Engineer, Physicist, Mathematician, Cow

An engineer, a physicist, and a mathematician are presented with the following problem: to enclose a herd of cattle within a fenced boundary of minimum perimeter.

The engineer takes a roll of fencing with him to the cattle, and walks his way around the herd, placing the fencing as close to the herd as possible.

The physicist finds an analytical solution for the minimal curve bounding the set of cows and uses that formula to place his fencing.

The mathematician builds a tiny fence around himself and declares, "I am on the outside."

David Eisner
cradle@wam.umd.edu
University of Maryland at College Park

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