The Shoelace Book: A Mathematical Guide to the Best (and Worst) Ways to Lace Your Shoes
About this Title
Burkard Polster, Monash University, Clayton, Victoria, Australia
Publication: Mathematical World
Publication Year 2006: Volume 24
ISBNs: 978-0-8218-3933-1 (print); 978-1-4704-1810-6 (online)
MathSciNet review: MR2225624
MSC: Primary 00A08; Secondary 05A15, 57M25, 90C27
Crisscross, zigzag, bowtie, devil, angel, or star: which are the longest, the shortest, the strongest, and the weakest lacings? Pondering the mathematics of shoelaces, the author paints a vivid picture of the simple, beautiful, and surprising characterizations of the most common shoelace patterns. The mathematics involved is an attractive mix of combinatorics and elementary calculus. This book will be enjoyed by mathematically minded people for as long as there are shoes to lace.
Burkard Polster is a well-known mathematical juggler, magician, origami expert, bubble-master, shoelace charmer, and "Count von Count" impersonator. His previous books include A Geometrical Picture Book, The Mathematics of Juggling, and QED: Beauty in Mathematical Proof.
General mathematical audience interested in the mathematics of lacing.
Table of Contents
- 1. Setting the stage
- 2. One-column lacings
- 3. Counting lacings
- 4. The shortest lacings
- 5. Variations on the shortest lacing problem
- 6. The longest lacings
- 7. The strongest lacings
- 8. The weakest lacings
- A. Related mathematics
- B. Loose ends