without MySpace.
   The cable company flipped a switch today 
   and disconnected me from the HumanRace.
   That's just a bit in the bucket compared to not googling you,
   And I'm void of zeros and ones again, too.
   Got the void of zeros and ones again Blues.

Creator: Gerald Thurman [gthurman@gmail.com]
Created: 04 March 2008 (posted 22 April 2008)
Last Modified: Saturday, 05-Jan-2013 11:18:21 MST

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 United States License.