Cuting Pies: Harder than Slicing Cake

Saturday, March 10, 2007

An article on the Science News blog reports that cutting a pie into fair / equal distributions is more difficult than performing the same task on a cake.

Unfortunately the detail that is almost glossed over in this article is that these mathematicians equate cake with rectangle. What they are really saying is that we are better at approximating equal portions in a rectangular format than a round one.

Fortunately there are strategies to help with cutting into circles. One can cut the cake / pie all at once, cutting it into halves, over and over (cut it in half, those halves in half, those quarters in half, and so on).
Or one could use a radial guide that impresses equal measurements in the frosting.

I think it just may be further proof that pi/ pie is irrational…

2 Comments

posted March 10th, 2007 at 6:31 am

Fortunately pie isn’t imaginary.

posted March 14th, 2007 at 5:23 am

And can engender obsession with an almost mathematical precision.

Leave a comment