11 June 2008

xkcd on science

Scientific fields arranged by purity, from xkcd.

What about applied mathematicians?


r. r. vlorbik said...

glorified physics.

Anonymous said...

I'm more concerned by the title tag on the image.

Anonymous said...

I think applied math would cover the whole spectrum of the cartoon. Some very applied mathematicians are doing sociology, chemistry, etc. by means of mathematics. Other applied mathematicians are closer to the pure end of the spectrum.

Blake Stacey said...

Since people have been studying citation networks of scholarly articles since the 1950s, I bet there's even an applied mathematician who is studying the profession of pure mathematics.

Anonymous said...

This strip reminds me of a joke that my old differential geometry professor told me in grad school:

Sociologists want to be psychologists, because if you understand the brain you can understand society.
Psychologists want to be biologists, because if you understand life you can understand the brain.
Biologists want to be chemists, because if you understand matter you understand life.
Chemists want to be physicists, because if you understand the universe you understand matter.
Physicists want to be God.

God wants to be a mathematician.

He cited this joke as the reason why he left physics and became a mathematician.

Michael Lugo said...


that's not meta enough. Wake me up when there's an applied mathematician who's studying the citation network of scholarly articles in applied mathematics.

Joseph said...

God only wants to be a mathematician in order to gamble better.

Anonymous said...

Mathematicians study insofar as they are students.

Pity the physics teacher didn't claim a reason why the physicists want to be God.

Of course if it's just a joke, maybe he never really did leave physics. Maybe the university just consistently errors in having him teach the wrong subjects.

Mark said...

And isn't mathematics just applied logic? logic ftw!