Flight Delayed Because Math Professor Was Doing Math

EvilMathThis would be funny if it wasn’t so completely screwed up. He was doing math (a foreign language to the passenger who complained), and being Italian, he has dark skin. Academic questioned by American Airlines officials for doing math on plane

He didn’t want to make small talk with the woman next to him. And he was writing in a some sort of code. And he has darker skin. Yep, he must be a terrorist.

Guido Menzio is associate professor in the department of Economics at the University of Pennsylvania. One of his specialties is search theory. He was on his way to give a talk in Quebec.

Here he was suddenly having his mathematical intentions searched.

Oh, and he has slightly darker skin. But, as his name suggests, he’s Italian — not, well, whatever other nationality bad people are supposed to be.

A 2 hour delay, and an innocent man questioned over math. Next they will outlaw it. Or something.

Stupid people with inflated fears. If he had been writing in Arabic, what would that have meant? Arab-Americans do fly on American airlines. And some of them probably write in Arabic. Doesn’t make them all terrorists. (Writing is not a dangerous activity, no matter the language.)

I guess the lady in question didn’t have much faith in the TSA process.


2 thoughts on “Flight Delayed Because Math Professor Was Doing Math

  1. I saw this story. Unfortunately, I instantly thought about the bad memes that went around right after 9/11 about the teacher caught with “weapons of math instruction”.
    Equally unfortunately, it is a foreign language to the people who called it in, and undoubtedly the officers that investigated.

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