Thursday, September 07, 2006

Just wondering*

Why do mathematicians always look so scrawny and undernourished?

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* And because it's bound to upset someone and generate all sorts of counter-examples. And that's fun for everyone!

9 Comments:

turtlebella said...

Not enough sunlight? That's my guess. It's correlated with not going out (to eat), not playing any sports etc etc...

Then again, the sqvirrel could be described as such and he's a classicist (still pretty nerdy, granted). But he's scrawny cos his dad is scrawny. Undernourished he doesn't really look. He can cook!

kermitthefrog said...

Can't help but chime in with the counterexample: the mathematician I went to college with who worked out every day, sprained an ankle, and fashioned a longbow out of one of his crutches. It was fun to shoot, while it lasted (about 6 or 7 pulls, I think).

Jana said...

Good heavens. I hadn't thought of it, but the only two mathematicians I know are skinny almost to the point of being cachetic.

USJogger said...

Nobody has ever accused me of being scrawny or undernourished. Describes my advisor to a T, though.

StyleyGeek said...

Maybe you'll end up that way eventually, usjogger. It might take a certain amount of time in the field before it happens :)

I think we need a well-designed study to see, at least, whether ON AVERAGE the mathematician is scrawnier than his or her non-mathematical colleagues.

Queen of West Procrastination said...

My answer: yes. Every mathematician I know, at least.

Miss M. said...

Do astrophysicists that teach maths count? Or are they just pretending... Because I know some fairly scrawny ones of those too...

Morton T Fogg said...

I know at least two counterexamples, both of which I have met roundabouts these parts, Styleygeek. The majority of the ones I've met (and I've met an astonishing number, honestly), however, are scrawny and undernourished.

Mikael said...

I know I'm commenting on something from ages ago. Apologies for that.

That said: I'm a mathematician. I would be in high demand back in the times where girth was an evolutionary selector connected to personal riches.