Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Pi Approximation Day


Happy Pi Approximation Day:

"BACK IN THE DAY" before we had hand held electronic calculators with a "pi" button we had to remember the digits of pi or we had to use an approximation for the digits of pi.

I started out in college studying engineering and memorizing pi to 4 digits (past the decimal point) was sufficient for most courses and most applications:


A popular approximation was 22/7, but this only gave an accuracy of two digits (past the decimal point) or:


A better approximation was 355/113 which provided an accuracy of 6 digits (past the decimal point):


Real math nerds relied on memorizing mnemonics to determiine the digits of pi.  I did not have to because pi had a marking on my slide rule scales.

Since I taught math for so many years I have all the digit of pi memorized now.  Just look below:

Wait for it!

Wait for it!

0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9!  Those are all the digits of Pi!

I also memorized all the digits of pi in binary.  Do you want to ...  Oh, never mind then.


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