Pi day - March 14th

Pi day - March 14th

Posted by nag.rajan on Wed, 2008-03-19 03:25 in

Recently, an interesting day passed by us, probably without many of us noticing it. March 14th was celebrated as PI day by Mathematicians around the world.

I would have missed it if not for these mails which did a good job of reminding about it. I might have added some of my own comments about PI day, but these mails sum it up so well...

Dear friends,
Happy Pi Day! Don't you think Pi is the most AWESOME mathematical
constant around? As far as I know, it's the only constant with its
own holiday.

You certainly don't see people celebrating "e Day" on
February 7th, or "Phi Day" on January 6th (Golden Ratio).

Personally, I am such a big fan of Pi that I don't only celebrate Pi
Day on March 14th -- I also celebrate the lesser known "Hexadecimal Pi
Day" on March 24th, and the even lesser known "Pi Approximation Day"
on July 22nd, which is 22/7 in the European date format.

In honor of everyone's favorite irrational (and transcendental)
number, Joel and I will be serving up as many different varieties of
pie as we can find -- pizza pie, apple pie, pumpkin pie, cherry pie,
chicken pot pie... perhaps even quiche, Scotch pie, or Shepherds' pie,
if we can find them. Not only will these pies be delicious, but every
single one of them will have the same ratio of circumference to
diameter that we all know and love.

Speaking of pi, I bet you didn't know that:
- The first Pi Day celebration was held at the San Francisco
Exploratorium in 1988.
- Monzy is a junior member of the Pi Club and has memorized pi to 30
digits. Ask him to recite it at TGIF!
- Many people have memorized pi to hundreds or thousands of digits,
but strictly speaking, this is unnecessary: a value truncated to 39
decimal places is sufficient to compute the circumference of any
circle that fits in the observable universe to a precision comparable
to the size of a hydrogen atom.
- Lindsay Lohan has a new Maltese puppy that she named Pi, because she
is really interested in mathematics.
- The Guinness-recognized record for remembered digits of pi is 67,890
digits, held by Lu Chao, a 24-year-old graduate student from China. It
took him 24 hours and 4 minutes to recite to the 67,890th decimal
place of pi without an error.
- There are many ways to memorize pi, including the use of "piems,"
which are poems that represent pi in a way such that the length of
each word (in letters) represents a digit. Here is an example of a
piem: "How I need a drink, alcoholic of course, after the heavy
lectures involving quantum computing."
- One of the above bits of pi trivia is totally false.

So come help us celebrate this wonderful number, featured in
Couloumb's Law, Heisenberg's uncertainty principle, and probability
density function for the normal distribution. I'm sure we will have a
blast, drinking beer, eating pizza, summing the Gregory-Leibniz
series, and debating whether the biblical passage in 2 Chronicles 4:2
actually states that pi=3 according to God.

Bottoms up,
TGIF coordinator and admirer of the Bailey-Borwein-Plouffe formula

Another interesting one was from the department chair,

Hi Students:
The math class at my daughter's school have decided tomorrow is \Pi day. The exact \Pi time will be somewhere after 3am (note - the correct time is probably before 2am (1:59)). My daughter has decided it is really pie day and is preparing accordingly with a cherry pie.


First few digits of PI

Follow the link below for PI accurate to a million digits... (I wonder why anyone would like to do that - maybe to make sure that it doesn't really repeat - but go ahead nevertheless)

ps : Someone read the post and commented "Why is March 14th celebrated as the PI day?"
Answer - date format is 3/14 in the american calender. The most precise PI day/time might be March 14th, 1592, 6:53:58 am, which was over 400 years ago. We cant have a PI day in the European calender as 31/4 does not exist, neither does 3/14.

Memorizing PI

Here is an interesting comment from the PI day website (a pi enthusiast responding to a question "How many PI digits have you memorized?"),

I know around 190, and aim for more. If I could just remember 176451 decimals, I would get the next 6 for “free”, since the first 6 digits then are repeated for the first time. (314159)
If I continue, and reach my goal of memorizing 17387594880 decimals, I would get even more for free, since the next 10 digits then will be 0123456789. :-)
But that’s what it’s all about, isn’t it? …to get the digits for free by connecting them to stories or sequences you already know. If you for instance know Eulers number e, and are able to memorize 45111908393 digits of pi, the next 11 digits would be the start of e. (27182818284)
That may be aiming too high, but let’s say you could memorize all those digits. Then, to prove it, if spending 1.5 seconds to pronounce each 10 digit (0.15 sec/dig), you would need more than 200 years without sleep or pauses to tell someone what you knew. I’m happy I only know 190… :-)
PI is fun!!! Memorizing it is like walking into a deep cave or similar. You always wonder what comes after the inner place you know…

I have only managed about 6 until now (3.14159).

Posted by nag.rajan on Sun, 2008-04-13 08:26