Abstract / Synopsis

John Allen Paulos argued essentially for three forms of humor dear to mathematics: Incongruity, Gotcha, and Word Play. Unfortunately, these three are often combative forms and easily drive non-STEM majors out of mathematics and statistics.

William Dunham in The Mathematical Universe shows how a fine mathematician can use humor to draw non-specialists in. Central to Dunham’s success is his use of Sympathetic Pain humor, which creates softer synthetic Reconciler, Consoler, or Bridgebuilder humor styles.