Scientific art of cutting cake

I love watching QI and learning random facts. I came in to the lounge part way through an episode where they were trying to evenly cut a cake between them. The point being that there is scientific research into how to fairly divide a cake among any number of people.

Its a bit of a metaphor for dividing any problem where things need to be split between people who value it differently.

In the 1960’s mathematicians figured out how to split a cake between three people who valued it differently, but it wasn’t until the 1980’s when seminal work on cake cutting was published. Then, more recently a new algorithm was published that depended on the number of people rather than their preferences. For a full explanation look at which goes in to some detail.

That all sounds far too complicated for my tiny brain. The cakes I want to cut don’t require so much effort although there are culinary guides that show you how to cut a 16 inch round cake into 100 pieces.

There are also videos that show you how to cut a cake cleanly, tell you what type of knife is better to use (serrated blade btw), or how to cut a cake so it doesn’t dry out.

Who knew that cutting a cake should be so complicated. There is of course a very simple answer. Eat the whole thing and don’t cut it at all 🎂


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