AP Biology class blog for discussing current research in Biology

Mac and Cheese Mathematics

Tonight I plan on cooking some mac and cheese. So I went to the store and bought some pasta called Campanelle. Ever hear of it? It resembles a small bell or flower, depending on how you turn it. What if I told you that the Campanelle pasta has a unique mathematical equation to it, that when entered into a program would create a digital rendering of that particular pasta? No, I’m not lying!

An article from The New York Times reports that a Mr. Huisman discovered after dinner one day that the pasta he was eating was a very interesting shape. He decided to give it a go in his computer software Mathematica, and try to discover the equation that creates different pieces of pasta. Miraculously, he was able to come up with the equation, and many more as well!

Photo Credit: Beau Maes

Mr. Huisman may not have been the pioneer of such work however, because in London, two architects were thinking the same thing. Marco Guarnieri and George L. Legendre began to toy with the idea of pasta’s having equations too. Eventually, such experimenting gave way to Legendre’s 208 page book: “Pasta by Design“. Not even this was enough for Mr. Legendre, however,  because he was prompted to create a new kind of pasta! It is named ioli, for his baby daughter, and although it was planned to have about 100 pounds ordered, the production has stopped because of difficulties keeping the ends together.

I wish I could create a new kind of pasta. What would you guys make yours look like? What would you name it? Do you think you will buy Mr. Legendre’s book?

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1 Comment

  1. lagis2012

    Pasta is my favorite food! I would definitely have to give serious thought to what my pasta would look like. This makes pasta so much more attractive as a food since the variety is exciting. I looked up more information on this topic.
    Some of the designs are really cool.

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