'math' on Serious Eats

Enter the 2011 Pi Day Baking Contest

It's that time of the year again. Pull out the butter and protractors because Pi Day is before us! Every March 14 we honor the math constant pi (3.14159..) with many slices of its delicious homophone pie. This year we're teaming up with the fun folks at Instructables to host the 2011 Pi Day Contest, which will run until March 20. Find out all the contest details here! First place pie will win an iPad engraved with the first 314 digits of pi—how sweet is that?! More

Vote For Your Favorite 2010 Pi Day Bake-Off Pie

Do you like staring at photos of pie? And thinking about math equations? OK, even if you said no to the second one, we need you. It's time to vote for the best entry in our 2010 Pi Day Pie Bake-Off we co-sponsored with the good, equally pie-obsessed folks of ScienceBlogs. We've narrowed it down to our ten favorites. Voting ends at midnight EST on Thursday, March 18, and winners will be announced on Friday. Let the voting begin! » More

Enter the 2010 Pi Day Bake-off

Pull out the graph paper and forks, it's almost time to celebrate Pi Day! March 14 is a big party of a day for the math constant pi (3.14159..) and whether or not you can recite out to the fiftieth decimal place, you are allowed to eat lots of its homophone, pie. This year we're joining forces with the folks at ScienceBlogs to host the 2010 Pi Day Pie Bake-off. Bake a pie and enter to win $314 in cold, hard cash. More

Microwave Chocolate, Do Some Math, You've Got the Speed of Light

"Or, what nerds do after Valentine's Day." [Image: J. Kenji Lopez-Alt] Here's a neat little kitchen science experiment from Gizmodo that'll give you an excuse to get rid of all the excess Russell Stover chocolate your thoughtful significant other bought you last-minute at the drugstore. Basically, all you do is stick the chocolate in your microwave (with the turntable removed), zap it for about 20 seconds until it starts to melt, measure the distance between the melty spots and multiply it by a constant (the frequency of the microwaves x 2, or approximately 4.9x10^9) and bingo—you've just calculated the speed of light! So how does it work?... More

Fractal Snowflake + Cupcakes = Serious Math

Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories Math has never exactly been my forté. If it involves food, however, I'll give it a whack. On first glance these fractal snowflake cupcakes are seemingly simple, with a series of triangles and what have you thrown together to make a darling little shape that reminds me of arts and crafts time. How wrong I was. These cakes require some serious math. Lets break it down, shall we? It all starts with a "simple" algorithm. The Koch snowflake algorithm consists of three identical Koch curves, which essentially make one large triangle. This triangle is cut into four smaller triangles made of blue fondant and then centered on another larger triangular base which is made of... More

The Math of Perfectly Crisp Bacon

Four researchers from the UK's Leeds University spent more than a thousand hours testing 700 variations of bacon sandwiches using both a computer and 50 taste-testing volunteers, and they managed to come up with the formula for perfectly crisp bacon: N = C + {fb(cm) . fb(tc)} + fb(Ts) + fc . ta N = force in Newtons required to break the cooked bacon. fb = function of the bacon type. fc = function of the condiment/filling effect. Ts = serving temperature. tc = cooking time. ta = time or duration of application of condiment/ filling. cm = cooking method. C = Newtons required to break uncooked bacon. Team leader Dr. Graham Clayton says, "We often think that it’s... More

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