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Hall's Marriage Theorem

  1. Sep 25, 2017 #1

    bhobba

    Staff: Mentor

    Here is an interesting little theorem - called Hall's Marriage Theorem:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hall's_marriage_theorem

    Well I am sitting here - simply flabbergasted.

    It's just a theorem - but guess what? A math student using it in a thesis at the University of NSW here in Aus had it rejected because - get this - marriage is offensive - it's not just political correctness - its generally offensive in society.

    I thought mathematics was immune to this rubbish - the reporter couldn't keep a straight face - humanities students maybe - but math students? They even went and asked other math students were they offended - they sort of looked at the reporter strangely - you must be joking.

    They asked the head of the department and he said the adviser that rejected it far exceeded their authority and would be spoken to. All he could suggest is mathematicians of all the STEM areas are a bit mad. First I heard that one - in my math student days it was the exact opposite - we were the first to laugh at the silliness of political activists in the student union activist area - I remember one time this girl speaking some rubbish student loans were sexist - in fact there were more females than males at the school - I had to get out of there fast it was so silly - me and my friends couldn't keep a straight face. But it seems some STEM areas are now affected by the same stupidity. As students you should question things - but this is simply - well unbelievable.

    What is teaching, even in STEM where you would think such silliness is not an issue, coming to. Are they studying math or semantics. Amazing.

    Thanks
    Bill
     
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2017
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 25, 2017 #2
    Wow! Just wow!
     
  4. Sep 25, 2017 #3

    Vanadium 50

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Education Advisor

    Can you provide a link?
     
  5. Sep 25, 2017 #4

    Mark44

    Staff: Mentor

    A direct link brings up a pay wall, but do a Google search using this search string:
    Code (Text):
    "daily telegraph" "university of NSW" marriage theorem
    This will bring up the Daily Telegraph article.
     
  6. Sep 25, 2017 #5

    bhobba

    Staff: Mentor

    I heard it on a current affairs program called The Bolt Report where the host interviewed the reporter concerned and showed the interview with the student.

    Both the host and the reporter, as well as me, simply could not keep a straight face - its so utterly silly. Its obviously an isolated incident of political correctness run amok. I have zero doubt its not a general trend or anything like that, the vast majority of advisers, lecturers etc at UNSW (University New South Wales), or elsewhere in Australia (certainly at the institute I attended - the Queensland University of Technology) would not, regardless of views, be involved in anything like this, but that it happened, even though it is amusing, was deadly serious to the student concerned.

    For what its worth I think the head of the department hit the nail on the head - you sometimes get the occasional nutter in any area and, even though I have never experienced it myself, of all the STEM areas math seems to be where they occcur more often.

    I do not believe this is a widespread phenomena, just an isolated incident were someone let strong personal views interfere with professional judgement to the point it created a situation ripe for current affairs programs to make hay.

    In practical terms its just a cautionary tale, regardless of things you personally believe, to in your professional academic life at all times behave that way - professionally - that goes for lecturers, advisers, professors and students.

    I have no doubt it will be reported in the papers - its the type of thing they lap up - but as one poster said, and I have experienced this myself on this forum, they are likely behind paywalls. I am a subscriber to the digital edition of a local paper and I can easily see content a lot of others cant without even knowing they cant see it. So I cant post a link - but I am sure, if it's out there, others can locate some info about it.

    Again I want to reiterate, despite being amusing, there is a cautionary tale here - try at all times in your professional and academic life to be just that - professional.

    Added Much Later:

    Here is a link to Sky News where I heard the story from:
    http://www.skynews.com.au/news/top-stories/2017/09/26/unsw-lecturer-deems--marriage--offensive.html

    It pretty much speaks for itself - but again is not the full story I saw on the Bolt Report.

    Thanks
    Bill
     
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2017
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