Engineer and the Mathematician
One day, fire in waste basket in left side of room. Mathematician grabbed fire extinquisher from the wall, walked over to the left side of room and put out fire. Engineer did same thing.
Another day, fire in waste basket in right of room. Engineer did same thing as last time, except going to right side. Mathematician on the otherhand, walked over to the right side of room, picked up the waste basket and moved it over to the left side of the room. Having successfully transformed the problem into a known problem, he was done.
My favorite tho, is the famous spherical cow which talks about modeing and encapsulation. One of my favorite topics as a computer scientist.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spherical_cow
Spherical cow is a metaphor for highly simplified scientific models of reality. The phrase comes from a joke about theoretical physicists:
Milk production at a dairy farm was low so the farmer wrote to the local university, asking help from academia. A multidisciplinary team of professors was assembled, headed by a theoretical physicist, and two weeks of intensive on-site investigation took place. The scholars then returned to the university, notebooks crammed with data, where the task of writing the report was left to the team leader. Shortly thereafter the farmer received the write-up, and opened it to read on the first line: "Consider a spherical cow. . . ."
Anyway, in this thread you can consider these jokes, add some of your own, or discuss real examples of modeling and other knowledge enhancing techniques.
Have not quite nailed it down yet. Hope can spawn an interesting discussion.