A sign at a Middletown, Conn., deli caught Anna Haensch's eye. It read, "Please refrain from discussing mathematics while waiting in line."
Haensch, who teaches mathematics at Pittsburgh's Duquesne University, knew there had to be a good story behind the sign. So she tweeted a photo of it, and her picture went viral. That's when she did some sleuthing of her own.
CO: What went through your mind when you saw a sign in this deli that said, "Please refrain from discussing mathematics while waiting in line"?
AH: Well, first I thought what on Earth could have happened here to require the making of a sign to prohibit people from talking about mathematics? Immediately, you can imagine, there must have been some kind of a brawl over fibonacci numbers or calculus or something.
AH: Oh yeah, for sure. And, actually, the deli's in Middletown, Conn. And I'm here on a research visit right now and I was actually just taking a break from working with a collaborator here and I walked down to the deli to get a sandwich. So I was thinking about math when I saw the sign, luckily I didn't think it out loud though.