Monday, August 17, 2009

Shoelaces and Math

I found this interesting article of how we use math when tying our shoes. Another example how math is an integral part of our lives, even in the simplest tasks such as tying our shoes. Once again, Math is Everywhere!

Tying Shoes: Math May Make Case for How We Lace

Math-phobes of the world, take heart! You might not have realized it, but you've been acing at least one math problem each morning since the day you gave up Velcro.

"Tying shoelaces is a simple, familiar example of a geometrical optimization problem," said Ian Stewart, a professor of mathematics at the University of Warwick in England.

"We learn nothing of practical value about shoelaces that couldn't be found by
experiment—but we learn some interesting things about how to tackle other
problems of a similar kind, and those are often of practical value."
The bows that people make while tying shoelaces have nothing to do with making
the knot stronger, and serve only to make the knot easier to untie.
The ideal lacing should create uniform tension along the length of the lace.
blog it


Anonymous said...

Yeah, I remember the example you gave us in class (over 5 years ago) about the men who cut the tiles for the floors. The guy who cuts the tiles does it like it's second nature but there's math behind it all.

Yameen Khan said...

Ive been tying my shoes for a very long time. I never would have guessed that tying my shoes had math in it. When you think about it you do realize its a sequence of experiments. Math is behind alot of things we do that we would never realize. I am very surprised to read that math is behind tying your shoes because shoes is something I love and I tie them all different ways which is experimental sequences to see which works.

Anonymous said...


WOW! I cannot believe that math takes place in the simpliest forms such as tying your shoes. I would have never guessed that math was involved. It is impoprtant to study hard and really get good at math because math is indeed everywhere. Tying your shoes is a great example showing you that it really is! I also did not know that there are several type of mathmatical ways to tye your shoes. There is seriously a couple knots that you can choose from.

Elaine_Ruiz said...

Elaine Ruiz...Math 100

I would have never guessed that tieing your shoes has anything to do with math. I enjoyed this article because I like that it deals with math in a way many of us would have never guessed. I like visuals when doing math. I think that this is very interesting. Math is really in our everyday lives I am seeing that more now everyday.

Anonymous said...

Laquita Lattery

I find this article very intresting because i never knew that something as simple as tying my shoes could be used as a from of math. I learned to tie my shoes when i was 4 years old and i remember the steps it took to learn. Pull a certain distance apart and loop the bunny in the hole, and pull again until both loops are equal. This article make me think of other things that could contain math that we do or use in our lives everyday.

Anonymous said...

I’ve been tying my shoes since the first grade and when I read this article, I was surprised to realize that math could have possibly been involved in something so small such as the way our laces are tied. I’ve known since I was a little younger that math is important, especially for things we do in our everyday lives. For example, adding together the prices of things we're going to buy before we make a purchase in order to realize how much we’re going to spend beforehand.

Despite this I would have never guessed that mathematics were used in something so simple like tying shoe laces- that's a new one. This article shows that there is much more to math than we realize. We may not always like it, but it shouldn’t be taken for granted so much because it’s important to our everyday lives and daily activities.

- Melissa C. Figueroa (Math - 099)

Michelle said...

Michelle Barrios Mat 100
This article is very interesting. I would never have thought that I would be using math while tieing my shoes. It's funny. This article speaks about how the length affects the shoe tieing. Yes, it does make sense as i read the article. It's amazing how math is used everywhere, even in places where you least expect it. When people say that they are never going to use mnath ever in their lives, they are very wrong.

Anonymous said...

Lilibet Hernandez mat 100

I never knew that there were so many different ways to tie your shoe. Its funny how we use math and we dont even know were using it while doing everyday things. This article helps in thinking more about the things you do and relating it to math. Come to think of it we use math in many different ways each day.

Anonymous said...

Wow it’s unbelievable! I’m usually that person who says “why do we need to learn this stuff, were never going to use it.” This article really surprised me because I’ve been tying my shoes since I was a little girl and it never occurred to me that I was using math while doing it. I think it’s kind of cool how many times in life we use math and we don’t even know it…like now. I never would of though math could be so easy!

Grethel Arbelo - Mat 100

Anonymous said...

Ryan Vareles Math099

I think its a great analogy to compare tying shoelaces to math. Believe it or not, when your tying your shoelaces you are doing it step by step like a math problem becuase some math problems require one or even three steps to do. And when you fail to do a step, you just redo it again to make it successful.

Anonymous said...

Anthony Malden ,Math 99

Well not so sound repetitive like everyone else, I personally see this article as an experiment for multiple ways of tying your shoes.Due to the fact that they analyzed different ways to lace your shoes, and to see how each ways of tying your laces had and effect on your feet.But I do agree it is interesting but to me less likely to be a part of math.

Anonymous said...

WOW! Who would've guessed that math has been our daily morning routine ever since our parents taught us to tie our shoes on our own! Math is essencially important and is everywhere everyday!

Something so basic being math. This article has been very interesting and educational, showing that math in itself has so much more to be realized. Math can even be the way I brush my teeth, coming to think about it; the angle.

This will make me realize now on for sure, that math is so basic and present in our day all day long, from tieing my shoes to calculating my grocery expensives.
Go math!

Isamar Galeano Math099

Anonymous said...

Ashley Arias Math 099:

wow! I would have never guessed that before my brain wakes up in the morning I have already done math! that's crazy! tieing shoes has to be one of the simplest things to do and we do it all the time and since we were like three years old. Being that tieing your shoe involves math, it makes me wonder what other things could have math behind it that we dont even notice.

Alina Lorenzo said...

I knew it!! I always thought tying your shoes had to do something with math, it involved too much thinking. I always believed tying the shoe lace multiple times would make it harder to come looses. I liked this article it caught my attention and I learned something new about it.

Anonymous said...

Esther Jean
i still don't understand how tying your shoe laces has anything to do with math. Theres no counting or adding or subtracting anything so how does math really relate to this concept of us tying our shoes. Is it the fact that we're tyinf 2 strings and makin it into one? who knows i'm confuse.

Anonymous said...

Fedorah Dessources
I find it kind of funny how the things we do on a daily basis involve math. We do those things without eve thinking about them like tying our shoe laces. My parents always told me math was everywhere and i never really thought of it in the literal sense. I am not the biggest fan of math but obviously we need it in our daily lives and we use it so all we cn do is try our hardest to embrace it. This article was really interesting the example given showed me that math is used in the most practical of ways.

Anonymous said...

Junea Augustus

I have never looked at Math as it being all around us. From reading this article, I would have never guessed tying your shoelace involves some math in it. Math takes time and just like tying your shoelaces, it takes practice. Just like there are different styles of shoes, there are different ways to tie your shoelace. This article really made me view math in a different angle.

kzamor said...

it amazing, how we may be doing math on our daily activities. With us in the order hand down grading math, because many of us beleive,after college we do not use math. but it open my eye just because we might longer using pen and pencil that doe's not mean we are done with math.
math 100

Patrick Knowles MAT100 said...

I knew math was in a lot of places but i never expected anyone to write an article about how it was related to tying our shoes. Still this article was an eye opener and i was pleased to learn about the different kind of knots people use to tie their shoes. Anyways i thought this article was cool and now i know that im always doing math.

Anonymous said...

I used to hear this analogy a lot as kid but i never believed it had math in it. It now shocks me to believe that math is actually everywhere and it is important that we succeed in it because we will use everyday of our lives. I have been tying my shoes the traditional way. Now that I know there are others ways, I will try it differently.

Reinaldo Torres MAT 099

Manny said...

I have tO admit Math is everywhere you go i dont enjoy it very much but i deal with everyday without me noticing. Math we have use even when we drive. I couldnt believe this article when i read but its true tying your shoes is math simple math but math never the less.

Manny Gonzalez

Anonymous said...

that's crazy. i never knew that tying shoes was a hole math situation.
Its crazy how that turns into geometry. its also very true if you think about it. you really do make many polygons. i just did it and its cool how they compare this to math.ive clearly learned somthing new.

Anonymous said...

Loving shoes the way that I do!!!! I would have never thought math, and shoe tying would be in the same sentence. Before this article I figured how shoe tying could have math in it. I find this article very interesting it made me view it in a different perspective because, I always figured why shoes and how. This article was able to make me view and understand the different ways. The same steps that you can tie your shoes with you can use the same steps to a math.
Abigail Mesa

Anonymous said...

I find it rivetting how often as adolescents we would say how much we dislike math, not realizing it is something we use in our everyday lives. From simple everyday routines such as tying your shoes or the amount of force you use when closing a door, are all results of math that we're not aware of, and i find that fascinating.

-----Geraldine Sainvil-----

Jennifer Loaiza said...

Be aware that math is everywhere, is clearly a true statement. Who would have ever thought that tying your shoe laces was a mathematical problem? Honestly i didn't know their were so many ways u can tie your shoes! I have always done the "criss-cross" lacing since i can remember. I also found interesting ,that the bows people make while to tying their shoelaces, have nothing to do with making the knot stronger but easir to untie. It contradicts the whole purpose of doing a knot in the first place.

Anonymous said...

Stephanie Maldonado
I found this article extremly interesting. I never thought that a simple everyday task of tying your shoes involved Math. I find this particular article interesting because I taught myself how to tie my shaoelaces. I never thought when I was in kindergarden that I was doing Math. As professor Ian Stewart of mathematics at the University of Warwick in England referred to shoe tying as a geometrical optimization. This article shows the importance of math because something so simple has a large influence in our lives. Tying our shoelaces allows us to safely walk around and make sure our footwear is securely attached to our feet.

Anonymous said...

Naromy, Etienne

i would have never realized that math is invovled in tying my shoes. i wake up in the morning every day and would have never realized that math is invovled in the process of tying my shoe laces. this article has showed me that their is more to math then i realized. something so basic as tying on shoes amazes me.

Anonymous said...

Shanell Adorno:

The article that I read was Tying Shoes: Math May Make Case for How We Lace. This article helped me gained how small daily activities can have a mathematical explanation. The article is not trying to put on a pedestal shoes or shoelaces, but explain the different methods of tying shoe laces. The technique of tying shoelaces is an example of geometrical optimization problems. Something as simple as tying your laces which we have been doing for many years, is related to the world of math.

Anonymous said...

Shelenia Virgo MATH099

i would have never notice that tying my shoe will have something to do with math. but now as i had read this article i have realized in math theres a step by being step process that you have to follow. also when tying a shoe there is a step by step process being followed. therefore tying a shoe is a form of math

Anonymous said...

Jennifer Gomez

Wow.I am shocked. I would have never guess that the most simplest thing like tying your shoes on a daily basis would have anything to do with math. Especially geometry; but now that i put two and two together this makes perfect sense. And if you think about now and days many people tie their shoes in many different ways so there is so much math going on.