Sunday, May 8, 2016

Math Madness in the Skies

Much of the world is sadly shaking their heads over the incident in which a economics professor, spotted doing equations by a “blonde woman in flip-flops” and deemed a terrorist on that account, was forcibly removed from the plane and sent to Security.

What no one has bothered to reveal, in all this brouhaha, is the statement by the woman herself.   Contacted by the crack WDJ news team, the woman (a physics professor at a named U.S. university) commented:

“Look, the guy was setting the integral of the limit as equal to the limit of the integrals -- without insuring uniform convergence!  And the domain of functional definition wasn’t even compact, for Pete’s sake !!  That’s plain loony!  I didn’t say he was a terrorist, I said he was an errorist.”

We see.  But did that pose a danger to the plane?

“Definitely!  The integral threatened to -- as the saying goes -- ‘blow up’.”

A reader commenting in the German newspaper Die Welt  concurs:

Wenn es sich um nichtlineare Gl gehandelt hat, könnte die Frau Recht gehabt haben!

Diverging to infinity,   at 33,000 feet

Happy Mother’s Day.

[Update]  The American Mathematical Association has awarded its prestigious  Exceptional Civilian Service medal to “the Blonde Bimbo in Flip-flops” (as she prefers to be known; like Andrew Wiles and Grigori Perelman, she shuns the limelight),  for forestalling a potentially catastrophic non-convergent integration,  with effects on cabin pressure that can only be imagined.

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