Here's a couple of math rhymes I know:

I used to think math was no fun
'Cause I couldn't see how it was done
Now Euler's my hero
And I now see why zero
Equals e+1

'Tis a favorite hobby of mine
A new value of pi to assign
I would fix it at three
For it's easier, you see
Than 3.14159

Rascally Kitten tells me that Harvey L. Carter wrote that second one. Excellent!

The integral z2dz
From 1 to the square root of 3
Times the cosine
Of 3pi/9
Equals log of the cube root of e.
Update 12/04: I assume this node has been downvoted because this is obviously not a limerick (as opposed to being downvoted because it really sucks), but really, could there be a better node for a math poem?


I need to write this stupid poem
to help me stay awake;
Pre-Calculus is boring me
to death, for goodness sake!

Limits, functions, sigma too
I really do not know;
What purpose these will serve in life
with love and kids in tow.

F(x) is just too much
for me to comprehend;
And sequences to me, you see,
just never seem to end!

So here I am in class again
not one thing making sense;
A guinea pig they've made of me
with school walls as my fence.

Originally written on the back of a math exam I didn't study for.

                  __
12 + 144 + 20 + 3\|4           2
-------------------- + 5*11 = 9  + 0
         7
a dozen, a gross, and a score
plus three times the square root of four
divided by seven
plus five times eleven
is nine squared and not a bit more

"This poem was written by Jon Saxton (an author of math textbooks)."

I had a math professor who used to write limericks on his exams to try and relax his students. Here are some of them...

A Mathematician confided,
that a Möbius strip is one-sided.
You get quite a laugh
if you cut it in half
for it stays in one piece when divided!


Pascal, though he had no bad vices,
He did play a lot with his dice(s).
One day he was struck,
That good fortune and luck,
Could succumb to mathematical devices.


Poincare contemplated two spheres,
As the barmaid appeared with his beers,
To reach them he tried,
Only to be denied,
As the distance goes up as one nears.


The author of all three of these limericks is unknown.

A couple of limericks from a fantabulous book I have, cited below. The first is about the mathematician, whose name is pronounced "air-dish," who is the subject of the book. There is more info about said legend and this limerick here.


A conjecture both deep and profound
Is whether the circle is round.
In a paper of Erdös,
written in Kurdish,
a counterexample is found.


A graduate student at Trinity
Computed the square of infinity.
But it gave him the fidgits (sic)
to put down the digits,
so he dropped math and took up divinity.


And finally, to reward your having read this far and also to complete this odd little segue from math to religion, two special bonus limericks!


There was a man who said, "God,"
It has always struck me as odd
that the sycamore tree
simply ceases to be
when there's no one about in the quad."

"Dear Sir, Your astonishment's odd;
I am always about in the quad:
And that's why the tree
will continue to be,
since observed by
Yours faithfully, God.


All limericks from
Hoffman, Paul. The Man Who Loved Only Numbers. Hyperion: New York, 1998.

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