# Do You Have What it Takes to Be a True Mathematician?

• micromass
In summary: Do you have no sense of humour?SPECIALISMS110) Have you ever studied graph theory?111) Do you know what a group is?112) Do you know what a vector space is?113) Have you ever studied topology?114) ...in more than one dimension?115) Have you ever studied the calculus of variations?116) Have you ever studied Galois Theory?117) ...in more than one dimension?118) Have you ever studied Non-Euclidean Geometry?119) ...in more than one dimension?120) Have you ever studied Chaos Theory?121) ...in more than one dimension?122) Have you ever studied Quantum Mechanics?123) ...as a mathematician?
micromass
Staff Emeritus
Homework Helper
So, do you think you are a mathematician? Prove it and calculate your MPQ (Mathematical Purity Quotient)

Here are 125 questions to determine how much of a mathematician you really are. Answer each question with YES/NO and add up the number of times you answered YES. Then divide this score by 1.25

I scored 63.2% on the test. I'm waiting for somebody to do better

THE BASICS
1) Have you ever been excited about math?
4) Manipulated the numerator of an equation?
5) Manipulated the denominator of an equation?
6) Worked on a problem set past 3:00 a.m.?
7) Worked on a problem set all night?
9) Worked on a problem continuously for more than 30 minutes?
10) Worked on a problem continuously for more than four hours?
11) Done more than one problem set on the same night (i.e. both started and finished them)?
12) Done more than three problem sets on the same night?
14) Taken a math course for a full year?
15) Taken two different math courses at the same time?
16) Did you notice that there was no thirteenth question?
17) Done at least one problem set a week for more than four months?
18) Done at least one problem set a night for more than one month (weekends excluded)?
19) Done a problem set alone?
20) Done a problem set in a group of three or more?
21) Done a problem set in a group of 15 or more?
22) Was it mixed company?
23) Have you ever inadvertently walked in upon people doing a problem set?
24) And joined in afterwards?
25) Have you ever used food doing a problem set?
26) Did you eat it all?
27) Have you ever had a domesticated pet or animal walk over you while you were doing a problem set?
28) Done a problem set in a public place where you might be discovered?
29) Been discovered while doing a problem set?

LESS BASIC STUFF
30) Have you ever applied your math to a hard science?
31) Applied your math to a soft science?
32) Done an integration by parts?
33) Done two integration by parts in a single problem?
34) Bounded the domain and range of your function?
35) Used the domination test for improper integrals?
36) Done Newton's Method?
37) Done the Method of Frobenius?
38) Used the Sandwich Theorem?
39) Used the Mean Value Theorem?
40) Used a Gaussian surface?
41) Used a foreign object on a math problem (eg: calculator)?
42) Used a program to improve your mathematical technique (eg: MACSYMA)?
43) Integrated a function over its full period?
44) Done a calculation in three-dimensional space?
45) Done a calculation in n-dimensional space?
46) Done a change of bases?
47) Done a change of bases specifically in order to magnify your vector?
48) Worked through four complete bases in a single night (eg: using the Grahm-Schmidt method)?
49) Inserted a number into an equation?
50) Calculated the residue of a pole?
51) Scored perfectly on a math test?
52) Swallowed everything your professor gave you?
53) Used explicit notation in your problem set?
54) Purposefully omitted important steps in your problem set?
56) Been blown away on a test?
57) Blown away your professor on a test?
58) Have you ever multiplied 23 by 3?
59) Have you ever bounded your Bessel function so that the membrane did not shoot to infinity?
60) Have you ever understood the following quote: "The relationship between Z^0 to C_0, B_0, and H_0 is an example of a general principle which we have encountered: the kernel of the adjoint of a linear transformation is both the annihilator space of the image of the transformation and also the dual space of the quotient of the space of which the image is a subspace by the image subspace." (Shlomo & Bamberg's A "Course" in Mathematics for Students of Physics
61) Did you notice the missing bracket in question sixty?

GAMES AND PUZZLES
62) Can you solve Rubik's Cube unassisted?
63) Have you ever made a model of a dodecahedron?
64) Can you play Go?
65) Can you play Othello?
66) Have you ever beaten a computer at Chess?
67) Have you ever played Conway's Game of Life?
68) ...by hand?
69) Do you know the probability of a 4-3-3-3 split in Bridge?

MANNERISMS
70) Have you used the word "trivial" more than twice in the last 24 hours?
71) Would you answer "Do you know the time?" with "Yes"?
72) Would you answer "Is it still raining or has it stopped?" with "Yes"?
73) When people make grammatical errors do you correct them?
74) If someone accused you of "pedanticism" would you reply "pedantry"?
75) Would you wear a jumper with (an approximation to) the Mandelbrot Set on it?
77) Would you say "There exists" rather than "There is"?
78) Do you drink more than 5 cups of coffee or tea per day?
79) Would you talk about "n objects, where n is ..." ?
80) Do you make excruciatingly bad puns?
81) Have you ever corrected a lecturer?
82) ...three times in the same lecture?
83) Do you usually wear an anorak?
84) Do you have strong views on the least natural number?

EXPERIENCE
85) Have you ever plotted (an approximation to) the Mandelbrot Set?
86) Have you ever calculated (an approximation to) pi or e on a computer?
87) Would you know what to do with Napier's bones?
88) Does the word "plagiarise" make you think of Nikolai Ivanovitch Lobachevsky?
89) Do you, or did you read Mathematics?
90) Have you read "Goedel, Escher, Bach"?
91) Do you play a musical instrument?
92) Have you ever programmed a computer to count prime numbers?
93) Have you solved the 8-queens problem?
94) Are you a member of a maths society?
95) Were you cleverer than maths teachers at your school?

ATTRIBUTES
96) Do you think more clearly whilst pacing?
97) ...fiddling with something?
101) Are you either hopelessly incompetent or frighteningly competent at mental arithmetic?
102) Are you short-sighted?
103) Are you left-handed?
104) Would you fail the Turing Test?
105) Do you often forget to have meals?
106) Are you physically uncoordinated?
107) When you hear the word "ring", do you think first of a set with multiplication and addition?
108) Consider the joke: "Why did the chicken cross the Moebius strip? - To get to the same side." Do you find this amusing?
109) Does the denary value of 2^16 spring readily to mind?
110) Can you "prove" 0=1?
111) Do you know how many primes there are less than 100?
112) ...less than 10000?
113) Does the number 1,729 mean anything to you?
114) Do you know what "QED" stands for?

FLUENTS
115) Is it more than six months since you last had a haircut?
116) Is it more than a week since you last had a bath/shower?
117) In the last month, have you gone 24 hours continuously without sleep?
118) In the last month, have you gone 18 hours continuously without being awake?
119) Is it more than a week since you changed your clothes?

METRICS
120) Have you ever done anything merely to improve your score in this test?
121) Do you feel that some of these questions were designed with you in mind?
122) Have you attempted to wilfully misinterpret any question in this test?
123) Did you succeed?
124) Did you notice the split infinitive two questions ago?
125) When you divide by 1.25 in the end, will you do it in your head?

Source: http://www.xs4all.nl/~jcdverha/scijokes/index.html#1

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Working through it now.

I will say, question 8 sounds a bit broad to me. Definitely about maths?

EDIT: I got 49.6.

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jarednjames said:
Working through it now.

I will say, question 8 sounds a bit broad to me. Definitely about maths?

Just a question that you found really hard. The idea is that non-mathematicians won't put the effort in such a questions.

Whether the question is trivial to somebody else, doesn't matter.

micromass said:
Just a question that you found really hard. The idea is that non-mathematicians won't put the effort in such a questions.

Whether the question is trivial to somebody else, doesn't matter.

Nevermind, think you missed what I was going for there...

Perhaps a would have helped.

Wow, I'm really bad at understanding jokes That's another +1 for me...

Only 8 questions for games & puzzles?-shun-

I got 51.2 and I'm only in Grade 12. Is it sad that I recognized a taxicab number at first glance? D:

Got to 69.6%.

Btw, shouldn't there be a correction for the fact that there were only 124 questions?[/edit]

I like Serena said:
Got to 69.6%.

Looking bad is getting halfway through and realising you're saying yes far too often.

Btw, shouldn't there be a correction for the fact that there were only 124 questions?[/edit]

Well spotted.

70.4

Shouldn't #113 be 1729.03?

If not, then I scored 69.6. Or perhaps 68.8 since I multiplied by 4/5 instead of divided by 1.25, except I personally think I still deserve credit since they're equivalent operations. Or perhaps I deserve a point for 107 since ring made me think of matrix multiplication.

So I should really get a 71.2.

And I know what to do with Napier's Bones and I'm not ashamed of it.

I like Serena said:
Btw, shouldn't there be a correction for the fact that there were only 124 questions?[/edit]

Hmm, nice, I didn't think of that. I'll give you a bonus point for that so that you score over 70...

Shouldn't #113 be 1729.03?

Knowing what 1729.03 means is already impressive enough. So you can keep the point and thinking of matrices is equivalent to thinking of rings, since every ring is a matrix ring.

Anybody got more than 71.2?

I would have scored higher if I didn't care so much about personal hygeine.

64.8

The chicken pun actually made me laugh

BobG said:
I would have scored higher if I didn't care so much about personal hygeine.

I think that's a good thing

BobG said:
I would have scored higher if I didn't care so much about personal hygeine.

lisab said:
I think that's a good thing

Aww, thanks.

Although it would mean more if you were sitting next to me when you said that.

BobG said:
I would have scored higher if I didn't care so much about personal hygeine.

me too, & I got 70.4%

68.8%

I think:
a) Some questions should be weighted more than others.
b) Good hygiene has nothing to do with mathematical impurity.
c) Anybody still using Macsyma needs to upgrade their CAS.
d) If you think of Lobachevsky when you hear "plagiarise" - you are not a real mathematician.

And, no, I won't tell you my score...

BobG said:
70.4

Shouldn't #113 be 1729.03?

No. It is Ramanujan's number.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1729_(number )

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New Rule: Anyone who debates the answers to the questions or the test is automatically granted 10 additional points.

2) Yes I've had a math dream, but it was a nightmare...does that count?

qspeechc said:
2) Yes I've had a math dream, but it was a nightmare...does that count?

You can give yourself two points for nightmares

## 1. What is a mathematical purity test?

A mathematical purity test is a series of questions designed to assess a person's understanding and proficiency in various mathematical concepts and principles. It is used to evaluate a person's mathematical knowledge and skills.

## 2. How is a mathematical purity test different from a regular math test?

A mathematical purity test focuses more on conceptual understanding and problem-solving abilities rather than memorization and rote application of formulas. It also covers a wider range of topics and may include more challenging questions.

## 3. Can anyone take a mathematical purity test?

Yes, anyone with basic knowledge of mathematics can take a mathematical purity test. However, the difficulty level and topics covered may vary depending on the intended audience.

## 4. What are the benefits of taking a mathematical purity test?

Taking a mathematical purity test can help improve one's understanding and application of mathematical concepts, identify areas for improvement, and assess one's readiness for more advanced math courses or careers.

## 5. How can I prepare for a mathematical purity test?

To prepare for a mathematical purity test, it is important to review and practice a wide range of mathematical topics, including algebra, geometry, calculus, and statistics. It may also be helpful to solve sample questions and review any relevant notes or materials.

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