SpareRoom, one of the UK's largest platforms to find flat shares, were keen to find a mathematical solution to the dilemma of how best to carry a couch to an apartment up a flight of stairs, with no elevator in the building. If you're thinking of Ross Geller's iconic 'Pivot' scene from TV show Friends, you're right! They hired Cow PR, a London-based agency, to outsource the perfect solution.
The project was promptly posted on Kolabtree and received six proposals. Mathematicians and data science experts from Kolabtree's global network of freelancers sent in their proposals, but the solution that stood out came from South-Africa based astrophysicist Caroline Zabarowski (Zunckel). A mathematician with a PhD in Astrophysics from the University of Oxford, and several years of experience working in data science and mathematics, Caroline solved the conundrum by working through 10,000 simulations to solve for the optimum angle of vertical tilt. The solution was published worldwide in leading national media such as Mirror, Washington Post and Metro.