UVU Review visited the Math Lab, asking a few tutors on the spot to name as many numerals in pi as they could. Here are the results, with a joke and a fact.
Pi says, “get real” I say, “be rational.”
“The Egyptians thought pi was 3.16”
Have no fear; even the math tutors were stumped when it came to pi. They were very gracious in this, the single most scientific experiment ever conducted.
So what exactly is pi? Well, to put it simply, pi is “a transcendental number, approximately 3.14159, represented by the symbol, that expresses the ratio of the circumference to the diameter of a circle and appears as a constant in many mathematical expressions.”
It has been awhile since I have taken math and, frankly, I don’t want to think about pi too much because my limited brain might explode. Instead, here are some interesting facts about pi that you may or may not understand:
*The Egyptians and the Babylonians are the first cultures that discovered pi about 4,000 years ago.
*Pi is an irrational number. That means that it cannot be written as the ratio of two integer numbers. Pi takes an infinite number of digits to give its exact value, i.e. you can never get to the end of it.
*Since 4,000 years ago and up until this very day, people have been trying to get more and more accurate values for pi. Presently supercomputers are used to find the value of pi with as many digits as possible. Pi has been calculated with a precision containing more than one billion digits.
Facts courtesy of arcytech.org