My own (genuine) story along that line is not a joke but the real thing in reverse. The strongest faculty member I had in graduate school was Stanislas Mrowka, a student of Kuratowski, who was only at Western Michigan for one year because he was not able to command the salary he thought he was worth at the SUNY school that he wanted to be at and otherwise would've hired him so he was playing a game of chicken with them to prove that he was not asking too much. That year he published 12(?) papers and taught a beautiful 3 term sequence in point-[set topology. He always carried a big leather bag but there was nothing in it except the makins for his constant pipe. He brought several students with him for the year who said that he wrote papers the same way. Just sat down and wrote the paper almost perfectly with the references listed but for his students to put in the exact reference details. Anyway, at the end of the last lecture of the last class he got well into a proof of something up in the unattainable ordinals, backed away from the board and stared at it puffing on his pipe, and then announced, "That's not going to work," and walked out.
At 10:09 PM 2/16/2013, GS Chandy wrote: >Joe Niederberger posted Feb 16, 2013 10:59 PM: > > GS Chandy writes: > > >Indeed, it has lost punch. Unless it was a poor joke > > to begin with. > > > > Oh, I kinda liked it, pretty good for math jokes. > > > > Here's one: > > A mathematics professor was lecturing > > to a class of students. As he wrote something > > on the board, he said to the class > > âOf course, this is immediately obvious.â > > Upon seeing the blank stares of the students, > > he turned back to contemplate > > what he had just written. He began to > > pace back and forth, deep in thought. > > After about 10 minutes, just as the silence > > was beginning to become uncomfortable, > > he brightened, turned to the > > class and said, âYes, it IS obvious.â > > >Now THAT'S an excellent math joke (IMHO)! I >recall that one of my grad school professors >used to do almost exactly that. (He didn't take >quite 10 minutes to arrive at his 'conclusion' of course). > > > > More here: > > http://www.ams.org/notices/200501/fea-dundes.pdf > > >I shall look forward to reading those. > >GSC