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Slicing Pizzas, Racing Turtles, and Further Adventures in Applied Mathematics by Robert B. Banks

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22

Cartography: How to Flatten Spheres

It is said that Columbus must surely have been an economist, a stockbroker, or something like that to have successfully raised the funds for the journey of his three small ships across the Atlantic back in 1492. But even though Columbus did receive fairly strong financial support from the Spanish crown, he definitely was not an economist. In fact, he was a very competent seaman and, more importantly, he possessed considerable knowledge of and experience in the principles of navigation and geography.

The fact that Columbus mistook the vast land mass we now call the Americas for south or east Asia was not entirely his fault. By the late fifteenth century, when he made his journeys, there were quite accurate ...

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