Mowing Your Lawn Without a Calculator? So Retro!

Lawn mower cutting grass Efficient lawn mowing may take a little math, but it'll save you time behind the mower. Image: if winter ends/Flickr

Don’t just mow your lawn willy-nilly. Get out the calculator, fool with some algorithms, and plot the most efficient mowing path.

What’s more fun than mowing your lawn?

For me, just about anything else. But for Burkard Polster and Marty Ross, finding the mathematic way to mow the most grass in the least amount of time is a pretty good time, too. And in a post, the math masters reveal their theoretical map for efficient mowing.

They agree that straight-line mowing covers the most ground with the least overlap. But houses, rocks, paths, and irregular boundaries can make straight mowing impossible. So the math whizzes employed circles, vertexes and triangular grids (good times!) to map the most efficient mowing path.

Of course, their solution generated loads of comments from other lawn and math geeks, who could have mowed the entire neighborhood in the time they devoted to crunching the numbers.

What would you rather do: mow or math?