March 14th is π Day.
The third month and the 14th day
relates to 3.14 which is π to three
Today's challenge is to memorise π to as many digits as you can before it fades completely.
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.
How did you use this starter? Can you suggest
how teachers could present or develop this resource? Do you have any comments? It is always useful to receive
feedback and helps make this free resource even more useful for Maths teachers anywhere in the world.
Click here to enter your comments.
If you don't have the time to provide feedback we'd really appreciate it if you could give this page a score! We are constantly improving and adding to these starters so it would be really helpful to know which ones are most useful. Simply click on a button below:
This starter has scored a mean of 3.0 out of 5 based on 712 votes.
Teacher, do your students have
access to computers?
Here a concise URL for a version of this page without the comments.
Here is the URL which will take them to a related student activity.
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.
Numbers and the Making of Us
I initially heard this book described on the Grammar Girl podcast and immediately went to find out more about it. I now have it on my Christmas present wish list and am looking forward to receiving a copy (hint!).
"Caleb Everett provides a fascinating account of the development of human numeracy, from innate abilities to the complexities of agricultural and trading societies, all viewed against the general background of human cultural evolution. He successfully draws together insights from linguistics, cognitive psychology, anthropology, and archaeology in a way that is accessible to the general reader as well as to specialists." more...
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.
First discovered by the Indian mathematician Madhava of Sangamagrama in the 14th century
then adapted and published by Gottfried Leibniz around 1676.
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.
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.
First posed by Mengoli in 1650 and solved by Euler in 1734 this is known as The Basel problem.
Even calculus has a use for pi as can be seen in this integration.
I didn't know you could find the factorial of a fraction.
Matt Parker's new book is all about our mistakes and misadventures with maths, geometry and all things numbers. Going from the mundane as to arguments about how many days in a week and the shape of footballs on signs, to famous errors and mistakes like the Space Shuttle disaster, London's walkie talkie building and the Millennium wobbly bridge. He explains how these problems occurred and in the case of some that they had occured in the past and we hadn't learnt from previous experience.
Originally a maths teacher from Australia, Matt Parker now lives in Godalming in a house full of almost every retro video-game console ever made. He is fluent in binary and could write your name in a sequence of noughts and ones in seconds. He loves doing maths and stand-up, often simultaneously.
You can find out more about this book here
Top Scottish teacher Chris Smith was interviewed on the Mr Barton podcast
and talked about his school's amazing Pi Day themes.