
Flapan Quotes
A compilation of some of the amusing things Professor Flapan said first semester in Calc 30.
 9/24
 So that just proves that this problem is stupid.
 10/1
 I put x's there, and now there are x's everywhere!
 10/4
 Because I'm silly.
 10/6
 I guess you could do a lot of things if you are creative.
 10/7
 No, you can't gink out the y.
 10/11
 This problem isn't too terrible, it's just terrible. It's...heinous.
Any more disrespectful questions?
 10/13
 It's forbidden to use words that people don't know.
 10/15
 I'm drawing this (delta) to be suggestive. Was that funny? Oh, let's laugh at
that.
 10/17
 I'm not completely happy because I've got this big blank space here and I want to write something
in it.
 10/25
 The book is just wrong...so are we done?
When I say maximum or minimum I mean that if you were hiking you would be glad to reach that
little valley not knowing that there would be a lower valley later on.
 10/27
 There's a pickle on the floor. Oh, it's an eraser.
Did I abbreviate asymptote with two S's? What a silly way to abbreviate a word with only one s.
Well, it was more amusing that way.
 11/8
 This looks relatively unpleasant. Who wants to volunteer to do it?...Lupe, I volunteer you.
 11/12
 So we have Jorge over Kelli...
 11/15
 Are you looking at me in a baffled way?
Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, and the max occurs here.
 11/17
 Am I ok? well, I don't know if I am ok, but is the problem ok?
I'm sorry  I'm doing something slightly not good.
I don't have anything up my sleeve. I don't have any sleeves.
 11/19
 Not 5 pages, Martin! You can write smaller!
(About Calc. 31a) So if you are the kind of person who likes to do useful things, then you won't
like this class because we don't do anything useful.
 11/22
 James, you can't just take 5/2. James did something illegal. He has to go to jail...I haven't done
anything illegal. I don't want to break the law...The answer is 5/2, which by
coincidence is what James said. But James isn't here, he's in jail.
 ?
 Infinity is weird. It's just a weird and wonderful thing about mathematics.
 ?
 This derivative is really something!
Compiled by Leena J. Ved
Edited by Steven Krause
Steve Krause
Shahriari Quotes
condensed version
This is a collection of quotes by Professor Shahriari this semester in Linear Algebra. Clearly, I stole the idea from
Leena Ved, but it was a good idea. Some of the quotes are humorous, some aren't, and some only make sense in
context with the discussion which spawned them.

1.24.94
 Why are they linear? Because they're not nonlinear.
 1.28.94
 I won't use every axiom every time I'll be too bored.
 Is that clear? Maybe? Think about it.
 1.31.94
 I will be the speaker, and I will speak on something.
 Is there anything wrong with that? Yes, it's not right.
 That's just the Real Numbers that's cheating.
 I don't just want to prove random things, which some of you will do at sometime.
 2.2.94
 I stole a good eraser from the other room.
 Today is Wednesday, so I want to write it as a column vector.
 Look, I wrote it as a row vector...(but it's still Wednesday)
 2.4.94
 Here are the conclusions I am going to make and there are a whole bunch of them.
 If the graders were grading my work, I would lose points they would say: "Not clear."
 I sort of want to stop waste, so that's what I'm going to do next.
 Linearly dependent ones are redundant we don't like them as much.
 Today is Friday, you don't have classes this afternoon? So I can go on a while (talking, that is).
 The zero vector would be very upset is he heard that (that S= (0,0,0) is an empty set).
 2.7.94
 It doesn't mean that it is the end of the semester. It could mean that, but it doesn't have to. (in reference to
getting zeroes on the quizzes)
 Do you think 3 is an important number for R³?
 Look that wasn't so amazing, but...
 What about F(R,R)? Well, I got you there...(ha, ha)
 If you're sitting in the audience, you're probably wondering, why are we doing this? So what? Good quiz
problems? It builds character.
 Got 3 classes, and here's a fourth one.
 Oh, I managed to use the last five minutes [of class].
 2.9.94
 I [already] did that, so I'm going to cheat.
 Look we've got a really nice eraser.
 When I'm done showing it, there is no question that I showed what I wanted to show.
 Maybe one way, maybe zero ways, maybe noway.
 Then, if you follow your nose, it will work, except when it doesn't.
 I'm using alphas for some reason.
 Questions?...questions?...questions, answers, suggestions?...
 That will be an important theorem because...oh, do I want to tell you the reason?...maybe...
 2.11.94
 I might have gotten meaner over time.
 W is blah, blah, blah, blah...
 When I said this wouldn't be fair as a homework assignment, that was before I did it in class...but now I
could give you some variation of it.
 Give me a theorem that has the words "spans" and "basis" in it.
 I will give you a vector space that is slightly weird.
 Am I making any sense?
 I don't even know if I want to write it down.
 In fact, most things I will write as column vectors.
 1,0,0,0
0,0,0,0
0,0,0,0
and there are 12 of them.
 You could try to find coefficients, but then you would say [that] the exam is too long.
 The reason why this is a real proof is because this is a real theorem.
 No, that's not good.
 This theorem is very nice because it has corollaries.
 I never said all vector spaces have bases, did I?
 We have vector spaces of any dimension you like...0?...not dimension zero...for example, the chicken
vector space had dimension zero, by definition.
 It would be a shame if R³ weren't three dimensional.
 2.14.94
 Because 10+1=0...
 ...have four pizzas, divide by 7 people, everyone gets 10 pieces. (in mod11)
 Z_{10}; isn't such a good place to live because you can't divide; I don't want to put it down too much, you just
can't divide.
 ...isn't it part of General Education that [the] square root of 2 is irrational?
 If I had put the cube root of 2 in there, I would have had to put the forth root of 2 as well.
 So what is 5+ two times the square root of two? It's 5+ two times the square root of two.
 How am I going to get A's out of alphas? (class answer: Magic)
 I guess in the context of an exam one can't always do what on would do at other times. But that doesn't
really mean anything.
 By the way, do you like solving systems of linear equations? Is that something that shows up in this class?
 So, have you done all the problems? I know you haven't, because if you had, would've asked some
questions that you haven't.
 There was a problem. It wasn't right. It was just wrong.
 Oh, they told us so.
 I guess you guys decided class was over.
 2.18.94
 I'll give them back Monday, unless I don't. (in reference to the midterm)
 You have two vectors...would you like anymore?
 Laura: "They'll be linearly dependent." Shahriari: "I'll worry about that later."
 Does it span? Yes, it really spans.
 What I'm going to do now is going to be pretty concrete...you might be a little disappointed.
 Most books, like ours, give you matrices first, because I guess they think they're easier, and they want to
give you easy stuff first, and then the hard stuff...but we did it the other way around because I didn't want you to get
the wrong idea about this course.
 Shahriari: "That sounds like....?" Scott: "Math."
 You seem to know something I don't know...
 It will become clear to you why I am being strange.
 We should tell the parents that since it's Friday, the students don't have any classes in the afternoon, so we
can go on (with class) forever.
 AX=b, 3x=2; do they look similar? Yes, the first X is just a little larger than the second.
 One third (1/3) isn't just a 3 with a one on top.
 2.21.94
 If you want to leave the room, it makes a difference if you first open the door and leave, or leave and then
open the door.
 They have a lot of properties, and they're too boring to prove.
 Once you see them you'll agree that they're boring.
 If I were taking the test, I would lose points, but then again, I don't need the points.
 ...but I'm sure you're anxious to see this proof.
 The number 1 does exist.
 I guess this was a theorem, but we didn't prove anything.
 do you like quizzes?
 2.23.94
 that it be accessible to students with knowledge of linear algebra...which is you...yeah!
 ...then...many occasions to have cookies
 If we can find B...then we say A is nice.
 Lot's of people go through their lives not knowing about generalized inverses. It's a shame, but it's true.
 ...see, everything comes back to solving equations. See, there is no free lunch.
 ...that 3x411= 1 and not 11...
 Matrix multiplication is not a very nice thing to do in public.
 ..another example of the socks and shoes theorem.
 I'm not really being clear at all.
 Right now what I'm saying should make no sense.
 That's not so obvious, so I'm not going to tell you...yet.
 Zero is like a pretty strong character...it has no friends.
 Oh, time for a quiz...but we don't have a quiz today.
 25 equations, 25 unknowns that's not a pleasant task.
 You're not allowed to multiply by the constant 0: that would be the easy way out.
 Saying "switching rows" isn't a linear algebra thing to say...it's not "cool."
 The proof of the pudding is in the eating.
 2.25.94
 And this theorem is...the beginning of a long story...the beginning of a long relationship.
 Computers are good for doing dumb things that don't require much thought.
 The third statement is even better...
 Somebody's sitting there? Well, I can't see them...
 Now, I almost broke Steve's foot.
 Students only...not cookies only.
 Homework six looks long (a grin on his face)...you'd better get started soon.
 Here's sort of the punch line...
 What are these...they'd better be invertible
 This is math, we use it all the time. If this were literature, that wouldn't be the case.
 Joe saved the day. I was going to do "(c) implies (d)", but now time is over.
 2.28.94
 When you do things on the blackboard, you get 1, not one third, which is what you get on the homework.
 So, this is a foolproof method.
 By the way, this is the only time you'll see me find an inverse in public.
 Are we having a quiz today?...Aren't you waiting for a quiz?...Do you like pop quizzes? (threat?)
 Maybe then I'll let you go.
 3.2.94
 I can say plenty of statements that sound good but are false.
 It doesn't really matter, but I would get confused.
 Let's go back to our long theorem and make it longer.
 This is sort of a nice proof actually...it's cute.
 3.4.94
 Are 1 and 3 related at all? Well, 3 is 3 times 1.
 There are a lot of mysteries here that you don't know about.
 The question you should have is: "So what?"
 3.7.94
 That means a series of quizzes on Wednesday and Friday to fill up the time...
 This is a little vocabulary exercise.
 c1; comma, c2; comma, 3 dots, cn comma, b, and curly brackets...
 How many people didn't have a good enough breakfast and aren't going to say anything?
 It would sound as if you were at a language table, but the wrong one.
 The vocabulary will become familiar with you.
 You got one by row elementary operations.
 If you don't say anything, then there'll be another theorem...
 Give me a word you want me to say something about.
 You might say: "I don't want to do elementary row operations." Is that true?
 After the break we will take a field trip...two doors down. (to the computer lab)
 I think there are a lot of us who are lost...
 3.9.94 (John Brown substituting for Shahriari)
 For anyone who doesn't know me, I'm not Professor Shahriari...I'm John Brown.
 If you're expecting the master, I'm just a lowly disciple.
 Come on Jason, raise your hand.
 They're all good ones...this is exciting.
 I'm such a good guesser.
 If you don't say what the sets are, the graders will all be confused, and will have to take points off...it's a
bad deal all around.
 When you draw these maps, X is the big blob over on this side.
 Because I'm imitating Shahriari today, I'm going to put a line across my Z.
 Yeah, he puts lines across little z's, too...
 If you map a few points, you'll probably agree with me.
 This is going to be the climax of today's lecture...I think.
 He probably won't ask you: "If X is a collection of missiles..."
 If there are multiple warheads, then it's not a function.
 There is no textbook about multiple warheads.
 3.11.94
 I don't want to work fulltime, because that's too much work for me.
 Maybe I'll get fed up with it and become a carpenter.
 If this were calculus, we'd talk about the chain rule now, but it's not.
 3.21.94
 If I didn't do the algebra wrong, that's what you should get...
 Even if their elements look different  maybe they have different length hair.
 3.23.94
 Here's a function: f(x) = x2...the one that you like.
 Let's take a vote...
 The laptop we normally use is sick; it has a virus.
 I will say things & you will do them.
 "To prove" just sounds more intimidating.
 How do I prove ontoness?
 3.25.94
 I've got an element b, it's lost...
 Something is only a function when there are no multiple warheads.
 Do you think they're related? (sweet, yet threatening tone)
 This is good. We like making up new words, so that other people can't understand us.
 You can use that at the Math table at Oldenborg.
 I can do that...you can't say I can't do that.
 How many people say, that if there is justice in the world, they are the same size?
 We have a hotel with an infinite number of rooms, but all the rooms are full...
 Are all infinite sets created equal?
 This is the final vote for today.
 3.28.94
 He was actually sent to an insane asylum for the answer he gave.
 There's a lot more [irrational] than rational numbers. I guess that's the moral of the story.
 You want to concentrate.
 When you walk down the street you don't run into vectorspaces.
 4.1.94
 It's as if matrices have disappeared...but matrices will be right back!
 T is called an isomorphism is it is very nice.
 It wouldn't be a good question if you asked me about the color of the elements; that wouldn't be a linear
algebra question.
 Class: "It's too boring." Shahriari: "I agree."
 Maybe my map needs some modification...I'm willing to do that.
 The onto part was hard, but I did it. (chuckle)
 4.4.94
 T maps everything to O. That's not very interesting, but it's a map.
 Take your favorite vectorspace.
 It doesn't matter if you don't know, because I'll tell you what you need to know.
 I'm going to let you in on a secret.
 Let A be your favorite mxn matrix.
 Which two is this? This two or that two?
 Do you think that will be fun?
 It's not that hard, so you'll do it for homework.
 Don't try that on an exam...it would be hazardous to your grade...
 4.6.94
 Why do I keep ending up on the edge?
 If you're lost...you don't know what I'm talking about, then you should come talk to me.
 This will take just one second...no, one minute.
 Most of the theorem is obvious, but one part isn't, and that is the amazing part.
 Somehow these are going to be related...but we don't know that yet.
 This scalar multiplication always gets the short end of the deal.
 This is just to confuse you.
 Do you ever read the book? (blank stares from the class)
 ...or you can use our theorem and not do any work...
 Those of you who had Math 32 know that linear transformations are important... maybe you do, maybe you
don't.
 Math is for lazy people who don't like doing grungy work...if you like grungy work, you can go to one of
the sciences.
 4.8.94
 T is linear, but I don't want to show that in public.
 You're walking down the street and a transformation comes up...what's a good question?...What's your
kernel?
 4.13.94
 Oh look, solutions to Quiz 6! (we haven't taken Quiz 6 yet)
 No, this isn't quite a commercial.
 Then after that we have...a real course...no...
 103 is Combinatorics. I teach that...it's a fun course...
 Why should you take more math classes? Some of you will be math majors, so you know why...you have
to; you can't live without math.
 Like literary criticism, math won't help you directly, but...
 We have a quiz, but first I have to teach you something.
 We had the long theorem...do you agree that it was long?
 4.15.94
 Today is when the studentsonlycookiehour is...
 We have ended up realizing that we have just been looking at Rn all along...it's sort of a let down...the next
step is also sort of a let down.
 There aren't any vectorspaces other that R(n), and there aren't any linear transformations other that matrices,
sorry.
 I must not have been doing my job right if you guys still like abstract things.
 I could pick easy bases or not so easy bases...I don't have to pick easy bases.
 Is anyone willing to talk about that in public?
 As long as I'm trying to confuse you, I don't want to confuse me.
 Good thing today isn't Wednesday, or else there might have been a quiz problem.
 4.18.94
 The matrices would have to be infinite matrices, and they're not nice to work with.
 m by n...n by m...m by n...n by m...okay, m by n...
 It would be nice if blackboards had a cutandpaste feature.
 You have to watch your syntax...you have to speak correct linear algebra.
 You can speak with poor grammar...people will still understand you, but it's bad, and it's just not done.
 ...I might have some property to sell you also...
 4.20.94
 I don't want to confuse you, so just forget everything I just said in the last 20 seconds.
 This has a lot of consequences, so I'm going to slowly tell you about them.
 This V is not that V, it is this V...but they're both V.
 Here comes the interesting fact.
 Why is this called that...oh, I'll tell you why this is called that...
 Oh, let's see, time for a quiz.
 4.25.94
 Did I make a mistake?
 This basis becomes useful, but you're not going to like it.
 You could sit at your computer playing solitaire as long as you want, as long as your boss isn't looking.
 Find the inverse of this...Matlab! Just ask Matlab.
 R² has the distinction that we can draw pictures in it.
 Is this a linear transformation? Yes. It's very linear.
 Ready for the quiz? What? Shouldn't we have at least one pop quiz.
 4.27.94
 Did we somehow skip summer and I missed it?
 At lunch nothing happens except people eat together.
 The proof of this is the little argument in the corner.
 4.30.94
 What do I mean that there are no Real solutions?
 Are there any fake ones?
 5.2.94
 Eigenvectors like being bases.
 There is a matrix P running around...
 If you were left on an island with nothing to do you could find that by hand...
 You'll have to find that determinant...good luck.
 That's something you can do at home, that's not something you can do in public.
 5.4.94
 Ah, summer reading!...Let me tell you about that.
 I don't think Homework 14 is as bad as Homework 13...it sort of peaked with 13...I'm sorry about that.
 That's the problem with me just typing something out...I can type anything out.
 There was a step here I skipped, right?
 Anna: "Why is that?" Shahriari: "That's because of your calculator."
 Eigenvalues are very important in the study of differential equations, and differential equations are
important for just about everything. Therefore, eigenvalues are important for everything.
 5.9.94 (review session)
 Shahriari: "Is there any relationship between matrices and linear transformations?" Class: "No, they live in
different worlds."
 Questions, answers, suggestions...problems for the exam?
[ Table of Contents  Back  Next Page  Top ]
This page is written and maintained by Steve Krause. © Steve Krause.
All rights reserved. For more information, email hyperion47@excite.com.
This page was last updated on June 27, 1998.
