*A.W. Tucker has found*

Results both new and profound,

But none that attract

Me more than the fact

That degenerate cycles bound.

Results both new and profound,

But none that attract

Me more than the fact

That degenerate cycles bound.

I have no clue what it is about,; still the fact he wrote it is charming. Although:

*He wrote almost 200 papers on real and complex analysis, which were mainly concerned with functions of exponential type, polynomial expansions of analytic functions, Fourier series and power series with positive coe cients, growth of analytic functions and of the partial sums of in nite series, moment problems, and Tauberian, completeness, uniqueness, and integrability theorems...*

his notable contribution may turn out to be his humor.

*There are no pretensions in mathematics to be punctured. So about the best that can be done is parody, using the lofty and formal language of mathematics for something silly. The best example is probably R. P. Boas's list of ways to catch a lion in the desert...*

*Editors G.L. Alexanderson and D.H. Mugler collected some of Boas' best pieces of writing in*Lion Hunting and Other Mathematical Pursuits: A Collection of Mathematics, Verse, and Stories

*by Ralph P. Boas, Jr. (1995).*

One of these jokes goes back to 1938. We read that Boas with colleagues, devised a spoof titled ''A Contribution to the Mathematical Theory of Big Game Hunting'' which came out in

*American Mathematical Monthly*. He used a pseudonym, H. Pétard (a reference to farting). We read that the paper offers short spoofs of "theorems and proofs from mathematics and physics, in the form of applications to the hunting of lions in the Sahara desert. One 'proof' parodies the Bolzano–Weierstrass theorem..."

Well that's enough of that. Most of our information in this post on Ralph P. Boas comes from his MAA obituary.

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