This week's book giveaway is in the Big Data forum. We're giving away four copies of Elasticsearch in Action and have Radu Gheorghe & Matthew Lee Hinman on-line! See this thread for details.

Q: How many cuts can a round cake have in order to get the maximum number of similar size pieces? justify the answer?

This is a famous interview question..well now most of candidates prepare that question before it asks in an interview but when your first time facing it in a interview its a pretty decent question to measure your analytical or the way of you thinking

The first cut divides the cake into two pieces. The second cut, which passes through both of those pieces, divides them into four pieces. The third cut, which passes through all four pieces, divides them into eight pieces.

Since this is the mathematical no-crumb cake, four cuts produce 16 pieces, five cuts produce 32 pieces... you should be getting the picture by now.

Paul Clapham wrote:The first cut divides the cake into two pieces. The second cut, which passes through both of those pieces, divides them into four pieces. The third cut, which passes through all four pieces, divides them into eight pieces.

Since this is the mathematical no-crumb cake, four cuts produce 16 pieces, five cuts produce 32 pieces... you should be getting the picture by now.

They are not similar sized pieces. Or if they are I need a diagram :wink:

When you do things right, people won't be sure you've done anything at all.

They can be, if you are permitted to rearrange pieces in between cuts. Nothing in the problem statement seems to preclude this.

For the version of the problem requiring just eight pieces, it's possible to do this without rearranging pieces - if the top and bottom of the cake are identical. Or at least if they're similar enough that the eight octants can be considered "similar sized". For a cake with frosting, most of us would not consider pieces from the top to be equivalent to pieces from the bottom. but perhaps we're supposed to overlook that.