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Thursday, March 20, 2014

Sexist Math Nerd Humor

In mathematics, a manifold is "a topological space that is connected and locally Euclidean," that is to say flat and predictable, at least in the region of interest.

But what if it's still curvy and unpredictable locally? Would that be a womanifold?


Bret said...

Well, I figure this is one of the few blogs in the universe where the readers might appreciate the humor. If my attempt at humor falls flat like a, er, well, like a manifold, then oh well, it was still worth a try.

Robot arms trace topologically complex surfaces but fortunately, locally, the changes are sometimes predictable enough that within the locality they can be treated as manifolds. It was in the course of discussing such manifolds (and the lack thereof) that the humor emerged. It was funny to us.

Hey Skipper said...

Is that a trick question?

Clovis e Adri said...

LOL! :-)

That was a really good one, it goes to my chest of class jokes.

Bret said...

So I told the womanifold joke to a mathematician and ended up getting into a discussion of whether or not a womanifold and a fractal surface were the same thing.

I say no, just because a womanifold is unpredictable at the local resolution, doesn't mean it's not flatter and better behaved (i.e. more predictable) at some or even all sub-localities. Whereas a fractal surface is unpredictable at any resolution.

What do you think?

Clovis e Adri said...


I would go for the contrary point: fractals are many times described by a well defined rule, usually an iterative one. I doubt any woman can be described by so simple rules.

I think you really need a new mathematical entity to describe them, so womanifolds are your own contribution to the hall of fame of mathematics. A Fields medal is in order, IMHO.