Burkard Polster

Burkard Polster (born 26 February 1965 in Würzburg) is a German[1] mathematician who runs the "Mathologer" channel on YouTube.[2]

Polster earned a doctorate from the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg in 1993 under the supervision of Karl Strambach.[3] He works as an associate professor of mathematics at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia.[4] Other universities that Polster has been affiliated with, before joining Monash in 2000, include the University of Würzburg, University at Albany, University of Kiel, University of California, Berkeley, University of Canterbury, and University of Adelaide.[5]

Polster's research involves topics in geometry, recreational mathematics, and the mathematics of everyday life, including how to tie shoelaces[6] or stabilize a wobbly table.[7]


Polster is the author of multiple books including:

  • A Geometrical Picture Book. Springer. 1998. ISBN 0-387-98437-2.[8]
  • Geometries on Surfaces. with Günter Steinke. Cambridge University Press. 2001. ISBN 0-521-66058-0.CS1 maint: others (link)[9]
  • The Mathematics of Juggling. Springer. 2003. ISBN 0-387-95513-5.[10]
  • Q.E.D.: Beauty in Mathematical Proof. Wooden Books. 2004. ISBN 190426350X.[11] Included in the four-book compilation Scientia: Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, and Astronomy for All (2011) and translated into German as Sciencia: Mathematik, Physik, Chemie, Biologie und Astronomie für alle verständlich (Librero, 2014, in German).
  • Les Ambigrammes: l'art de symétriser les mots (in French). Editions Ecritextes. 2004. ISBN 2915633002.
  • The Shoelace Book: A Mathematical Guide to the Best (and Worst) Ways to Lace Your Shoes. American Mathematical Society. 2006. ISBN 0821839330.[12]
  • Eye Twisters: Ambigrams & Other Visual Puzzles to Amaze and Entertain. Constable. 2007. ISBN 9781402757983.
  • Math Goes to the Movies. with Marty Ross. Johns Hopkins University Press. 2012. ISBN 9781421404837.CS1 maint: others (link)[13]
  • A Dingo Ate My Math Book: Mathematics from Down Under. with Marty Ross. American Mathematical Society. 2017. ISBN 9781470435219.CS1 maint: others (link)


  1. "Burkard Polster, Mathemagician". YouTube. Monash University Faculty of Science. 5 May 2014. Retrieved 12 June 2018.
  2. "Mathologer", News, Events, and Announcements, American Mathematical Society, 4 May 2015
  3. Burkard Polster at the Mathematics Genealogy Project
  4. "Burkard Polster", Faculty profiles, Monash University, retrieved 23 January 2018
  5. 60 seconds with ... Burkard Polster, Monash University, 17 October 2007, retrieved 23 January 2018
  6. Chang, Kenneth (10 December 2002), "Seeking Perfection in Shoe Lacing, With 43,200 Choices", The New York Times
  7. Devlin, Keith (February 2007), "How to stabilize a wobbly table", Devlin's Angle, Mathematical Association of America
  8. Review of A Geometrical Picture Book:
  9. Review of Geometries on Surfaces:
  10. Reviews of The Mathematics of Juggling:
  11. Review of Q.E.D.: Beauty in Mathematical Proof:
  12. Reviews of The Shoelace Book:
  13. Reviews of Math Goes to the Movies:

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