Home > Math Lint Archive Detail

<< Prev 12/30/2007 Next >>

LR2H

Robert Rinehart (1908-1985), professor at Case Institute of Technology, was successful as an applied mathematician. He published twenty-five papers in mathematics and operations research plus was a Russian translator for scientific societies.

Yet, he must have had a flair for mathematical humor. In April 1958, he gave the conference talk "The Modern Approach to LR2H" to the Ohio section (MAA). So how is this a sign of humor?

The talk's description: "How writers of literature might impart new austerity--and hence beauty--into their works by employing modern mathematical language was illustrated by discussion of the story of Little Red Riding Hood (LR2H) in modern mathematical parlance...the grandmother, G, could be denoted by f(f(LR2H)), where f is the Murrow mapping..."daughter" → "mother."

If you can appreciate higher-level math humor, then read a written version of his talk (Mathematics Magazine, Jan 1959, pp. 151-152). It will make you laugh!