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  • Eden Autmezguine

The Perfect Pancake: mathematics students unveil formula for the perfect pancake

Mathematics students unveil formula for the perfect pancake.


Have you ever been in this situation? You stand in front of your stove as black smoke begins to rise from the skillet resting on the stove-top? Charred remains of what was once pancakes have now turned black. You throw up your hands in despair! Defeated by breakfast’s greatest food. Or, have you ever found yourself with pancakes so flat that they might as well have been one-dimensional? Have you ever wished that you could achieve the perfect pancake with a little less work? Well, wish no more, because science is here to save the day.


There’s a formula for everything, perfect pancakes included. What do you mean, you ask? Well, in honor of Pancake Day (which is Tuesday, February 25), mathematics students from Sheffield University’s Maths Society came up with what they consider to be the formula for the perfect pancake.


With help from the Meadowhall Shopping Center, and some trial and error, the students worked out the formula. It takes several variables into account, such as the size of the pan used, how many pancakes you’d like to make, and how thick you want them to be.

Gaby Thompson, president of the University of Sheffield’s Maths Society (SUMS), says, “cooking is full of scientific and mathematical formulas, so when Meadowhall approached us to see if we’d like to join in the fun, we jumped at the chance.”

“Cooking is a fun and innovative way to demonstrate how maths can be used and explored in everyday life and we hope by developing this formula it will encourage more people to engage with the subject and help to combat maths phobia.” Gaby Thompson, president of the University’s Maths Society

The formula has been chef-tested and goes as follows:

It turns out that science and math have a wide range of applications that are not solely limited to your kitchen appliances- they can be applied to food, too!

Disclaimer: the author has not tried out this formula. Any imperfections are at the reader’s discretion.

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