Song by mathematician and comedian Tom Lehrer
about the Delta Epsilon Proof
(I think... I'm not a mathematician
). Published in American Mathematical Monthly
, 81 (1974). The lyrics are reproduced here with Tom Lehrer's written permission
There's a delta for every epsilon,
It's a fact that you can always count upon.
There's a delta for every epsilon
And now and again,
There's also an N.
But one condition I must give:
The epsilon must be positive
A lonely life all the others live,
In no theorem
A delta for them.
How sad, how cruel, how tragic,
How pitiful, and other adjec-
tives that I might mention.
The matter merits our attention.
If an epsilon is a hero,
Just because it is greater than zero,
It must be mighty discouragin'
To lie to the left of the origin.
This rank discrimination is not for us,
We must fight for an enlightened calculus,
Where epsilons all, both minus and plus,
To call their own.