Is it worth going to the Math Building just to snack and vibe? Bwog critics Alec and Layla give their candid opinion.

Situated in room 508 in the Mathematics Building, the Louis Harry Cantor Lounge is the cradle of the brilliant minds that actually find mathematics enjoyable. People come here for silent pondering or quiet discussion, and, occasionally, for writing important-looking (and definitely not intimidating) formulas on the blackboards.

To all the hungry STEM kids: forget about Chef Don's Pizza; come to the Math Lounge.
Nothing gives you a better appetite than this work of art.

But we digress. At the beginning of this semester, we caught wind of the news that snacks are served here every weekday starting from 4 pm. So we did the only rational thing: climbing two flights of stairs, we paid the lounge a visit.


To blend in with the lounge’s denizens, we brought with us a math textbook. (For reasons completely unrelated to the rumor that the graduate students who frequent here despise elementary mathematics, we handpicked a book that did not have “Introduction” in its title.)

This proved to be unnecessary: nobody seemed to notice this thoughtful little touch. (The hardcover did come in handy later, as we needed a place to put our plates).


The snacks were nothing extraordinary, though they offered a welcome change from the usual selections in the dining halls. For instance, there were to be found orange slices in the fruit bowls, at least seven varieties of cookies, as well as other assortments of desserts. Apparently, there used to be cheese plates, but not when we were there. (Maybe the cheeses are fed to whatever monster that is residing in the fence outside the building?) And if one is feeling thirsty, instead of indulging himself in tap water, he can make himself a cup of tea with readily available tea bags and the hot water machine in the kitchen area.

All in all, 7.5/10.

A closer look at all the snacks


The biggest selling point of the math lounge is perhaps its unique ambiance. You can join a circle of students to talk about the cool stuff you just learned in class (or nod along wisely like Joey from Friends.) If you have time to spare, you can wait a bit longer and join the math majors to make chalk marks on the blackboard. Should you feel particularly adventurous, you can even squeeze yourself into the circle of professors because that is not scary at all and no one will judge you if you make a beeline for the exit the moment they turn their attention to you.

But the best thing to do, in our humble opinion, is to separate yourself from the crowd and find a place to sit. The lounge is surprisingly comfortable. You can sit in wooden chairs, leather armchairs, and, if you don’t mind sitting intimately side by side with total strangers, on the lovely couches. We are living such a fast-paced life, and it is paramount that we pause once in a while and reflect on things that are important to us.

And that is the beauty of this lounge: since it has seen its fair share of silent thinkers, even if you just sit there pondering deep questions like what to have for dinner, an outsider might still find the blank stare on your face almost profound.

Photos via Author