Award: George Pólya
Year of Award: 2004
Publication Information: The College Mathematics Journal, Vol. 34 (2003), pp. 258-263
Summary: This paper applies some creativity to the classic "box problem" from calculus to make some unexpected improvements. A history and bibliography of the problem as a "mathematical recreation are also provided.
About the Author(s): (from The College Mathematics Journal, (2003)) Greg N. Frederickson has been a professor of computer science at Purdue University for the last twenty years. He has done research in the area of the design and analysis of algorithms, in particular on graph and network algorithms and data structures. He has authored two books, Dissections: Plane and Fancy and Hinged Dissections: Swinging and Twisting. Reflecting his experience as a (strictly) amateur squash player, he enjoys thinking inside the box. Recently he has tried hard not to fold under pressure.