Pi is the ratio of a circles circumference to it's diameter. With the use of computers, Pi has been calculated to over 1 trillion digits past the decimal. Pi is an irrational and transcendental number meaning it will continue infinitely without repeating. The symbol for pi was first used in 1706 by William Jones, but was popular after it was adopted by the Swiss mathematician Leonhard Euler in 1737.

I will be celebrating today with my AFM class (upper level students). We will be bringing in pies to eat, doing an activity where they measure circular items to compare the ratio of the circumference to the diameter and "discover" pi, and going to the computer lab to do a "scavenger hunt" about pi -- basically using the internet to look up some cook stuff about pi.

This is the scavenger hunt if any of you are curious, with answers:

1. What is the circumference of a circle?

the distance around a circle

2. What is the diameter of a circle?

the distance across a circle through the center

3. What is pi the ratio of?

circumference of a circle to the diameter of a circle (C/d)

4. Is pi a rational or irrational number? Explain.

irrational - it will continue infinitely without repeating

5. What is pi to 30 decimal places?

3.141592653589793238462643383279

6. What value of pi did the Egyptians obtain 2000 years before Christ?

[8d/9)]

^{2 }= 3.1605
7. What value of pi did the Babylonians obtain?

3.125

8. Find your birthday in pi.

mine appears after 24,739 digits!

9. In the year 1997, D. Takahasi and Y. Kanada calculated PI to 51,539,600,000 decimal places. What type of computer did they use? Where did they do their calculations?

HITACHI SR2201.

10. Which fraction is closest to the actual value of PI 337/120 or 22/7 or355/113?

22/7

11. What does it mean to "Square a Circle"?

To construct a square with the same area as a given circle by using only a finite number of steps with a compass and straight edge

12. People once thought that trying to square a circle was an illness. What was the name of the illness?

Marbus Cyclometricus

13. What is the symbol for pi? Who first used it and when? What Swiss mathematician was it popularized by?

Babylonians around 2000 B.C. William Jones

14. Who were the first people known to find a value of pi? When was it?

Babylonians around 2000 B.C.

15. In the first one million digits of pi, how many threes are there? How many nines?

3’s, 100, 229 and 9’s 100,106

16. You can memorize PI by using things called "mnemonics." What is a "mnemonic"?

A device to help a person remember something

17. What was the most inaccurate version of PI? Explain who, when, and what the value was.

1897 Indiana legislature tried to legally establish the value of Pi as 3, 3.2, or 4. Edwin Goodwin wrote the bill.

18. Who memorized 42,195 digits of PI on February 18, 1995? Where was the person from?

Daniel Tammet

19. What year was the first Pi Day?

1988

20. How many digits of Pi has the Guiness World Record holder memorized?

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