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.
Topics: Starter  Circles  Memory  Multiple Intelligences  Rounding
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How does the circumference of a glass compare to the height of the glass? You'll be surprised when you find out.
Christmas Present Ideas
It is often very difficult choosing Christmas presents for family and friends but so here are some seasonal, mathematicsrelated gifts chosen and recommended by Transum Mathematics.
Equate board gameHere's a great board game that will give any family with schoolaged kids hours of worthwhile fun. Christmas is a time for board games but this one will still be useful at any time of year. Games can be adapted to suit many levels of Mathematical ability. For Maths tutors working with just one or small groups of pupils this game has proved to be an excellent activity for a tutorial. Deciding on the best moves can spark pertinent discussions about mathematical concepts. Equate looks a bit like Scrabblefor aspiring mathematicians, that is. Designed by a real mathematician, it works like this: You put down tiles on a board and make points by correctly completing simple equations. Your nine tiles include both numbers and mathematical symbols; you can add on to previous plays both vertically and horizontally. more... 
How Not To Be WrongThe maths we learn in school can seem like an abstract set of rules, laid down by the ancients and not to be questioned. In fact, Jordan Ellenberg shows us, maths touches on everything we do, and a little mathematical knowledge reveals the hidden structures that lie beneath the world's messy and chaotic surface. In How Not to be Wrong, Ellenberg explores the mathematician's method of analyzing life, from the everyday to the cosmic, showing us which numbers to defend, which ones to ignore, and when to change the equation entirely. Along the way, he explains calculus in a single page, describes Gödel's theorem using only onesyllable words, and reveals how early you actually need to get to the airport. What more could the inquisitive adult want for Christmas? This book makes a cosy, interesting read in front of the fire on those cold winter evenings. more... 
Graphic Display CalculatorThis handheld device and companion software are designed to generate opportunities for classroom exploration and to promote greater understanding of core concepts in the mathematics and science classroom. TINspire technology has been developed through sound classroom research which shows that "linked multiple representation are crucial in development of conceptual understanding and it is feasible only through use of a technology such as TINspire, which provides simultaneous, dynamically linked representations of graphs, equations, data, and verbal explanations, such that a change in one representation is immediately reflected in the others. For the young people in your life it is a great investment. Bought as a Christmas present but useful for many years to come as the young person turns into an Alevel candidate then works their way through university. more... 
Apple iPad ProThe analytics show that more and more people are accessing Transum Mathematics via an iPad as it is so portable and responsive. The iPad has so many other uses in addition to solving Transum's puzzles and challenges and it would make an excellent gift for anyone. The redesigned Retina display is as stunning to look at as it is to touch. It all comes with iOS, the world's most advanced mobile operating system. iPad Pro. Everything you want modern computing to be. more... Before giving an iPad as a Christmas gift you could add a link to iPad Maths to the home screen. 
Aristotle's Number PuzzleIt’s a bit of a tradition to give puzzles as Christmas Gifts to nieces and nephews. This puzzle is ideal for the keen puzzle solver who would like a challenge that will continue over the festive period (at least!). This number puzzle involves nineteen numbers arranged into a hexagon. The goal of the puzzle is to rearrange the numbers so each of the fifteen rows add up to 38. It comes in a wooden style with an antique, aged look. Keep the Maths in Christmaths with this reasonably priced stocking filler. more... 
The Story Of Maths [DVD]The films in this ambitious series offer clear, accessible explanations of important mathematical ideas but are also packed with engaging anecdotes, fascinating biographical details, and pivotal episodes in the lives of the great mathematicians. Engaging, enlightening and entertaining, the series gives viewers new and often surprising insights into the central importance of mathematics, establishing this discipline to be one of humanity s greatest cultural achievements. This DVD contains all four programmes from the BBC series. Marcus du Sautoy's wonderful programmes make a perfect Christmas gift more... 
Christmas MathsThis book provides a wealth of fun activities with a Christmas theme. Each photocopiable worksheet is matched to the Numeracy Strategy and compatible with the Scottish 514 Guidelines. This series is designed for busy teachers in the late Autumn term who are desperate for materials that are relevant and interesting and that can be completed with minimun supervision. All the activities are suitable for use by class teachers, supply teachers, SEN teachers and classroom assistants and cover topics such as 'How many partridges did the true love give all together?' and 'Filling a sleigh with presents by rolling a dice!'. Children will have lots of fun working through the Christmas Maths themes but also gain valuable skills along the way. A great source of ideas and another reasonably priced stocking filler. more... 
A Compendium Of Mathematical MethodsHow many different methods do you know to solve simultaneous equations? To multiply decimals? To find the nth term of a sequence? A Compendium of Mathematical Methods brings together over one hundred different approaches from classrooms all over the world, giving curious mathematicians the opportunity to explore fascinating methods that they've never before encountered. If you teach mathematics to any age group in any country, you are guaranteed to learn lots of new things from this delightful book. It will deepen your subject knowledge and enhance your teaching, whatever your existing level of expertise. It will inspire you to explore new approaches with your pupils and provide valuable guidance on explanations and misconceptions. more... 
Math with Bad DrawingsI had been tutoring the wonderful Betsy for five years. When the day came for our last ever session together before the end of her Year 13, I received this beautiful book as a gift of appreciation. This a very readable book by Ben Orlin. I'm really enjoying the humour in the writing and the drawings are great. Ben Orlin answers maths' three big questions: Why do I need to learn this? When am I ever going to use it? Why is it so hard? The answers come in various formscartoons, drawings, jokes, and the stories and insights of an empathetic teacher who believes that mathematics should belong to everyone. more... 
Click the images above to see all the details of these gift ideas and to buy them online.
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 I have chosen and recommend to get you started. As an Amazon Associate I earn a small amount from qualifying purchases which helps pay for the upkeep of this website.
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 bellshaped 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 videogame 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 standup, 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.