Cooking segments on late night television are frequent—Jimmies Kimmel and Fallon regularly feature appearances by chefy friends like Adam Perry Lang and Mario Batali. Math segments on late night television are rare. Stephen Colbert had the best of both last night when pure mathematics lecturer, skilled amateur baker and the most wonderfully energetic nerd you will ever meet, Eugenia Cheng joined him on the show.
This winter we chatted with her about what chocolate cake has to do with mathematical proofs (surprisingly, more than you’d think). But for her Late Show appearance she took Colbert through the process of making puff pastry, which conveniently relates to exponents. She also did a bit of sword fighting with the host.
If you didn’t think multiplication could brighten your day, prepare to be proven wrong. And for more on the close relationship between the food we eat and the math we don’t understand, check out Cheng’s book How to Bake Pi.