A Statistician, Engineer and Physicist go to the horse track. Each have their system for betting on the winner and they’re sure of it.
After the race is over, the Statistician wanders into the nearby bar, defeated. He notices the Engineer, sits down next to him, and begins lamenting: “I don’t understand it. I tabulated the recent performance of all these horses, cross-referenced them with trends for others of their breed, considered seasonal variability, everything. I couldn’t have lost.”
“Yeah,” says the Engineer, “well, forget that. I ran simulations based on their weight, mechanical ratios, performance models, everything, and I’m no better off.”
Suddenly, they notice a commotion in the corner. The Physicist is sitting there, buying rounds and counting his winnings. The Engineer and Statistician decide they’ve got to know, so they shuffle over and ask him, “what’s your secret, how’d you do it?”
The Physicist leans back, takes a deep breath, and begins, “Well, first I assumed all the horses were spherical and identical…”
A mathematician, a physicist, and an engineer are given the task of finding how high a particular red rubber ball will bounce when dropped from a given height onto a given surface.
The mathematician derives the elasticity of the ball from its chemical makeup, derives the equations to determine how high it will bounce and calculates it.
The physicist takes the ball into the lab, measures its elasticity, and plugs the variables into a formula.
The engineer looks it up in his red rubber ball book.