“I'd rather regret the things that I have done than the things that I have not.”
― Lucille Ball

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

March 14th (3.14) was Pi-Day or π-Day celebration

It's a tradition in the USA since 2009 that March 14th is celebrated as "Pi Day". Remember that this date is written in US date format as 3/14, which resembles as 3.14 in decimal format, the first three digits of the mathematical constant π or Pi.

See the Pi symbol on the right for much more digits of Pi. As a matter of fact, the number of digits after the decimal point is infinite and never repeating.

Here is an abstract from Wikipedia on the characteristics of Pi.
Being an irrational number, π cannot be expressed exactly as a fraction (equivalently, its decimal representation never ends and never settles into a permanent repeating pattern). Still, fractions such as 22/7 and other rational numbers are commonly used to approximate π. The digits appear to be randomly distributed; however, to date, no proof of this has been discovered. Also, π is a transcendental number – a number that is not the root of any non-zero polynomial having rational coefficients. This transcendence of π implies that it is impossible to solve the ancient challenge of squaring the circle with a compass and straightedge.

From the Piday.org website I want to show you the following quotation.
In THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES Mr. GORDON of Tennessee (for himself, Mr. HALL of Texas, Mr. LIPINSKI, and Mr. BAIRD) submitted a resolution; which was referred to the Committee on Science and Technology to yearly celebrate March 14th as Pi Day. 
If you are interested in the resolution itself, follow the link resolution above.

Apart from this being a playful initiative, the underlying message is to ask for more attention in the American society and especially within the education system for mathematics and science in general, as it seemed the USA was and still is not number #1 anymore in terms of front-runner in science education and the interest of youngsters the last couple of years.

I guess they are more interested in sports and social media, as is the case in many countries. So this initiative is interesting, but by far not sufficient to turn the tide.

Anyway I am a great advocate of this kind of initiatives.

π is the letter P in the classic Greek alphabet and was chosen in the 18th century as the symbol for the ratio between a circle's Perimeter and diameter. It is by far the most discussed and researched mathematical constant that we have.

If you are interested in this subject, just google for Pi, you will find thousands and thousands of websites paying attention to this subject.

Did you that:
  • The Indiana Pi Bill is the popular name for bill #246 of the 1897 sitting of the Indiana General Assembly, one of the most notorious attempts to establish mathematical truth by legislative fiat. The bill was never approved;
  • Albert Einstein, the great 20th century theoretical physicist, was also born on March 14th (1879);
  • 22/7 is one of the most well known integer divisions that approximates π as 3.14 and hence 22 July is celebrated as "Pi Approximation Day";
  • Pi is since a couple of years also a credit card size computer running Linux or Windows 10, called Raspberry Pi; 
  • A Pizza is only a Pie if it's a round cake; square cakes are not allowed. as a Pie


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