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Uncle Albert
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pi-does-not-equal-pi.jpgMath enthusiasts and assorted geeks around the world are celebrating today as International Pi Day.  Not your mom’s apple pie, but the famous constant, Π, equal to the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter.

strange-albert-einstein.jpgThe reason Pi Day is celebrated on March 14 is because its first 3 digits are 3.14 (Pi = 3.1415926535...) March 14 also happens to be Albert Einstein's birthday. Pi is an irrational number, meaning that the sequence of its decimal digits continues to infinity without repeating itself. The favorite way of celebrating Pi Day among geeks are eating a pie while reciting the first hundred digits of Pi.

Pi Day was first celebrated by the American physicist Larry Shaw in 1988, but the designation of Pi Day was not supported by the United States government until 2009, when the U.S. House of Representatives passed  House Resolution 224, designating March 14 “National Pi Day.”  (Fun fact:  The bill number for the recognition of Pi Day is the square-rootable 224 (2*2=4))  Among the numerous “whereas” clauses in HR 224 are the following:

Whereas the Greek letter (Pi) is the symbol for the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter;

Whereas the ratio Pi is an irrational number, which will continue infinitely without repeating, and has been calculated to over one trillion digits;

  • Whereas, according to the 2007 Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) survey done by the National Center for Education Statistics, American children in the 4th and 8th grade were outperformed by students in other countries including Taiwan, Singapore, Russia, England, South Korea, Latvia, and Japan;
  • Whereas by the 8th grade, American males outperform females on the science portion of the TIMSS survey, especially in Biology, Physics, and Earth Science, and the lowest American scores in math and science are found in minority and impoverished school districts;
  • Whereas mathematics and science can be a fun and interesting part of a child's education, and learning about Pi can be an engaging way to teach children about geometry and attract them to study science and mathematics; and
  • Whereas Pi can be approximated as 3.14, and thus March 14, 2009, is an appropriate day for 'National Pi Day':

pi day pie.jpgNow, therefore, be it Resolved, That the House of Representatives--

    (1) supports the designation of a 'Pi Day' and its celebration around the world;

    (2) recognizes the continuing importance of National Science Foundation's math and science education programs; and

    (3) encourages schools and educators to observe the day with appropriate activities that teach students about Pi and engage them about the study of mathematics.

Happy birthday, Al!

One Million Digits of Pi

pi day rational.jpgLearn more about:  International Pi Day

One Million Digits

Celebrate Pi Day 3.14 - Mad March Holiday 4 Math Geeks

einstein tongue.jpg

"The secret to creativity is knowing how to hide your sources."  --Albert Einstein

The Sound Of Pi

There have been many attempts to make a conversion of the digits of Pi to musical notes, but the methods used were pretty unrealistic. What they were doing was to convert the 10 digits of the decimal system in 10 notes, and then play them. Of course that doesn't make any sense because our musical notation has 12 notes! So we are presenting you with a conversion of the digits of Pi to the duodecimal system (Base 12):

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Louisville.com's The Arena section features opinions from active participants in the city's politics. Their viewpoints are not those of Louisville.com (a website is an inanimate object and, as such, has no opinions).  The Arena is read by more people in Louisville than in any other city in America.  Photo credits:  WikiMedia.

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About Thomas McAdam

At various times I have been a student, a soldier, a college Political Science teacher, a political campaign treasurer, and legal adviser to Louisville's Police Department and Board of Aldermen. I now practice law and share my political opinions with anyone who will listen.

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