An Engineer, a Physicist, and a Mathematician are sitting on Death Row, and all three of them are scheduled to be hanged the following day. The Warden grants each of them a last request.

The Engineer speaks up first. He says that he has invented a new machine that can perform many tasks with no human intervention (other than some basic initial programming). This device will completely revolutionize people’s lives from the workplace to the home. He would like to present his ideas to an interested audience who may be able to continue his work after he is gone. The Warden gives him an hour the following morning before his scheduled hanging.

The Physicist speaks up next. He says that he has developed a theory that will completely revolutionize humankind’s understanding of the Cosmos, from the very large (stars, planetary systems, galaxies, etc.) to the very small (subatomic particles, quantum mechanics, etc.). He would also like to present his ideas to an interested audience who may be able to continue his work after he is gone. The Warden gives him an hour the following morning before his scheduled hanging.

The Mathematician says that he has developed a theorem that will completely revolutionize the world of mathematics. It will unify all mathematical disciplines such as never been seen before. He would also like to present his ideas to an interested audience who may be able to continue his work after he is gone.

The Warden begins to tell him that he will give the Mathematician his hour the following morning, when the Engineer and Physicist both say, “Excuse us, sir, but if it’s not too much trouble, could you please go ahead and hang us tonight?”