Eugenia Cheng is devoted to pure mathematics—an abstract field that is complex, largely theoretical, and scarcely mentioned in high school. Which makes her an unlikely candidate to bring math to the masses. “Math is a bit like art,” says Cheng, a senior lecturer at the University of Sheffield in the UK. “You can appreciate it even if you can’t do it. But people have a phobia.” That’s why she recently signed on as scientist in residence at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She wants to rid the world of math aversion. Now she has also written a book: How to Bake π: An Edible Exploration of the Mathematics of Mathematics.
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