"I get teased by some students for this, but (and I don't even know what you learn about in STEMS) if you think about this in STEMS, then it would be awesome, and you would be happy people."

"My kids have this little people school bus, and if you press the button it... its got this white van and lollipop type feel to it... it goes 'MY WHEELS ARE RUH RUH RUH ROOOOLLED' and you're just like 'who is in my house...?'"

"I'll use fiery red for this one, knowing full well that it's harder to erase red. But I'll do it. For you."

On an important example:
"I need to tie my shoes, because it'll blow my socks off."

"Now we're going to talk abotu Unique Factorization Domains, which are amazing rings in which no one judges you."

"If you're ever in an elevator with someone and you're wondering if they're a mathematician or a spy for the OTHER team, you just say 'so how about that field of order six?' and if they say 'oh, yeah, it's pretty awesome,' then you can, you can, you know, . . . *slits throat*"

"My kids are out of school today. My poor wife has to stay home with them. Seriously though, I love my kids. It's like how I love eating tiramisu: I just don't want to do it 24 hours a day."

"Algebra and combinatorics: you're peanut butter and I'm chocolate. Awesome!"

"The complex numbers are a Metropolitan: you never have to leave. But if you're in the dinky little town of the rationals..."

"Worst eraser *ever*!"
"Worst chalk *ever*!"
"Worst class *ever*!"

"Many of you feel bad for this eraser. That's because you are crazy. It has no feelings."

"You will want to become...intimate with said group [A_n]. Why, I don't know ..."

"You guys make me want to cry. Now, more pain!!"

"So here's the proof. By picture. Picture slash sketch. (pause) Uh, slash arrows."

"This is a group, this is a subgroup, and this is just junk!"

"You know if you take blah blah blah then the blah bl -- ok."

"So I don't want you to think of this as a theorem so much as a block to your creativity." (To which ZajjDaugherty replied: "Just what I always wanted ...")

"Let's just say your value is blah."

"Is that cool? If it's not cool, just nod your head like it is."

"This'll just tie us back into normality .. ha ha .. I'm such a loser."

"This doesn't happen a lot, but when it does, there is much rejoicing."

"I could just see a t-shirt for Math 171 where you compute a normalizer and it's the identity."

"It makes for a great conversation over beer ... but then again what doesn't?"

To RobinBaur, as she's presenting a proof in Big Beckman: "Isn't this exciting? Don't you feel like you're in the Swiss Academy, like there should be a cadaver laid out right there or something?"

"Everyone ok with the GCD? (Homer Simpson voice) GCD ... GCD ... mmm ... donuts ..."

"We assume the group operation is addition, because if it were multiplication, I'd be ... technical term ... hosed, right?"

"Clarify ... ahh, sweet, sweet clarify."

Student: "So if it's unfaithful, there's some ... permutation-swapping?" ProfessorOrrison: "There are some people who get mapped to the same thing..." Student: "Ah, they're swingers." ProfessorOrrison: "No, that would be abelian."

"Have you all had this discussion about math words that sound vaguely dirty?"

ProfessorOrrison: "Yeah, I was a loser." Student: "... 'was'?"

"Basically, I'm having you do only the hard ones for the homework. Isn't that sweet of me?"

"Because it's easier to make fun of people when you know where they're coming from."

"It's a fine line between clever and stupid, and you want to be on ... *gestures* ... this side, yeah?"

"If the world is good and little children are innocent then the derivative should be 2z." followed closely by "...So if the world is a happy place, and children dance in the forest and are carried off by balloons, then this derivative is just going to be 2z."

"I only wear orange when I go to hospitals."

"...You guys need to relax."

"This will shock little children, how far you've come, the formula."

"This guy's gonna be bounded by this dude..."

"You want to become intimate with the triangle."

"Today's definitions are so important, I will box them."

"I'll write integrable, I'll say goosy."

"...Deep stuff by Prof. O"


"I was in a classroom with one of those lousy erasers and I accidentally threw it into the basket and everyone was like, 'ahh!'"

"What I want you to do is see what monseuir Spivak says about this."

"Its' true that there are certain pieces of chalk in a room that you like and everyone likes, so you have to hide them."

"Anyone watch those old biblical movies where they say, 'so let it be written...so let it be done...'...whenever those (HW) get passed up, that's what I think."

"Imagine a big wedge of cheese in R3..."

"The dot product is your friend. Gaze upon its glory!"

"What do we know about s & m?"

"I used to have a friend-- and I know, it's hard to believe..."

"Blame the shirt."

"... the boo-yah, grandma! theorem of the semester..."

"I was dealing with a Z-module in the garage..."

"I hope the sky stays blue for hundreds of years!"

[after inviting the Math 14 class to his house] "Bring a pillow. We'll do math."

"The Big Chalk Fairy was here."

"Simply connected...sounds like an 'N Sync song."

"I'll give you a hint: it rhymes with 'atrices'."

"At Harvey Mudd, there is no time."

Which caused JoshMiddendorf to reply: "Does that mean I'll never graduate?"

"You have to have levels of awesome in your life. Like TheScorpionKing??; that was an *awesome* movie!"

"What are the two most important groups in your mind?.....No! Wait wait wait!.....Let me rephrase that."

"Just knowing you can stick something in a symmetric group shouldn't make you feel good." *laughter from the class* ..... (in an accusatory tone) "I know what you're thinking!"

"It may be the case that you're not normal."

     Student: "But Z/6Z is abelian and S3 isn't ... how do they have the same semidirect product?"
     ProfessorOrrison: FREAKY....
     Student: "That didn't help ... !"
     ProfessorOrrison: "Well, how about this?" *flips lights on and off*

"Multiply a guy by a guy and get a guy ..."

"I will give it the pink star of beauty!" *draws* "... wow, that's like the ugliest star ever."

"Don't you feel like you're learning tons? Your sponges are close to saturation! Aaahhh, squeeze me, squeeze me!"

"When you generate ideals, you need to add a little more spice to your life. *beat* Yeaaah, you know what I'm talking about."

"So why don't we do this? Laaaaazy. We don't do it because we're laaaazy."

"Wait just a second, you'll be really excited. And by you, I mean me."

"I don't want to be smart, I just want to look smart."

"Fields are what you share with, like, babies. 'Awwwhh, wook, i's a field...' I mean, every baby knows what a field is."

"Everyone ready? This is hardcore stuff. Put hair on your knuckles."

"If you don't know what the words mean, the proposition will be meaningless. That's what makes this exam harder: you have to know all the words."

"If this feels like it's coming out of nowhere .... it is."

"Today, I'm a very special blossom."

"Can you smell what the powerset is cooking?"

"Is this class rockalicious, or what?"

"There are at least two times after this class when you will need to know this. Do you know what they are? The homework and the tests."

"We're okay. Zero and none are the same."

"I'll give you a hint: it rhymes with 'Ascal's Triangle'"

On the root of counting problems: "You're going to drive up in a sneaky van and hand out candy to children."

On counting Bars and Stars: "I feel like I'm on a Barbara Walters special."

"So that's the formula which, by the way, is easy."

"But, once you remove all that hard stuff, it's easy!"

"C'mon dogs, be my math peeps."

"Do you believe me? Of course you do! I have a doctorate! How could I be wrong?!"

As he begins something difficult, someone sighs. Without missing a beat he forcefully lands his fist on the board, scattering chalkdust, and swings around with an incriminating point: "NO!!! There will be no whining in my class!"

In reference to Summer Math: "That's right! This is math boot camp!" ::cackles with glee::

"Now I want you all to imagine this is familiar..."

"To you, you will have a leisurely pace...No! I'm gonna stick it to you!"

(While talking about how lack of understanding about the underlying lin-al makes one weak) In my class you are strong... like young bull!

Have you seen this notation before? [Universal murmur of "no"] I want you to stop and pretend that you have.

I will try and appease your orange wishes tomorrow. (He did, indeed, wear an orange shirt the next day.)

When anyone says recall, what they really mean is, "I know everyone's forgotten it, but I'm going to be nice and pretend that you all remember it."

"I'll give you a hint. It rhymes with pain pool" (referring of course to chain rule)

"What's the difference between maps and functions? Function has two syllables...and why do Mathematicians use map? It's because we're lazy"

"Grandma to the zero, elephant to the zero, is always 1."

On having zero in a linearly independent set: "It's like having a boy in the Spice Girls. It just wouldn't work out."

"For most of your life, you will be searching for the right basis. And if you find the right basis, your life will become diagonal. Or close to it."

For engineers, "Eigenvalues will be your life. They will rule your world."

Why do you say x nought instead of x zero? <pause> Because it's fewer syllables, and it sounds pretentious.


"An Isomorphism is like a violent coup."

"When you are choosing a multiplicative identity for the real numbers, you have the option of 1 or 0, since both are fixed points under multiplication. It is just that if you choose 0, you have to leave some other things out."

During a ~10 minute speech about how certain people should be nicer to profs they will eventually be asking for recommendations: "I like butt-kissers!"

"Ask me if I care."

     "Do you care?"  

"The book describes these exercises with a minus sign next to them as 'five-finger problems'... Well, I was trying this one, and I started talking about it with another prof, and we decided it was a one-finger problem."

On partially ordered sets: "They're fun, and they're sufficiently obscure that you can impress lots of people with them."

"The DJ name of sürjective has been taken by yours truly."

"You're talking to the sixth-grade talent show winner for breakdancing."

"Put your left elbow up if you like spaghetti."

"It's like Dumbo's feather. If your calculator is in the room, you can fly!"

"Why would you use 'null set' instead of 'empty set'? It contains one less syllable and sounds more pompous."

"I always consider 0 one of the counting numbers, say, if you wanted to count the number of hot air balloons in this room..."

"Defining something does not make it exist."

"That's what you can do with mathematics. You can torture the ones who love you."

"So, let's say, you're trapped in a box with a light, a piece of paper, a pencil, and a crowbar. What do you do? YOU GET OUT OF THE BOX! But say you don't have a crowbar, what do you do? Well, you can sit down and take the time to multiply this matrix and this vector..."

"So next week, just in case a tour comes by, we'll learn all the math words that sound dirty."

"You learn a whole new language that ... nobody cares about."

"In your face, physics!"
[protests from the PhysicsMajors in the class]
"In your face...something that nobody's majoring in here."

"Short answer: no. Long answer: noooooooooooooooo."

"There are certain parts of your life that you simply can't diagonalize. But you can get close."

"For those of you who want to take the creative outlet, there are lots of ways to fail."

"That chalk does not play nice. I will burn it later."

"Tomorrow it's going to get all freaky in your face."

"Suppose this is A, even though it looks like Grimace from McDonalds?."

"We're just blazing through this today. To show you how cavalier we're being, I'll just leave the room!"
[comes back 30 seconds later]
"We can do anything we want!"
[turns out lights and turns them back on]
"Well, within reason."

    Student:Is there some canonical bijection between conjugacy classes and the irreducible representations?
    O: Yes!
    Student: So what are th---
    O: No!

"Now, this is another situation where the ambiguity is kind of illuminating, but only if you know what's actually going on. It's like 'Oh no, in that French province, when they say that, you'd better run!' "

"This is my favorite part of this class...the part where we sit in the dark."

    O: Look at this! It's all big chalk!
    Student: Are they yours?
    O: They are now. (proceeds to hide all the big chalk in his various hiding locations) They'd have to get really busy to find all of them.

"Now, in addition to jelly filling, this donut has an algebraic structure, which makes it even better!"

"Can you guys just hum for a second?"

"Becoming a Christian won't diagonalize your life. But it might put it in Jordan canonical form."

"So, everything you do here seems perfectly normal to you. Then you go home and all your friends think you’re really weird. That’s change of basis."

"You always have at least one friend... and it's a static, lifeless version of you."

"We want to show that U is isomorphic to V, but *you*, *you* is not isomorphic to anybody."


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