This online quiz by David Savitt is a parody of the many online quizzes that eighteen-year-olds take in order to procrastinate.

Such quizzes usually purport to tell you something about yourself based on information you supply. Some are just random name generators - "What's your Brazilian sex bomb name?" Others are personality tests of one kind or another, either based on the Keirsey Temperament Sorter or utterly made up ("What kind of lover are you?"). And of course, some will tell you who you are in a fictional narrative ("Which Star Wars character are you?")

Of course, these quizzes don't particularly tell you anything about yourself. What would I do if I found out from an online quiz that I was just like Chewbacca?

"Sweet, I'm a foot and a half taller than I thought I was! And I can fly starships!"

This is what makes the Springer GTM test such a brilliant parody. You take a short multiple choice test not unlike your average online quiz, somewhat personal in nature but entirely nonspecific. The Springer GTM test then tells you which Springer Graduate Text in Mathematics you are, using phrases like "Your primary goal is to introduce the beginner to the finite-dimensional representations of Lie groups and Lie algebras." It has the sound of personal insight without the content -- like other online quizzes, only made much funnier by the fact that the average Joe on the street has never tried to identify with a Springer GTM the way he might have mentally compared himself to Han Solo.

The Springer GTM Test can be found at

http://www.math.mcgill.ca/~dsavitt/GTM.html


I'm proud to be Saunders Mac Lane's Categories for the Working Mathematician.

Log in or registerto write something here or to contact authors.