Pi Day

By Donna Westfall

Pi on pie

Today is the day that all those math nerds (genuises) get to shout out Pi to 10 digits or more.  PiBy definition, is the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter. Pi is always the same number, no matter which circle you use to compute it.  It is the most recognized mathematical constant in the world. Scholars often consider Pi the most important and intriguing number in all of mathematics

Let’s start: Pi =  3.14 or March 14th only chosen because it resembles 3.14.  The two really have no connection except someone decided to make March 14th Pi Day. Being that it’s 2015 and the next 2 digits are 15; someone someplace decided that we can borrow those two digits from the year 2015 to give us 3.1415.

Pi was first rigorously calculated by one of the greatest mathematicians of the ancient world, Archimedes of Syracuse (287-212 B.C.). Archimedes was so engrossed in his work that he did not notice that Roman soldiers had taken the Greek city of Syracuse. When a Roman soldier approached him, he yelled in Greek “Do not touch my circles!” The Roman soldier simply cut off his head and went on his business.

The father of calculus (meaning “pebble used in counting” from calx or “limestone”), Isaac Newton calculated Pi to at least 16 decimal places.

In 2002, a Japanese scientist found 1.24 trillion digits of Pi using a powerful computer called the Hitachi SR 8000, breaking all previous records

In 1995, another Japanese man, Hiroyoki Gotu, (born in Tokyo in 1973)  memorized 42,195 places of Pi and is considered the current Pi champion.

Is it possible to totally calculate Pi or is it a number that reaches into infinity? Ummm…sounds like the answer to that is infinity.

Talking about math genuises, did you know who’s birthday it is today?

Albert Einstein

Stand-up comedian, John Evans once quipped: “What do you get if you divide the circumference of a jack-o’-lantern by its diameter? Pumpkin π

And that about sums it up.  Pie I understand.  Pi….. well, I’ll leave that to the math nerds.




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