Super Pi Day! 3.14.15

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Today is a BIG deal for math folks.  March 14, 2015, designated 3.14.15 in usual date formatting, correctly displays the first five digits of pi, the amazingly constant given from the ratio of a circle's circumference to its diameter.

If you go a step further and add a particular time, say 9:26 am, then you get 3.1415926, which gives you the value of pi accurate to 8 digits.  If you get crazy and go to 53 seconds later, then you have 3.141592653 which is pi accurate to 10 digits!!  This is a big deal because that level of accuracy only comes once a century.

As a result, this year's pi day is being heralded as "super pi day" or the "pi day of the century" (see #SuperPiDay, #PiDay2015, & #PiDayoftheCentury in Twitter searches for way more).

So, what are people doing to celebrate this big mathy occasion?

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Well, the most tried and true way of celebrating, according to Forbes, is to recite as many digits as possible.  As you probably know, pi is irrational, which means its a ratio whose decimal equivalent never repeats, like say how 1/3 is the same as .33333..... (continue forever), and never terminates, like the way 1/4 is the same as .25.  As a result, many people over the centuries have been obsessed with taking pi out to as many digits as possible (and memorizing as many as possible).  Right now, the record for calculating pi is over 10 trillion (!) digits according to Numberword and the record for reciting digits of pi is 67,890 digits held by Chao Lu according to Math Fail.  They also offer some tips on how to memorize more than the three you probably now know. One of the most used? Piems?

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 Want to try your hand?  Here's a little bit of pi to get you started:

digits of pi.tiff

Then, there's the great story of the couple who wanted to get married on super pi day because they got engaged last June 28 (6.28 or two pi). Isn't love (and math) grand?

As always, I'd love to hear from you.    

References:

Rimwe's Math Board on Pinterest (with several Pi pins)

Forbes article on ways to celebrate Pi Day 2015

Pi Day discussions on Reddit

Couple to marry on Super Pi Day

The Joy of Pi

Pi Pages (where you can listen to Pi, in French no less)

Exploratorium's PiDay 2015 page

Pi in Second Life

Wearing Pi activity giving real life context to hat sizes

The Pi Search page

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The Solver Blog

Author:  Dr. Diana S. Perdue

© Rimwe Educational Resources LLC 2018