It’s true—Ethan has for years been preaching the gospel of “Math is coolio, yo” and touring the country doing his magic square and giving talks to eager audiences. All this work culminated in winning the championship on Fox TV’s new show called SuperHuman.
What’s Ethan’s connection to Pizza for Good? Glad you asked. Chapter 3, Pi, is a profile of Ethan and his math and education advocacy—representing a pizza so incredibly unusual and tasty I won’t reprint it anywhere except in the pages of PFG. Yes, you have to buy it to find out. Picking up from the chapter itself:
Ethan is one of a handful of “mathemagicians,” as they’re called; he’s active, traveling the country performing and speaking; he even earned $30 doing a sidewalk show in Las Vegas. “I know kids will get up and do it for their school talent show,” he says, “but I decided to keep going forward. You won’t see a ton of mathemagicians like you do singers or actors.” And most artists are not going to be winning any math competitions—at least not the artist-types I run with.
We gathered in Bethel, with his mother, Rachel, a gal pal of mine since high school—along with the rest of “The Brownies,” including Chris and Spencer—so we could craft our very own Pi pizza. In other words, if we turned this visit into a biography, it’d be called Ethan Brown Tosses His First-Ever Pi Pie.
The crazy concoction has a sweet-and-savory cherry-butter glaze that, when baked, caramelizes into a goodness that can only be felt by the palette, not described in words. Which makes sense, since mathematics has no generally accepted definition, according to Ethan.
“Mathematics is such a broad topic that it is impossible to make a definition apply to every single subtopic. One of the themes in my recent talks is that schools don’t give a broad math education, but rather focus it in on algebra, geometry, trigonometry, and calculus. This makes students think that there is a strict definition of the topics included in mathematics, when there are actually many.”
(Writer’s note: Ethan’s project, The Sweaty Penguin, is an excellent satire blog bringing attention to climate change and global warming. Check it out! And watch the mini-doc about our first event below.)
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