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There are 891 members of the Warwick Mathematics Society, of which 0 are new today!
We're 178% of the way toward our target of 500 members.
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Fun Stuff


We have regular social events; the big ones being the Integrating Factor in term 1, and the Maths BBQ/ puzzle trail in term 3, as well as smaller socials such as pub golf throughout the year. We will inform you of these via our Facebook groups and through emails.

Lecturer Quotes

Over the years the lecturers here at Warwick have delivered one great lecture after another, sometimes they even find the time to say something funny. WMS presents to you some of the best quotes from our favourite lecturers.

At the bottom of the page you'll find more fun stuff!
Or view this page in alphabetical order.

Got a funny quote? Go to the contact page and let us know!

  • Sandra Chapman

    • "The aim of maths is to write less down" - 2001
  • Dave Wood

    • "Can we have some quiet please? I heard someone mention washing machines - that's clearly not maths." - 2003
    • "Top B is more cheese than you can poke a stick at. [writes on board: "do foundations or go to top b"]" - 2004
    • "Let this be a solution to Duffing's equation... Is the floor moving?" [After downing a pint and a shot of tequila in rag week] " - 2004
    • "I don't know why I said that, I was just waffling." - 2005
    • "Are there any Fulham supporters here? If so, leave your library card numbers with me at the end of the lecture, you've just failed the first assessment. [After Fulham beat Watford at football.] " - 2005
    • "Student: "What's that sign before the $ p(t)y $?" Dave Wood: "It's a times sign. It's like a plus sign on its side. It means to multiply."" - 2005
    • "At the end of a mathematical proof, you draw a filled in box, which means end of proof. Or of course you could just write $ W^5 $ [long pause, confused faces]: Which Was What We Wanted. But, err, I would advise not doing that since it's not very formal." - 2004
    • "My rabbits never seemed to reproduce, the only thing they produced was copious amounts of shit." - 2005
    • "We would like to think that if we started off with just a few rabbits in this lecture theatre and gave them lots of food, if we came back in a year's time there would be a lot more rabbits. If you don't understand, ask your mum and dad." - 2005
    • "Is the guy who times how long lecturers take to rub out boards here? ['Yes'] Did you get my time for the really fast board that I did last lecture? ['Yes'] Was it faster than David Mond's fastest? ['Yes'] Mond you suck." - 2005
    • "[Writes equation $ \frac{dN}{dt} = N(a - bP) $ on board]And this equation has a minus $ bNP $ in it. [Pause] That's not supposed to be a political statement. [Another pause] But I would like to minus the BNP. That is supposed to be a political statement." - 2005
    • "[A note is passed forward, addressed to 'Dave Wood, Front of MS02'. A student in the front row delivers it] Dave: What's this? A note for me? Student: Apparently so. Dave: [reads the note] 'I was just wondering, how much wood would a Dave Wood chuck, if a Dave Wood could chuck wood?' [Gives the impression of considering this question deeply.] A lot, I think." - 2005
    • "[In last lecture of the course.] 0.0949 is small, so 0.0949 squared is very small. Maths/Physics people: 0.0949 squared equals zero. [Pauses] I'm gonna miss that." - 2005
  • Keith Halstead

    • "I'm typical of people who spend all their time in front of a computer, in that I can't read or write." - 2001
    • "I wasn't planning on producing handouts, but since we agreed last lecture that my handwriting is illegible ..." - 2001
  • Valeriy Slastikov

    • "Hilbert spaces are probably the best functional spaces you can get in your life." - 2005
  • Mario Micallef

    • "Let's give some examples of all this junk" - 1995
    • "You cannot vary h, h is a constant, otherwise the whole proof is gargled." - 1995
    • "I was very impressed by what some of you put down as your course title, things like `History of Radishes' and `Sheep Farming'. You know, some of you have a very good sense of humour." - 1995
    • "The joy we get from mathematics is like when someone listens to a piece of music and says `Gee, I really dig that!'" - 1995
    • "When did you first meet pi? Apple pie, I suppose." - 1995
    • "[When working in the set of real numbers] How do we know what the next value is? ... By now, I think you should be sniggering." - 1995
    • "It's silly to talk about 5 degrees, there is no unit of angle! ... Don't go to your sixth form teachers now and say '360 degrees is rubbish!'..." - 1995
    • "Something which is flat is clearly flatter than something which is not flat." - 1996
    • "Maybe I did say that, but I clearly didn't mean it." - 1996
    • "Hands up those of you who have never seen this before [no-one put up their hands up]... you're all lying!" - 2000
    • "[After no-one answered his question, he threatened to pick someone at random from the audience to answer it on the board:] If you don't start to co-operate, then I will resort to terrorist tactics!" - 2001
    • "We're mathematicians: we're allowed to do crazy things!" - 2001
    • "Hey guys, don't get me depressed - it feels like I have been speaking to a blank wall for 10 weeks. [During the last lecture of Measure Theory]" - 2003
    • "[After proving the Dominated Convergence Theorem] If they gave out Michelin stars for theorems, this one would definitely get 3!" - 2004
    • "[Instructing students about to fill in SSLC feedback forms.] Two l's and one f. I am not Russian!" - 2006
    • "The 11th Commandment in mathematics is 'Thou shalt not divide by zero'." - 2006
    • "Now, let me write that in a more suggestive form." - 2006
    • "Now we have to do the arithmetic. This is probably the hardest part." - 2006
    • "[Explaining partial derivatives] It's like looking at a person you like, if you really want to get to know them you can't just look at ther face, you have to look at them from behind and from the side and from below." - 2006
    • "This is not examinable by the way. This is just for fun." - 2006
    • "I refuse to deal with non-measurable functions. They exist... but they are an abomination." - 2008
    • "[on the Dirac delta distribution] It is a bit worrying how many good things in mathematics come from physicists." - 2008
    • "At the end of the day, maths, even abstract algebra, is about doing calculations. Otherwise you're doing philosophy." (Shortly followed by: "I hope that's not going on the web.") - 2008
    • "Those of you who have done measure theory should be getting nervous about swapping this integral and this limit. But you just bow down and say "Dominated Convergence Theorem", and this absolves you of all guilt." - 2008
    • "When you get into bed and say your prayers, ask yourself "What maths have I learnt today?". So, you might say "What have I learnt in Analysis today... Cauchy sequences...can I write down the definition of a Cauchy sequence?". If the answer is no, get out of bed and go and learn that definition!" - 2008
    • "The key property here is compactness. Once Anthony Manning had on his door, "Compactness isn't everything". And that got me really annoyed, because compactness is everything! Well... not quite... but nearly." - 2008
    • "I refuse to be totally consistent with my notation" - 2008
    • "[After defining a function in order to complete a proof] and why can I define the function in this way? [Long pause] 'cause its a free country that's why!" - 2008
    • "Don't show this equation to anyone, they'll think you're doing a crazy course!" (in Theory of PDEs) - 2008
    • "If you can't change notation in mathematics, you probably can't do mathematics." - 2008
    • "The trick in mathematics is always to proceed by analogy." - 2008

Other Bits

A selection of links to other fun bits: