March 14th is π Day.

The third month and the 14th day
relates to 3.14 which is π to three
significant figures.

Today's challenge is to memorise π to as many digits as you can before it fades completely.

3.141592653589793238462643383279
502884197169399375105820
974944592307816406286
208998628034825
3421170679
...

Though it is not necessary for students to memorise pi these days it is important that they are familiar with it and can use a rough approximation of it to estimate answers to questions. This exercise certainly helps students become familiar with pi but also uses pi as an arbitrary subject of this memory challenge.

Incidently, in the days when memorising pi was important people devised mnemonics such as “How I wish I could calculate pi” where the number of letters in each word represent the first seven digits of pi. Do you know any other mnemonics for remembering pi? Please let us know.

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• Karen, Klynnjansen@gmail.com
•
• I absolutely love many of your problems. I search for open-ended ones & your site usually provides a lot of them! Thanks!
One suggestion I have is to always have one matching a holiday. I really enjoy incorporating the holidays/current events. I see you have a great upcoming one for Valentine's Day. You provided a fun one on Halloween.
A few that I would like to see added:
a Mardi Gras week or at least one on Fat Tuesday
Super Bowl
100th Day (or related to the number 100, I realize this varies from school to school, but maybe a week's worth of questions geared toward this celebration)
St. Patrick's Day
Keep up the excellent problems for our students.
Greatly appreciated!
Veterans Day.
• Transum,
•
• You may have scrolled this far down the page and missed the buttons above that allow you to vary the amount of time pi is visible on the screen. This function adds urgency and excitement to the memorising part of the lesson. You choose the time that would work best for your class. Happy Pi Day!
• Matthew Zhao, Craigslea State Primary School
•
• Starting from last year, I have memorised pi to 100 digits. I purposely finished memorising 100 digits on March 12th. March 13th was for practice and March 14th was for presentation.
• Will, Carshalton Boys
•
• Afterwards, I showed the class the world record holders. They loved it. http://pi-world-ranking-list.com/lists/memo/.
• Transum,
•
• The first time a digit repeats six times in succession in pi is at the 762nd position where you can find six nines in a row. This is known as the Feynman Point.
• Joke,
•
• An opinion without 3.14159265359 is just an onion.
• Transum,
•
• The Welsh mathematician William Jones (1675–1749) introduced the symbol π in 1706, most likely after the Greek word for periphery, which starts with the letter π.

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 Teacher, do your students have access to computers?Do they have iPads or Laptops in Lessons? Whether your students each have a TabletPC, a Surface or a Mac, this activity lends itself to eLearning (Engaged Learning).

Transum.org/go/?Start=March14

Here is the URL which will take them to a related student activity.

Transum.org/go/?to=Circles

How does the circumference of a glass compare to the height of the glass? You'll be surprised when you find out.

Your access to the majority of the Transum resources continues to be free but you can help support the continued growth of the website by doing your Amazon shopping using the links on this page. Below is an Amazon search box and some items chosen and recommended by Transum Mathematics to get you started.

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### Must-watch Pi videos

#### Pi and Four Fingers

In this video mathematician Simon Singh talks about Pi and Maths in The Simpsons cartoon.

Transum.org/go/?to=pi4fingers

##### Watch and Learn

Mathematician Presh Talwalkar explains five facts you should know about pi.

Transum.org/go/?to=pifacts

#### A Brief History of Pi

A video from Simon Clark presenting a deep but accessible account of the history of pi.

Transum.org/go/?to=pihistoryvideo

### Euler's identity

#### $$e^{i \pi}+1 = 0$$

Where $$e$$ is Euler's number, the base of natural logarithms (2.718...) and
$$i$$ is the imaginary unit, the square root of negative one.

### Leibniz Formula

#### $$\frac{4}{1} - \frac{4}{3} + \frac{4}{5} - \frac{4}{7} \ldots = \pi$$

First discovered by the Indian mathematician Madhava of Sangamagrama in the 14th century

### Normal Distribution

#### $$\frac{1}{ \sqrt{2 \pi}}e^{- \frac12 x^2}$$

The normal distribution is the most important continuous distribution in
statistics and the graph is sometimes more commonly referred to as the bell-shaped curve.

### Buffon's Needle

#### $$\frac{2L \times n}{th} = \pi$$

drop $$n$$ needles of length $$L$$ onto a plane ruled with parallel lines $$t$$ units apart.
Count the number of needles, $$h$$, that cross lines.

### Sum of Reciprocals of Squares

#### $$\displaystyle \sum_{n = 1}^{\infty} \frac{1}{n^2} = \frac{\pi^2}{6}$$

First posed by Mengoli in 1650 and solved by Euler in 1734 this is known as The Basel problem.

### Integration

#### $$\displaystyle\int_{-\infty}^\infty e^{-x^2}dx=\sqrt\pi$$

Even calculus has a use for pi as can be seen in this integration.

### Factorial

#### $$( \frac12 )! = \frac{\sqrt{\pi}}{2}$$

I didn't know you could find the factorial of a fraction.

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Top Scottish teacher Chris Smith was interviewed on the Mr Barton podcast
and talked about his school's amazing Pi Day themes.

## Chris Smith's Pi Day Themes

Mr Barton Podcast Transum Podcast Transum Podcast RSS

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