The croissant equation

If you have a sweet tooth, then perhaps you enjoy just standing outside a fancy bakery and observing the many cakes and bakes from the shop, from their indulgent red velvet cupcakes, creamy sponges or decadent brownies. Cakes, cookies and cupcakes are complicated pieces of baking engineering which require sophisticated techniques to get the many flavours and textures into the single bite that you enjoy so much. Continue reading


To share, or not to share

The Montagues and the Capulets have never been friends and Juliet is quite aware of this. Even at her young age, she knows that her love for Romeo is an impossible dream her father will never accept. So, she designs a strategic plan. She will take a couple of sleeping pills, just enough to make her look like she is dead to trick everyone into thinking that she has passed away. Brilliant! If everything goes right, she will always be happy with Romeo… but if things go wrong… well, you never know. Continue reading


Advent quiz

This post was part of the Chalkdust 2016 Advent Calendar.

Behind today’s door… A quiz!

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[Pictures: 1 – adapted from – Pi by Tom Magliery, CC-BY 2.0; 2 – adapted from – IMG_8118 by SAITOR, CC-BY 2.0; 3 – adapted from – Chichen Itza Pyramid by Shayne Bowman, CC-BY 2.0; 4 – adapted from – Chichen Itza Pyramid by Shayne Bowman, CC-BY 2.0; 5 – adapted from – Pac Man Board Game by Ian Crowfeather, CC-BY 2.0; 6 – adapted from – Keys grid with guide grid by Greg Borenstein, CC-BY 2.0; 7 – adapted from – Ellipses by Eric Wagner, CC-BY 2.0; 8 – adapted from – Equals by Mrs TeePot CC-BY 2.0; 9 – adapted from – Equals by Mrs TeePot CC-BY 2.0; other pictures by Chalkdust]


Catching criminals with maths

As a result of decades of empirical research, crime science has emerged as the leading multidisciplinary approach to develop new ways to tackle crime and terrorism. As opposed to traditional criminologists, crime scientists commonly use a broad spectrum of different disciplines and sciences to achieve their aim of cutting crime. Using knowledge from chemistry, geography and physics, to architecture, public health, psychology and information technology, crime science has been able to offer new solutions to the most pressing issues that impact on the health and security of millions of people. Among all the fields and disciplines used, applied mathematics, statistics and econometrics are perhaps the most common tools used by crime scientists.  Continue reading


The mathematics of tea-making

Due to the immense popularity of tea, many heated arguments have been started in kitchens, at dinner tables and indeed on the internet concerning the proper way of making it. There is a lot of confusion surrounding tea–making, including—but not limited to—the question of the right brewing temperature, the amount of milk one should add and the correct order of adding milk and hot water. Clearly there’s way too many variables and one can easily get lost in all that madness. On top of this, looking for advice on the internet results in an inundation of contradictory advice and very hysterical arguments. So let’s put all the emotions aside and seek refuge in the realms of maths and science. Continue reading


Our Favourite Functions: Part I

Functions are rather important in maths.  From the humble $y=$ constant to the exotic special functions, from straight lines to never-ending spirals, from those in one variable to those that live in multidimensional worlds, they’re pretty hard to escape.  So we asked people what their favourite function is and you’ll find their contributions below.  We’d love to hear what your one is, so get in touch at and you can also read Part II of this blog.

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