The esteemed Notices of the AMS (January 2005) included an article by Paul Renteln and Alan Dundes, entitled "Foolproof: A Sampling of Mathematical Folk Humor." Below is an offering that focuses making fun of mathematicians...Again, Enjoy or Boo & Hiss or even Scratch Your Head in Puzzlement!
Engineers think that equations approximate the real world. Physicists think that the real world approximates equations. Mathematicians are unable to make the connection.
A mathematician and an engineer are on a desert island. They find two palm trees with one coconut each. The engineer climbs up one tree, gets the coconut, and eats it. The mathematician climbs up the other tree, gets the coconut, climbs up the first tree and hangs it there. "now we've reduced it to a problem we know how to solve!"
In this same vein, regular reader/contributor J.S. (Bellingham) sent me this gem:
It involves an artist, a mathematician and an engineer who are all facing a death sentence at a guillotine. The artist is to be first and when they ask him if he would prefer to have his head facing up or down, he said he would like to see the sky as he dies, so he wanted to be face up. They said okay, and when they released the blade it fell but stopped less than an inch from his neck. He was released as a free man because this was a sign from God.
The mathematician decided that since the artist had a good result then he should face upward as well. His request was granted and sure enough, the blade stopped less than an inch from his neck. He was released as a free man.
The engineer requested to face up as well, and as they were about to release the blade he said, "Oh, I see the problem, the rope is getting caught in that pulley."