How to Cut a Cake

There is an easy way of how to make a fair division of a cake between two persons: one cuts and the other then chooses. If the first one does not cut fairly, then the second one can take the bigger (or the better) half. The analogous task becomes a good deal more difficult when the cake is to be divided between three or even more people. This puzzle, having certain obvious practical applications, leads to a serious mathematical problem mathematicians have been grappling with for more than 50 years. This beautiful book, written by one of the most famous writers of mathematics, gives an amusing description of this problem, its history, false solutions and the correct solution.

Cake-cutting algorithms however occupy just the first chapter of the book and there are nineteen more chapters. Their topics range from sardine tins to chess games and from quasi-crystals to the Sierpinski Gaskets. The book also explains what the portioning of the Moon has got in common with electric circuits. In twenty chapters, the author takes the reader for an amazing journey through a diverse world of mathematics and its applications, pointing out mind-boggling conundrums and mysteries, some with deadly serious applications in practice. As he says in the introduction, this is a book for the fans, the math enthusiasts, the people who actively like mathematics. Being one of those, I can confirm that, for those who do, this book is another must. Make a space for it in your bookcase.

Reviewer: 
lp
Book details
Author:  Publisher: 
Published: 
2006
ISBN: 
0-19-920590-6
Price: 
GBP 9.99
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