Murphy's Laws and Mathematics
Murphy's law and its corollaries are familiar to
everyone who studies mathematics.

Murphy's Law: If anything can go wrong, it will.

Corollary 1: At the worst possible time

Corollary 2: Causing the most damage
Here are some ways in which Murphy's law applies
to mathematics:

The harder you study, the farther behind you get.

Every problem is harder than it looks and takes
longer than you expected.

When you solve a problem, it always helps to know the
answer.

Any expression can be made equal to any other
expression if you juggle it enough.

Knowing mathematics and teaching mathematics are not
equivalent.

Teaching ability is inversely proportional to the
number of papers published.

Proofs don't convince anybody of anything.

An ounce of example is worth a pound of theory.

What is "obvious" to everyone else won't be "obvious"
to you.

Notes you understood perfectly in class transform
themselves into hieroglyphics at home.

Textbooks are written for those who already know the
subject.

Any simple idea will be expressed in incomprehensible
terms.

The answers you need aren't in the back of the book.

No matter how much you study for exams, it will never be
enough.

The problems you can work are never put on the exam.

The problems you are certain won't be on the test will
be.

The answer to the problem you couldn't work on the exam
will become obvious after you hand in your paper.
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