Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Danny Califf's Word of the Day - 'it's a little word'

Pi - or π - is a mathematical constant whose value is the ratio of any circle's circumference to its diameter in Euclidean space, it is the same value as the ratio of a circle's area to the square of its radius. It is approximately equal to 3.14159 in the usual decimal notation. Pi is one of the most important mathematical and physical constants: many formulae from mathematics, science, and engineering involve π.

It's also a number with endless decimal places. The Guinness-recognized record for remembered digits of π is held by Lu Chao, a 24-year-old graduate student from China, who recited pi to 67,890 digits!

When you get through all the technical terms, the bottom line is that Pi is a massively important number that impacts our world in ways that most of us never think of or imagine. It struck me as amazing that such a little word makes such a big difference in our lives.



2 comments:

Evan said...

That is funny you chose that word. I just finished my algebra and I am taking a break and wanted to check in here. I am not all that crazy about math but I do know it is important to be good in every subject. Writing is my favorite. And science. Since I am only in fifth grade I still have alot of time to learn to like math.

Kristen said...

As a math teacher, this just brought a smile to my face! My students and I are getting ready to celebrate Pi Day (March 14, which also happens to be Albert Einstein's birthday). Such a small word does carry with it a great deal of power.