Math buzz


“What’s purple and commutes?” Nathan Czuba, AB’05, asks his four boothmates, at Ida Noyes Pub. Joe Ochiltree, ’06, suddenly straightens up in his seat—he knows the answer but allows Czuba to release the punch line, “An abelian grape!” Interrupted by occasional trips to the bar for another pint, Czuba and Ochiltree keep their booth entertained with a series dueling math jokes.

It is the last Pub Night of the summer, and by 6:30 Arthur Lundberg, AB’04, the ORCSA coordinator of the event, runs out of tickets for free beer and pizza. Scanning the room, dimly lit by Miller Lite Tiffany-style lamps, Lundberg estimates that 150—200 people had already taken advantage of the give-aways. Students huddle in booths and crowd around the foosball, pool, and shuffleboard tables, devouring baskets of 20-piece buffalo wings and onion rings.

Around 6:45, back in the math booth, Czuba rounds off the math wit marathon with, “What is the contour integral around Western Europe?” He waits for a response, but no one has a guess. “Zero because all the Poles are in Eastern Europe,”Czuba declares. He reassures his table, “Its okay. I’m Polish.”

—Meredith Meyer, ’06

Under the Miller neon, ORSCA coordinator Arthur Lundberg surveys the scene; Joe Ochiltree awaits a punchline.

August 3, 2005