That's why I'm a huge fan of Laura McLay at Punk Rock Operations Research, a real-life professor of operations research at Virginia Commonwealth University. I think she and I may be twins separated at birth. Her blog has been in my feed reader for a couple of months, and I've been enjoying every article. My favorite one had to be the one about the convex hull of crepe recipes. I've often thought about the same sort of thing -- if you look at different cookbooks, you'll get different ingredient proportions in recipes for the same food. What kind of variation can you make in a recipe and still produce a good product?
Anyhow, I love Laura's blog and I encourage you all to check it out!