Mathematics is more than just numbers; Celebrate Pi Day differently


On this day Pi, while enjoying a piece of cake, learn a bigger piece of math.

Most of the celebrations on March 14 are obsessed with the number of pi. If you think the “obsessive” is too strong, look around: you’ll see things for sale for $ 3.14, Pi-K works and perhaps, as in the past, segment on daytime television.

As a mathematician, it tickles me that honoring something mathematical has become commonplace. But at the same time, I’m disappointed that this digital celebrity seems to be some kind of coincidence. This much more to math than one single number, no matter how many numbers you can read from memory.

No reason to drink, of all an infinite number of irrational numbers, should receive special treatment. You may remember from school that numbers are rational or irrational and what sets them apart. Rational numbers can be expressed in one or more of the following ways:

  • fractions, for example, 7/8 or 3/1
  • repeating decimals, even if forever, for example, 1.99999 … or 2.488488488 …
  • decimal ending, for example .123456789

Irrational, on the other hand, cannot be written in any of these ways. Pi, for example, never ends, so we spread our arms and use the general approximation of 3.14. What most of us don’t learn is that irrational numbers are much larger than rational ones, and there are many more that if you asked Gin to choose a number that was truly random, the probability that he would choose an irrational number is 100 percent!

This means that any other day of the year will be as good as March 14, when our only goal was to honor the single figure. For example, we could choose the first number, which is known to be irrational, and mark the square root of 2, about 1,4, 4 January. Or we might decide to mark 2.7-ish, the number is, which some of you may have known from your February 7 computing courses. Perhaps Pi won simply because of his acquaintance, because March 14 allows us to use three of his numbers, and also because phonetically it is called a delicious dessert. Like many people, I am happy to have the opportunity to treat myself to a slice of my favorite pie – apple crumbs.

But why just focus on numbers when in math you can find much more beauty, wonder and excitement? The International Mathematical Union shares this view. Thanks to them, March 14 became the annual International Day of Mathematics (, which allows us to note all the math, not just one number. To whet your appetite, here’s a small sample of things you might be surprised that math has something to say: cut a cake, juggle, perform tricks, tile the bathroom floor or create patterns for knitting.

Here’s what I mean: the next time you celebrate a birthday, you can make sure everyone gets the same amount of cake and icing. Math can tell you what shape your cake should be to make this possible.

Intrigued? Fortunately, there are many ways to start learning a variety of math. Video from Standup maths, Numaraphile and 3Blue1Brown offer fascinating shots of fun math topics you may not have seen before. Or, if you want to involve your children, there is a reward called Mother for books that “inspire kids of all ages to see math in the world around them”. You can choose one of the winners to read together.

Or maybe you’re one of those people who enjoys engaging rather than just watching or reading. The National Mathematical Museum offers an incredible array of events and activities for all ages. There are also many places where you can find intriguing problems and issues that do not require special training, for example Head on FiveThirtyEight and Alex Belos Monday puzzle y Guardian.

Or pay attention to Martin Gardner, the undisputed master of serving entertaining puzzles that make you think. Try your hand at one of its many »Math games”From past issues Scientific American.

But be careful, otherwise you can just get caught. You’ll find out if you’re looking for an occasion to mark the square root of 11, in about 3.31, in two weeks. See you at the party!

Mathematics is more than just numbers; Celebrate Pi Day differently

Source link Mathematics is more than just numbers; Celebrate Pi Day differently