famous mathematical problems featuring pi
piday2"It's Pi Day," says the the fabled keeper of the Giant Pi at MathematiciansPictures.com, "because March 14 is 3.14, the first 3 digits of pi."
At 1:59 pm - 3.14159 being the first 6 digits of pi - the annual ritual Drop of the Giant Pi takes place at Pi Day ground zero - the Pi Department at MathematiciansPictures.com, the cyberspace emporium which is the high temple and sine qua non for math lovers.
"The annual drop of the Giant Pi is like the dropping of the New Year's ball in Times Square and the legendary arrival of Santa at Macy's - rolled into one giant cyberspace event."
Pi Day central is the Pi Department at MathematiciansPictures.com, where the minions of the Giant Pi are busily packing Tshirts, posters, mugs, and gifts galore, including the classic Pi Day poster, the annual Pi Day collectors series - and the internationally lauded "The Mathematicians" series of math posters and shirts, comprising a pantheon of famous mathematicians' pictures.
NEW THIS YEAR - FOR PI DAY 2008
The official PI DAY VIDEO, a Pi tour-de-force, from MathematiciansPictures.com.
The new new PiOMatic Pi Dispensing Machine at the Pi Diner, on display at MathematiciansPictures.com, with the working version at the new PiDayInternational website.
Free membership in the World Federation of Pi (enroll at the MathematiciansPictures.com website).
The Illustrated History of Pi - at the PiDayInternational website (PiDayInternational.org), along with PiDay activities, millions of digits of Pi from the PiOmatic, and lots more.
Pi Day is the first international holiday of cyberspace. Who celebrates it? You'd be surprised. It could be your neighbor - or that person in the next cubicle who you'd never suspect of being a Pi fanatic. Math lovers, geeks, and nerds of all stripes - teachers, students, professors and college students, financial analysts, rocket scientists, and quants of all descriptions. Pi Day is celebrated in cyberspace, not the corner bar. It's part of a new breed of geek holidays, which also includes Mole Day, and Talk Like a PIrate Day.
The fascination with Pi is as old as the Bible, where references to the ratio between a circle and its diameter appear in connection with Solomon's Temple. Attempts to determine Pi's numerical value threads through the history of ancient cultures like the quest for a grail. The Illustrated History of Pi at PiDayInternational.org gives a full account of pi history, from the early days, to the computer calculation of literally billions of digits, and into the future.
The mystery of Pi is more than skin deep. Pi is an "irrational" number, infinite in length, with no discernable pattern of repeating digits. Each year, MathematiciansPictures.com issues a special Pi Day poster and tshirt collector's series, featuring a famous mathematician and their contribution to the history of Pi.
ANNUAL PI DAY SPECIAL COLLECTORS EDITION: THIS YEAR HONORING SIR ISAAC NEWTON
The tradition continues! The Pi Day special edition collector poster for 2008 honors Sir Isaac Newton, the famous English scientist and mathematician, and Lucasian professor at Cambridge University, whose work on pi bridged the change from the use by mathematicians of the tools of geometry, to the more abstract analytical methods of calculus. These tools not only ultimately made the calculation of billions of digits of pi possible (the total number of digits is infinite), but ushered in a new age in math and science.
Last year's 2007 Pi Day collector poster, like all previous years Pi Day special collectors editions sold out and no longer available, featured the Swiss mathematician Leonhard Euler, who popularized the use of the Greek letter pi to symbolize the ratio of the cicumference to the diameter, and who was regarded as one of history's greatest mathematicians. His "Euler Identity" formula tied together five fundamental mathematical constants - 0, 1, pi, e, and i - in a single elegant equation. Last year was the tercentenary of Euler's birth.
The 2006 Pi Day special collector's edition featured Archimedes, the ancient Greek mathematician who was one of the first to accurately approximate the value of pi, using a geometrical technique which anticipated the calculus developed centuries later by competing mathematical geniuses Newton and Leibniz (to the eternal consternation of some high school students).
The MathematiciansPictures.com Pi Day special edition posters are not the only item snapped up by international math aficionados and poster collectors: The Pi-of-the-Month-Club at the Pi Department at MathematiciansPictures.com (in which membership is free) delivers a monthly dose of the latest and greatest in Pi.
PI FOR PRESIDENT?
And now, as the Wall Street Journal reported under the heading "New Frontiers in Geekdom", Pi has taken the logical next step: Pi is running for president.
Euler Prize winning author and commentator John Derbyshire on learning the news that Pi was running for President noted, tongue firmly planted in cheek, thatwe've been electing human beings to the Presidency. "Time for a different tack: Why not try electing a number? Since we all want change, let's elect an irrational number, so the decimal digits never repeat."
Of course, the ultimate authority on Pi and Pi Day is the Giant Pi itself, currently preparing for its annual descent - the Giant Pi Drop - at MathematiciansPictures.com, on Pi Day March 14th, at 1:59 pm (3.14:1.59 for short).
INTERVIEW WITH THE PI
Given the lengthy history of Pi, its deep irrational nature, and its sense of international mystery, in a personal interview The Giant Pi was asked why the fascination with pi - this ageless interest that spans history, and even pre-history?.
The Giant Pi opined: "If you think pi is just the relationship between a circle's diameter and its circumference - think again youngster. The entire universe has pi as part of its very foundation. I was around, pun intended, when it all started . Just because people discovered the circle before the Pi, doesn't mean it actually happened that way. Or, as we like to put it, Which Came First, The Circle or The Pi?"
To conclude the interview, we asked the Giant Pi about the future.
The Giant Pi offered the following final comment: "The future of Pi is limitless. The only thing that bothers me is my younger sibling - Casual Pi (whose special day, Pi Approximation Day is July 22nd) - younger siblings have something of a history of making things difficult for their illustrious elders."
Media interviews with the Giant Pi are available for television, radio, print, online, and blog journalists.