A Mathematician, a Different Kind of Mathematician, and a Statistician

So I am in a meeting recently, and someone says he needs a mathematician. A second person points at me and says, “He’s not just a mathematician. He’s a mathematician, a different kind of mathematician, and a statistician.” Then I had to explain it. See, the phrase, on the top of this blog, on my Twitter bio, and many other places, is also on the top of my resume. And the second person had interviewed me. And he asked me about it.

It’s not all that clever. I stole it from an episode of The Simpsons.1 In season 5, in 1994, they aired “Deep Space Homer.” This is, possibly, the most quoted episode of the series. It’s the origin of the famous “I, for one, welcome our new insect overlords” quote, which has since snowcloned into an avalanche. You can see that clip here:

But at the start of the episode, Homer and Bart are nearly forced to watch “another boring space launch” when the batteries fall out of the remote control. In the lead up, this exchange happens, from the broadcast:

Announcer 1: Now let’s look at the crew a little.
Announcer 2: They’re a colorful bunch. They’ve been dubbed the three musketeers. [ chuckling ]
Announcer 1: And we laugh legitimately. There’s a mathematician, a different kind of mathematician and a statistician.

You can see the clip here.

Image from 20th Century Fox via Frinkiac.

  1. Also, you should note “Simpsons Quotes” is a skill listed on my LinkedIn profile.