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How to Mow Your Lawn Using Math

Aug 19, 2019

Dave Linklater over at Popular Mechanics had an observation.

Dedicating years of schooling to pursue higher math degrees may help solve certain problems, but does it make any difference for something as simple as cutting your grass? To find out, I spent the week discussing the mathematics of lawn mowing with my colleagues at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

Our thoughts generally split into two directions: If your lawn is simple enough, then you can do some fairly specific calculations to figure out the most efficient way to mow it. But if your lawn is weird enough, it might resemble a famous mathematical allegory.

So first you have to ask the question, “What is the topology of my lawn?” Topology is a branch of math that’s only officially existed for about a century. Some mathematicians call it “wiggly geometry” or “geometry without measuring.” Topology studies how regions and surfaces are similar or different, but not in terms of measurements like in geometry.

 

He had more advice and even formulated a math equation to make lawn mowing as simple. More inofmration is over at Popular Mechanics.