We're Talkin' Algebra

Tom Lehrer

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Tom Lehrer

Thomas Andrew Lehrer (born April 9, 1928) is an American singer-songwriter, satirist, pianist, and mathematician. He has lectured on mathematics and musical theater. Lehrer is best known for the pithy, humorous songs he recorded in the 1950s and 1960s. more »


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Polynomials and rational functions, coefficients,
Linear factors and quadratics and pure imaginaries,
Partial fraction decomposition,
And synthetic division, multiplicity of roots ,
And complex conjugates.
(What?)
I said "complex conjugates"!
(WHAT??)
REFRAIN (sung): We're talkin' algebra,
Part II: Conic sections
What we're doin' here is algebra.
Try a little bit and Wow!
You are gonna wonder how
Did you ever get along without it up to now.
It's algebra,
Get yourself a little algebra.
You are really gonna be amazed at all that it can do for you.
(Who, me?)
Yes, you!
Hyperbolas and circles and ell ipses and parabolas
And diameters and radii and axes of symmetry
And sections of the cone and completion of the square
And directrices and intercepts and vertices and foci
And asymptotes.
(What?)
I said "asymptotes"!
(WHAT??)
REFRAIN (sung)
Part Ill: Matrices and determinants
Linear simultaneous equations and solutions,
Using coefficient matrices and quotients of determinants,
And inconsistent systems , elementary operations,
Using Cramer's rule and Gaussian elimination,
And cofactors.
(What?)
I said "cofactors"!
(WHAT??)
REFRAIN (sung)
Part IV: Mathematical induction, sequences. and counting
Geometric sequences and infinite series,
Permutations, combinations, and the sigma notation ,
Mathematical induction, arithmetical progression,
And binomial expansion and the Pascal triangle,
And factorials.
(Huh?)
I said "factorials"!
(HUH??)
REFRAIN (sung)

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Written by: Tom Lehrer

Lyrics © Public Domain

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