Archive for the ‘mathematics’ Category

There Are 177,147 Ways to Knot a Necktie

February 18, 2014

There Are 177,147 Ways to Knot a Necktie

“A small team of mathematicians, led by Mikael Vejdemo-Johansson of the of the KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, has uploaded a paper to the preprint server arXiv describing a mathematical process they used to determine that the number of ways to tie a tie is 177,147—far more than previous research has suggested.”

— “Mathematicians calculate that there are 177,147 ways to knot a tie,” Bob Yirka, (links added)

Here in Washington DC the necktie is an integral part of a man’s traditional garb, like the blue blazer and khaki pants. Most of us pick one of two or three ways to fasten a cravat and stick with it. For us, the early morning act of knotting a tie has a reflexive, mechanical nature.