Thursday, May 16, 2013


Computing improper integrals, are we?
Why yes, in my free time today!
Just add a dash of Residue Theory,
Be sure to find all the singularities,
Don't let them run away!

Form a semi-circle surrounding those points
That live above the x-axis
Then let the radius go to infinity
Show that the integral of the top half goes to zero, what a trip!
Complex Analysis is so nice to me!

The remaining value is the answer, you know
As I'm working it for students to see
But, the book says the answer is pi/6
And I keep getting pi/3!  *cries*


  1. sharing your distress
    errata are worth reading
    it might not be you

  2. The advantage of working in a field where there are no solid answers.

    Great poem, though!

  3. I'm very glad the mathematicians are around to answer the other mathematicians, as I was completely lost.

    I wonder whether Greta's metaphors seem equally impenetrable to some readers?

  4. Replies
    1. Sorry about the missing punctuation mark at the end.

  5. All of the good integrals in complex analysis are zero, if you write them correctly.

  6. Why is the contour integral of western europe zero? All the poles are in eastern europe.

  7. We used to keep a jar around the office. Kick in a buck to the coffee fund, get a free minus sign or factor of two.