Pi(e) Mathematics

Gentle reader, I apologize for the dearth of updates recently. But with a new month comes new opportunity for mathematical investigation, so let’s dive right in!

In keeping with my summertime theme of mathematics and food (see e.g. here and here), I’d like to share with you a story about a recent dinner I shared with my better half. After a day spent apartment hunting, we decided to treat ourselves to a dinner out.

Everything we learned about treating ourselves we learned from Parks and Recreation.

In keeping with the theme of treating ourselves, we ordered two desserts at the end of the night, and both looked quite delicious. We agreed to each eat half of one dessert and then trade for the second half. One was in the general pie family of desserts.

Given a slice of pie, the most . . . → Read More: Pi(e) Mathematics

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Math Really Goes Pop

This morning my good friend Gabe of Motivated Grammar, who is secretly addicted to celebrity gossip, sent me this link to an article from Perez Hilton which is all about mathematics. No, I am not joking – Mr. Hilton apparently loves Grigori Perelman, the mathematician who solved the famous Poincaré conjecture and recently refused a $1 million dollar prize from the Clay Mathematics Institute for his solution.

I'm fairly confident that this is the first time a mathematician has been branded with the Perez Hilton logo.

The Poincaré conjecture, first posed by Poincaré over 100 years ago, is a question about conditions under which an object is essentially a hypersphere, that is, a sphere sitting inside 4 dimensional space. More specifically, it asks whether or not every simply connected, closed 3-manifold is homeomorphic to the 3-sphere (the answer is affirmative). Believe it or not, there is a fairly accessible . . . → Read More: Math Really Goes Pop

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Math Gets Around: Holiday Treats

At this time of year, many people push their studies to the side in favor of roasted animals and pie. However, the activities of enlarging your waistline and mastering some mathematics need not be mutually exclusive. For evidence of this claim, I need only turn your attention to the culmination of thousands of years of human evolution: the Pecan Pie-cosahedron.

Pecans + math = crazy delicious.

This masterful work of craftsmanship was created by an individual known by the pseudonym of turkey tek over at instructables.com. The pie is so named because it has the shape of an icosahedron, arguably the most beautiful of the five1 Platonic Solids (so named because of the Greek philosopher, not because the solids are just good friends). Even better, this isn’t turkey tek’s first foray into mathematically inspired baked goods: also on display is the formiddable Giant Fractal Pecan Pie.

Yes, even pie . . . → Read More: Math Gets Around: Holiday Treats

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