Packing a cake into a box

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1 Scopus citations


Given a triangular cake and a box in the shape of its mirror image, how can the cake be cut into a minimal number of pieces so that it can be put into the box? The cake has icing, so we are not allowed to put it into the box upside down. V. G. Boltyansky asked this question in 1977 and showed that three pieces always suffice. In this paper we provide examples of cakes that cannot be cut into two pieces to be put into the box. This shows that three is the answer to Boltyansky's question. We also give examples of cakes which can be cut into two pieces. © THE MATHEMATICAL ASSOCIATION OF AMERICA.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)424
JournalThe American Mathematical Monthly
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jun 13 2011

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2020-10-01
Acknowledgements: The author is grateful to R. Clawson, B. R. Frenkin, A. A. Glazyrin, I. V. Izmestiev, and M. V. Prasolov for useful discussions. The author is also grateful to his wife Anastasia for some figures and cakes. The author was supported in part by the Moebius Contest Foundation for Young Scientists and the Euler Foundation.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Mathematics


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