Sunday, March 14, 2010

Happy Pi Day!

"Mathematics is just the sex urge sublimated."
- M.C. Reed

"If people find mathematics complicated, it is only because they do not understand how complicated the real world is."
- John von Neumann

You know, there was a time as a college undergraduate that I could actually rattle off Pi to the 50th digit by memory, and compared to some other people I knew in the Mathematics program, I was a downright underachiever. Mathematics is a fundamentally humbling field because there are occasions where you feel that your pencil is smarter than you are.

Nonetheless, Pi is a miraculous number, an elegant mathematical constant that expresses the ratio of a circumference of a circle to its diameter. Like the properties of water (see below!) pi is one of those wonderful things that show a comprehensible, symmetrical universe. It's great to dedicate a day to celebrating it.

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