University at Buffalo

(original, smirk)

This is original and a true story. Today in my Mathematics class we were talking about infinity as a limit. One student had trouble understanding this problem: 5x - 3 lim ------ x->oo 2 6x - 2. The answer is zero. The professor simplified the fraction by dividing the numerator and denominator by 1/x which effectively produced this: 5 lim -- x->oo 6x The student still did not understand why the limit was 0. So my professor decided to go through it very, very slowly. He said, "What do you get when you substitute 10 million for x? 60 million, correct? What is 5 over 60 million? A very small number, correct?" The class nodded in agreement. He then said, "What do you get when you substitute 100 million for x? 600 million, correct? What is 5 over 600 million? An even smaller number, correct?" Again the class nodded in agreement. My professor decided the coup-de-grace would be to choose the largest number he could think of. "What if x is an even bigger number, say, the National Deficit? What is 6 times the National Deficit?" I couldn't help but say, "Next year's National Deficit!"

(From the "Rest" of RHF)