New England

On their last day of classes, the sophomores of Thomas Aquinas College, New England, surprised their mathematics tutors — Dr. Sean Cunningham and Dr. Peter Cross — with a sugary commemoration of the work that had occupied much of their second semester: Apollonius of Perga’s Conics. Enterprising sophomore bakers painstakingly assembled a cone-shaped cake, made of 11 thin layers. “It’s a little oblique, but we did what we could,” said Teresa Bingham, who helped put together the surprise.

A humorous send off to a year of wonderful mathematical discovery, the bright-yellow frosting color-matched to the cover of the edition used in the classroom. Students shared laughs over the absurd work of confectionery art.

Freshman and sophomores spend more time in the math classroom than in any other, and so the dessert was an appropriate send-off, looking back on the material covered and providing levity in the lead-up to final examinations.