Cutting a Pie Is No Piece of Cake | Science News

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Math Trek

Cutting a Pie Is No Piece of Cake

2:27pm, March 7, 2007

Cutting pie is harder than slicing cake, at least if you want to do it fairly. Bizarre as that may sound, mathematicians have proven it.

Julius B. Barbanel of Union College and political scientist Steven J. Brams of New York University have long studied the classical mathematical problem of cake cutting. The question is this: Suppose you have an elaborately decorated sheet cake, with chocolate icing here, vanilla icing there, a cherry in one spot, and coconut sprinkled about. Some people may prefer particular portions of the cake. How do you divide the cake so that everyone gets a fair slice? The researchers are now asking th

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