Sit still and think

A new ranking of the best jobs puts mathematician at number 1, followed at 2 by actuary and at 3 by statistician. Here’s why:

According to the study, mathematicians fared best in part because they typically work in favorable conditions — indoors and in places free of toxic fumes or noise — unlike those toward the bottom of the list like sewage-plant operator, painter and bricklayer. They also aren’t expected to do any heavy lifting, crawling or crouching — attributes associated with occupations such as firefighter, auto mechanic and plumber.

Good for us, I guess.

Also, breaking news from the Joint Math Meetings in DC: The figure-eight knot beat out the Euclidean algorithm for president of the United States of Mathematics after their lively debate here last night. Figure-eight promises an increased supply of sub-prime numbers to alleviate the ongoing crisis. That the Euclidean algorithm’s running mate can see the Chinese Remainder Theorem from her porch did not carry the day.

Maybe ability to pun was also a consideration in ranking careers?

Stay tuned for a report from tomorrow night’s Mathematics and Love: a poetry reading.

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