MITS: S1 Ep7

Happy 4th of July to any tappers it applys too! Unfortunately I couldn’t find any strongly American or Independence related maths topics to do this post on but as promised in the post we will be exploring a mathematical joke that I loved which was used in a small clip of the Simpsons. Read on to explore step by step the joke behind this, and learn some mathematic concepts along the way:


  • The Square root of -1 (the first part of the joke) is an imaginary number. It is very confusing but all you need to know is that the symbol for imaginary number is i and this is explained in the simple video below – you only really need to watch up to 1 minute 25 seconds to carry on:

  • The second part of the joke (23) is very simple. Cubed just means you times it by itself 2 times. So you write out 2 3 times (because it is cubed 3) and then put multiplication symbols in between so you get 2×2 ×2 which equals 8

Keeping up so far?  In your head review what the sentence makes so far

  • The sigma sign – or Σ – is the third part of the joke and it is the symbol to represent ‘sum’. That is all you need to know but if you want to read more about it then read here
  • The last part of this joke is the pi symbol – – which is all you need to know: it is the pi symbol!

So now we know all the meanings of the symbols and we have all the puzzle pieces so let’s put it together …

i 8 sum pi … and it was delicious

Which sounds like …

I ate some pie and it was delicious

… when said aloud. Funny?

This joke is used in many franchise and references in many TV episodes:


So do you now get the joke?
Next week it will be the series/season finale! Sad or happy to see the series come to an end? Do you want another joke to be explained? Any opinions on maths in general? Tell us below and Happy Tapping …


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