Somerset Times

π Day is 14/3/19

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Somerset Times Edition

Week 5, Term One 2019

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Thursday, March 14 is an important day in a Mathematician’s calendar. This date, when written as 3/14, is officially recognised by the US congress as π day.

“Pi day is approaching fast
And we must celebrate the past.
Three point one four one five nine;
On that number we shall dine.”

2019 - T1 - W5 - pi night

π is the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter but ironically, it is an irrational number, so it cannot be written exactly as a fraction. This means that the decimal expansion of π goes on and on ad infinitum …… with no repeating pattern.

Did you know that calculating the exact value of π is the only mathematical problem that has been worked on since antiquity - and has yet to be resolved?

Were you aware that March 14 is also Einstein’s birthday? I am sure Einstein would be pleased to share this anniversary with Shauna English (Year 11) and Mark Ritchie (Year 12) who are both in Starkey 3.

Would you like to find out how π crops up in so many unlikely places like the Bible, grandfather clocks, rivers and even ant nests?

Can you believe that the current world record for reciting pi is 67,890 digits? It took Chinese college student Lu Chao just over 24 hours to perform this feat.

To celebrate this arithmetical anniversary, the Σomerset Mαthematicαλ Σociety, ΣMΣ has planned suitable celebrations. There will be talks by students on a variety of mathematical topics, a lecture by yours truly, a pi-lates performance and a pi reciting extravaganza - all rounded off in the aftermath with a slice of pie.

This is a free community event and everyone who has ever drawn a circle is invited. The event starts at 4.30pm in the SLC on Thursday March 14 with the first 50 people to arrive to receive a free gift!

Please register your attendance on the college website and if you would like to recite pi or get involved in the evening, please email me for further details.

I look forward to seeing you there.

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