Mike Pomranz
June 23, 2017

Anyone who has ever used the ignorant refrain “When will I ever need math in real life?” take note… because I’m pretty sure you have pizza in your real life, right? And math and your large pepperoni pie are about to collide.

Though some of you are probably already familiar with the “pizza equation,” it’s always good to get a quick refresher lest our minds start playing tricks on us again. As the YouTube channel AsapScience explains, though menus typically list the size of a pizza by its diameter, you don’t actually eat a diameter of pizza; that’s only in two dimensions. You eat a three-dimensional circle of pizza.

That third dimension creates some slightly trickier math, because as you probably learned whether you enjoyed it or not, when determining the area of a circle, the radius (aka half the diameter) gets squared, meaning it grows more rapidly.


So what are the ramifications of this “math”? Well, pizza sizes work a bit counterintuitively. If you have a 12-inch pizza, a 24-inch pizza might sound like twice as much pizza. But actually, a 17-inch pizza is almost exactly the same amount of pizza as a 12-inch pizza. Meanwhile, pizza prices tend to go up in a more linear fashion. The big takeaway: Larger pizzas are almost always a better bang for your buck than smaller pizzas.

Did we follow all that? Do we all love math now?? Regardless, all this math is making me hungry. Let’s just not order pizza – it’s too confusing.

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