This is fun: New Scientist magazine ran a story on our little Monthly article. You can find it here on the New Scientist website as "The perfect way to slice a pizza" by Stephen Ornes, Dec 12, 2009 (issue number 2738), pp 48-50. (A tinyURL is here: There is a complete copy of the New Scientist article on Stephen Ornes' website. I enjoyed working with Stephen on that story, in no small part because he was determined to get all the math right. It's quite a challenge to write a popular article on math (which is why you don't see too many, I suppose). I was tickled to see that Stephen particularly enjoyed our work, as he says in this interview by MIT. (As he mentions, later we collaborated again, but that's another story.)

Stephen Ornes did not give it that ridiculous title — "The perfect way to slice a pizza" — and our article and results have absolutely nothing to do with that. It could be said that we analyze the sharing of pizzas that arrive at the table already sliced in a very specific, improper way. (It's a geometry problem, not a pizza problem.) On the other hand, without the inaccurate title, would there have been this much interest? (Hmm, top 10 physics stories? Well, I suppose if the cheese falls off your slice and lands in your lap, then it is physics.)

Also, MathDL (below) picked it up and added a few more errors. (I sent corrections to the editor on 22 Jan 2010.) In particular, it should be noted that we didn't prove OUR conjecture, we proved the conjecture made by Stan Wagon, Larry Carter and John Duncan. Our article states that plainly. And there are other errors in the MathDL article, due, I guess, to their not-so-careful reading of the New Scientist article. Of course, in spite of this, I'm happy they gave it some attention. [The MathDL post was corrected Jan 26.]

Anyway, within hours of the posting of the article on the New Scientist website, various online news providers gave it some air on their blogs and elsewhere. Most of them get it completely wrong (perhaps misled by the title), but there's no such thing as bad publicity, so I have heard. I'll let you know. Meanwhile, I'll try to maintain a collection of some examples below.

(Oh, I learned a math joke while perusing these links: "The volume of a pizza of thickness a and radius z is pi z z a.")

One of a kind? Franck Stevens followed the spectacle de fromage in France as an example of the difficulty of science-writing for the masses: "La conjecture de la pizza et la difficulté de vulgariser". (My loose translation: "The pizza conjecture and the popularization conundrum".) The author notes and laments some reactions on Le Huffington Post, including one that says (essentially) "Those who should not laugh are the taxpayers who paid those idiots for 11 years."

Mathematical curiosity #102.g (out of 103)? We're one of the last few bites here (Google eBook): 103 curiosità matematiche: Teoria dei numeri, delle cifre e delle relazioni nella matematica contemporanea.

"Math lovers unite to boycott Pizza Hut!" An amusing spat has broken out between math lovers and Pizza Hut. I'm tempted to be drawn into this fray. Anti-math Pizza Hut commercial (youtube)

Speaking of actual pizza businesses, there is a pizza place called The Pizza Theorem in Ahmedabad, India! They have a Facebook page. So unlike Pizza Hut (above), here are some pizza vendors who don't seem afraid of a little math.

Some people had thoughtful (if not correct) reactions to the New Scientist article.

There were some very humorous reactions. But browse these only at your own risk.

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