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Nicolas Baggio

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MATH PUZZLE: Can you replace the question mark with a number?

Paul Joseph Cohen

Born 2 Apr 1934. American mathematician who received the Fields Medal (1966) for his fundamental work on the foundations of set theory. Cohen invented a technique called "forcing" to prove the independence in set theory of the axiom of choice and of the generalised continuum hypothesis. The continuum hypothesis problem was the first of Hilbert's famous 23 problems delivered to the Second International Congress of Mathematicians in Paris in 1900. Hilbert's famous speech The Problems of Mathematics challenged (then and now) mathematicians to solve these fundamental questions and Cohen has the distinction of solving Problem 1. He also worked on differential equations and harmonic analysis.«

Switched Inputs

For a computer programming class, I sat directly across from someone, and our computers were facing away from each other. A few minutes into the class, she got up to leave the room. I reached between our computers and switched the inputs for the keyboards. She came back and started typing and immediately got a distressed look on her face. She called the teacher over and explained that no matter what she typed, nothing would happen.
The teacher tried everything. By this time I was hiding behind my monitor and quaking red-faced. I started to type, "Leave me alone!" They both jumped back, silenced. "Whaa??" the teacher blubbered.
Then I typed, "I said leave me alone!" The kid got really upset. "I didn't do anything to it, I swear!" It was all I could do to keep from laughing out loud. The conversation between them and HAL 2000 went on for an amazing five minutes.
Me: "Don't touch me!"
Her: "I'm sorry, I didn't mean to hit your keys that hard."
Me: "Who do you think you are anyway?!" Etc.
Finally, I couldn't contain myself any longer and fell out of my chair laughing. After they had realised what I had done, they both turned beet red. Funny, I never got more than a C- in that class.
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