Sunday, March 14th, 2010

Happy Pi Day!

PiToday is Pi Day!

The Greek letter Pi is the symbol for the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter. It’s celebrated on March 14, (3/14) because the first few digits of Pi are 3.14. (Today is also Albert Einstein’s birthday…he didn’t discover Pi, but he’s geeky coolness unto himself. )

Pi is unique because it’s the only fraction which does not repeat. The folks over at Pi Day.org have links to Pi’s first million digits. Very cool.

Over at 360, they have a Pi Day Sudoko. (I’ve linked to last year’s puzzle, btw; this year’s doesn’t look so cool…)

I’ve always liked Pi (I’m a little Geeky that way…). I remember in school having to memorize it out to 15 digits for an exam…3.14159 is about all I can remember these days. I’m good with that: it’s probably all I need to know it in order to write.

4 comments to Happy Pi Day!

  • Charlie

    Hey, I’m a fan of Pi and I didn’t know it was Pi day. Wow, does that make me an even nerdier nerd?

    Over the last few years I’ve rediscovered a magical device known as a slide rule. Wonderful things really. But I’ve also learned just how weak my math education really was. And I like math so much too.

    I too learned Pi out to some god awful number of digits but I could only get out to 7.

  • Steve

    Kelly,
    Sorry, I’m going to have to out-nerd you. Pi is not the only number whose fractional part doesn’t repeat. There are plenty more. “e,” for example is the basis of natural logarithms, and it doesn’t repeat. There are many square roots, the root of 2, 3, and 5, for example, whose fractional parts don’t repeat.
    Pi is probably the most familiar and most people’s favorite, though. In Carl Sagan’s book, “Contact” (I think that’s the title), he hints at one point that if we take pi out far enough, we might find patterns, such as numbers that form a circle when written out, like this:
    2349082734111142034872934
    2459404541000013453704873
    0298455010000001938495791
    4395430100000000129386523
    5403523410000001345372634
    9453745821000018359623849
    7623457523111143589364598
    See the pattern of 1s and 0s in the center? It would be like God’s little joke. It may not look right after I hit “submit,” so you might have to imagine the circle.

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