These are a few of my favourite things

Chris reminds us that in the world of social scientists, British sociologists are generally considered the shabbiest. This prompts me to consider just how far I’ve come; although I’m British, am a sociologist, and routinely wear crimpolene, in a former life I was a mathematician.

Ah the memories. The splendid Keith Hannabus and Frances Kirwan did their best to teach me algebra and analysis, despite the fact that I was drunk and wouldn’t learn.

That said, I woke up this morning with this algebraic ditty in my head, to the tune of These Are a Few of My Favourite Things:

Matrices, Integers, Rationals and Reals,

Polynomials and all their Ideals,

Real valued functions and similiar things,

These are a few of my favourite rings.

This is the bit where mathematicians giggle. Everyone else will undoubtedly find the joke funny after reading a brief introduction to rings.