Scientists come one step closer to the perfect poppy-seed bagel

Raymond Chen

It’s easy to distribute points evenly across a flat surface, but doing so over a curved surface is a much more complicated problem. Even spheres are hard. NPR’s Scott Simon interviews mathematician Ed Saff who with colleague Doug Hardin has developed a new method of attacking this complex problem. Press release from Vanderbilt University

. You can also download the paper (in PDF form) from Dr. Saff’s home page, if you think you’re smart enough to understand it. (Don’t ask me for help. I have two degrees in mathematics and was in over my head by halfway through page 2. I couldn’t even make it out of the Introduction.)