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Pi Day and an Interview With a Pi Researcher

timothy posted more than 4 years ago | from the much-depends-on-your-date-format dept.

Math 188

JoshuaInNippon writes "In honor of Pi Day, March 14 (or 3.14 for those who may need a hint), readers may be interested in reading an interview with Professor Daisuke Takahashi, the Japanese researcher who found 2.5 trillion digits of Pi back in August, before being apparently being edged out in December by a French computer programmer looking to prove his efficient coding abilities. Professor Takahashi's interview gives some unique insight into one man who truly marvels at the number that has driven people to ever greater lengths to find more digits for centuries." Plant Kingdom adds "There have been a number of proposals for alternatives to March 14 (see the Wikipedia page for Pi Day). Here's mine: when the Earth has gone through 1/pi-th of its orbit, as measured from Winter Solstice to Winter Solstice. I've put together a web site to make the case."

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188 comments

I don't get it (5, Informative)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 4 years ago | (#31471412)

Huh? Pi isn't 14.3 or 14/3.

My suggestion (1)

2.7182 (819680) | more than 4 years ago | (#31471426)

The earth should have undergone 1/2 of one orbit.

Re:My suggestion (3, Funny)

jschen (1249578) | more than 4 years ago | (#31471504)

Regarding 2.7182's statement: I'm surprised you're not advocating e day (Feb 7? July 2?) instead. The combination would be good, though. Celebrate pi and e, and we get pie! How about pi + e day? At ~5.9, that would make May 9 or Sept 5 into Pie Day.

Re:My suggestion (2, Funny)

fastest fascist (1086001) | more than 4 years ago | (#31472054)

Don't you know "e" is illegal in most countries?

Re:My suggestion (1)

wisnoskij (1206448) | more than 4 years ago | (#31472086)

I was thinking the same thing, since pi is 180 degrees and the earth has ~ a round orbit.
1/2 of its orbit makes sense.

Re:I don't get it (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31471518)

idiot american system of month.day instead of day.month

Re:I don't get it (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31471570)

There's nothing wrong with putting the month first - in fact it's better, because it's "most significant" (represents the larger span of time) number. What is stupid about the American system is that they put the date last.

year-month-day is the way to go.

Re:I don't get it (1)

my $anity 0 (917519) | more than 4 years ago | (#31471772)

And it wouldn't really affect our common parlance, because normally the more significant digits are ignored/assumed. Unless you're the Doctor, no one really needs to tell you the year most of the time.

So, when talking to timelords, say 2010, March 14th, and everyone else just "March 14th" or even "The 14th".

While smallest end first would also make sense, to make it consistent, SS:MM:HH DD/MM/YYYY is a bit awkward and by the time you finish saying it the second (or minute) may have changed.

Re:I don't get it (5, Insightful)

mrsquid0 (1335303) | more than 4 years ago | (#31471838)

No, day-month-year is more sensible since the size of the unit is increasing monotonically. The sanest way to do it would be year-month-day, because then you could increase the precision of the time string to whatever you needed just by adding units to the right. The month-day-year system is probably the lease sensible method of the lot.

Re:I don't get it (3, Interesting)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 4 years ago | (#31471894)

The month-day-year system is probably the lease sensible method of the lot.

Not to those of us who often work with dates that often land on the next month. As a friend of mine likes to say "six of one, half dozen of the other."

The sanest way to do it would be year-month-day...

This gets my vote.

Re:I don't get it (1)

Anne_Nonymous (313852) | more than 4 years ago | (#31472034)

As a friend of mine likes to say "six of one, half dozen of the other."

Over here we say "A half dozen of one, six of the other" you barbarian.

Re:I don't get it (1)

onedotzero (926558) | more than 4 years ago | (#31472104)

Or, a much quicker version: "six and two threes".

Re:I don't get it (3, Interesting)

Cimexus (1355033) | more than 4 years ago | (#31471954)

Yup, yyyy-mm-dd is the ISO standard date format for a reason. You get the advantage of easier chronological sorting (ala the US system of month/day), and the unambiguity of the unit size constantly going in one direct (in this case, largest to smallest).

Re:I don't get it (1)

Ihmhi (1206036) | more than 4 years ago | (#31472226)

Yeah, and continuing to use Imperial also has a mile-long list of disadvantages, yet here we are.

Re:I don't get it (1)

Z00L00K (682162) | more than 4 years ago | (#31471958)

Year-Month-Day as in the ISO standard it's 2010-03-14.

Re:I don't get it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31471742)

But it's my birthday so shut up!

Re:I don't get it (2, Informative)

isorox (205688) | more than 4 years ago | (#31471756)

Huh? Pi isn't 14.3 or 14/3.

No, but it's close to 22nd July.

Re:I don't get it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31471758)

Exactly! Pi Day really should be on the 3rd day of the 14th month.

Re:I don't get it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31471860)

Pi Day really should be on the 3rd day of the 14th month.

And we are in the 19th month right now. Only a week of fasting left to go before the New Year.

Re:I don't get it (1)

rjch (544288) | more than 4 years ago | (#31471862)

No, obviously Pi day is January 3rd. Though to be completely accurate, Pi day won't occur until January 3rd, 4159. A Wednesday, for anyone who's interested.

2010-03-14 per ISO 8601 (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#31472026)

According to ISO 8601, today is 2010-03-14. Feel free to celebrate the other Pi Day about four months later when it'll be 22/7 in your locale.

Pi day? (4, Insightful)

burris (122191) | more than 4 years ago | (#31471416)

Judging by the big hunk of meat in my 'fridge, today is Steak and BJ Day [steakandbjday.com] . Pi day just isn't nearly as fun.

Re:Pi day? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31471578)

You're posting on slashdot -- enjoy the steak :P

Re:Pi day? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31472156)

So who's the lucky guy?

Don't forget. (4, Funny)

myocardialinfarction (1606123) | more than 4 years ago | (#31471418)

Don't forget it's also mother's day. And nobody makes better pi than mom. /duck

Re:Don't forget. (1)

JustOK (667959) | more than 4 years ago | (#31471590)

Mom's too busy playing baseball

Re:Don't forget. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31472732)

Doesnt count if she only uses the bat.

US-centricity (5, Funny)

garyok (218493) | more than 4 years ago | (#31471430)

In the UK, we have to wait until the 31st April to have pi day. We'll be waiting a while...

Re:US-centricity (2, Informative)

sakdoctor (1087155) | more than 4 years ago | (#31471444)

TFA suggests Archimedes' approximation of 22/7

Re:US-centricity (1)

bguiz (1627491) | more than 4 years ago | (#31471468)

There is quite likely a plethora of different dates in our calendar year that map to the fist digits of pi in decimal form, or the digits in its improper fraction approximations. So yes, there will likely never be any agreement on what is the "real" pi day.

Not to mention /. isn't where one should seek consensus anyway!

Re:US-centricity (2, Funny)

keeboo (724305) | more than 4 years ago | (#31471480)

I'm programming at this moment and it was just what I needed! Thanks!

#define PI_VALUE 22/7

Re:US-centricity (4, Funny)

mrsurb (1484303) | more than 4 years ago | (#31471824)

Don't forget to localise for differing values of pi:

#ifdef INDIANA
#define PI_VALUE 3
#endif

Re:US-centricity (1)

Smallpond (221300) | more than 4 years ago | (#31471848)

355/113 is better

(22.0/7) (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#31472110)

If that's C or C++, you need to wrap the right side of a #define statement in parentheses. Otherwise, the / operator will interact with operator precedence in ways that might surprise you or (more importantly) whoever has to maintain your code after you have moved on. In addition, C and C++ use truncating division when both operands are integers. This is what you probably meant:

#define PI_VALUE (22.0/7)

Re:US-centricity (1)

ryzvonusef (1151717) | more than 4 years ago | (#31471576)

Surely, you mean 22nd July, there is no way those silly Americans can fub that ;-)

Re:US-centricity (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31472064)

Yes, they can, 22nd. July was the state holiday in the former Peoples Republic of Poland. We would be celebrating communists.

Re:US-centricity (1)

slugstone (307678) | more than 4 years ago | (#31472184)

Surely, you mean 22nd July, there is no way those silly Americans can fub that ;-)

hey, just us a little room and we will.

Re:US-centricity (1)

canthusus (463707) | more than 4 years ago | (#31471608)

I shall be celebrating at 3:14 on 15th September 2653

Re:US-centricity (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31472066)

Walt? Is that you? Shouldn't you be sleeping?

Re:US-centricity (1)

crazycheetah (1416001) | more than 4 years ago | (#31472084)

What drugs are you on that defy aging so well?!

Re:US-centricity (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31472188)

Too bad you are a year early ... I think you mean "3:14 on 15th September 2654".

Re:US-centricity (1)

sootman (158191) | more than 4 years ago | (#31472520)

Just celebrate on Quadectober 3, duh.

sende (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31471438)

realy look like Video izle [sendebaglan.com] system

Bad news (0, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31471448)

No matter how clever your code or how powerful your computer is, you'll never get all digits of PI. There are infinitely many. You'd think a math professor would know something like that.

Re:Bad news (1)

celibate for life (1639541) | more than 4 years ago | (#31471474)

Thank you, Captain Obvious.

Re:Bad news (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31471486)

All for science.

Re:Bad news (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31471696)

You're welcome, General Phuckup

wouldn't it just be summer solstice? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31471454)

shows how much us gov respects science, don't even understand the meaning of pi.

I just got off the toilet. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31471458)

I shit out an Obama.

PLOP!

Ellipse != Circle (0)

Mattwolf7 (633112) | more than 4 years ago | (#31471484)

Pi is relevant to the circumference of circles. The earth has an elliptical orbit. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Circumference [wikipedia.org]

Re:Ellipse != Circle (3, Informative)

Ardeaem (625311) | more than 4 years ago | (#31471600)

Pi is relevant to the circumference of circles. The earth has an elliptical orbit. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Circumference [wikipedia.org]

Um...pi is relevant to a lot of things, including ellipses. And besides, the orbit of the Earth has very low eccentricity, meaning it is very close to a circle. Who modded the parent "informative"?

Re:Ellipse != Circle (3, Funny)

noisyinstrument (1624451) | more than 4 years ago | (#31471918)

Clearly it was a case of circular logic.

Re:Ellipse != Circle (2, Informative)

techno-vampire (666512) | more than 4 years ago | (#31472302)

Who modded the parent "informative"?

This is Slashdot, in case you hadn't noticed. Only on Slashdot is pointing out the trivially obvious considered "Informative."

Re:Ellipse != Circle (1)

Kratisto (1080113) | more than 4 years ago | (#31472504)

I can't wait for you to be modded informative for that.

Re:Ellipse != Circle (1)

xous (1009057) | more than 4 years ago | (#31471712)

If I recall correctly Pi is used to calculate the Area, Surface area, and volume of an Ellipse.

Re:Ellipse != Circle (1)

gbutler69 (910166) | more than 4 years ago | (#31472274)

Ellipses don't have volume. They are an imaginary 2-D construct. Perhaps you mean "Ellipsoid"?

Re:Ellipse != Circle (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31472460)

And yet there's pi, right in the middle of the equation for circumference of an ellipse.

Stupid (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31471494)

This is stupid, who thought MONTH - DAY - YEAR is a reasonable date format? Do you frequently find yourself asking "Hmm, I wonder what month it is?" And always make people look in the center to find out the date? WTF

It's like throwing away metric and using some crazy-ass divisible by 12 unit.

Re:Stupid (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31471790)

Yeah it pisses me of this month before year thing, fucking Americans.

How many Casio wristwatches out there are displaying month-day for people who DON'T use that retarded way of displaying the date?

Re:Stupid (2, Insightful)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 4 years ago | (#31471868)

This is stupid, who thought MONTH - DAY - YEAR is a reasonable date format?

The person that noticed that we generally say "March 14th, 2010", so it's more intuitive.

It's like throwing away metric and using some crazy-ass divisible by 12 unit.

Oh please, it isn't done right where you are, either. It should be 2010-03-14 so it sorts chronologically and intuitively can't get the month or day mixed up. Your preference is simply different, not less stupid. This isn't one of those topics you can use to pose as one of the smarter people.

Re:Stupid (1)

Cimexus (1355033) | more than 4 years ago | (#31471942)

But we don't. Americans/Canadians say that. Everyone I know says "14 March" or "the 14th of March". I've heard the "but that's how you say it" argument for the US date format before, but it's simply untrue. Other English speaking countries generally say the date before the month (or, just the date ... "the 14th").

And those accursed cheap electronics (like wristwatches and low-end VCRs and stuff) that ONLY display in month/day (with no year) are terribly annoying because if it's before the 12th of any month, you have no idea what you are actually looking at (obviously if you see 5/13 though you know it's displaying it in the US format).

Having said that I agree that the system that makes the most sense is yyyy-mm-dd. Which is, in fact, the ISO standard date format (and the preferred way of representing dates in software, so that there's no ambiguity).

But I think the reason the US system annoys the rest of us is not because it's 'crazy' but rather that it's inconsistent. At least day/month/year consistently goes from smallest to largest unit. But the US system is a bit confusing if you aren't used to reading it because it goes 'medium/small/large' unit size. Not smallest to largest or largest to smallest.

Re:Stupid (3, Informative)

Cimexus (1355033) | more than 4 years ago | (#31471966)

Bad form replying to one's self but this is interesting: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Date.png [wikipedia.org]

The number of countries using the US system is pretty small. It's basically the US and a few random places like Palau and Micronesia.

But - there are quite a few variations on date format, more than I thought :)

Re:Stupid (1)

crazycheetah (1416001) | more than 4 years ago | (#31472152)

Well, you could say, "The 14th day of the 3rd month of the year 2010." Which would translate to 14-3-2010. Just sayin'...

Re:Stupid (1)

Enokcc (1500439) | more than 4 years ago | (#31472548)

It should be 2010-03-14 so it sorts chronologically and intuitively can't get the month or day mixed up

Yes, the only ordering of the triple {day, month, year} that is a total order in Z^3 which corresponds the chronology is (year,month,day). So does year*10000+month*100+day in Z, a good reason to name anythings date sensitive this way on computer to keep things in order.

Re:Stupid (2, Funny)

GospelHead821 (466923) | more than 4 years ago | (#31472052)

Base 12 is an excellent base. Metric/decimal is okay but we're not monkeys anymore. Can't we please get over the fact that we have just 10 fingers? Base 12 makes it a lot easier to work with common fractions. Halves, quarters, AND thirds are all easy to calculate. Assuming you accept that the inch is no more or less arbitrary than the centimetre as a unit of measure, then in base 12, feet and yards become completely sensible. A great gross of yards (12^3 = 1728 yards = 5184 feet) is pretty close to today's arbitrary mile. 12-hour days make a lot more sense too. If I remember correctly (and I might not; I welcome corrections if this is wrong), we do it that way in the first place because our timekeeping system evolved from Babylonian timekeeping and the Babylonians used a base-12 number system.

Of course, in base 12, pi is no longer 3.14159. It approximates to 3.18480. I wouldn't mind selecting a definition of pi day that frees us both from the Gregorian calendar AND from our monkey-finger numeric base.

Re:Stupid (0, Flamebait)

BlackHawk-666 (560896) | more than 4 years ago | (#31472250)

What the fuck is an inch?

I think not quite right. (1)

gbutler69 (910166) | more than 4 years ago | (#31472332)

I seem to recall that the Babylonians used a base-60 system (which subsumes base-12 within it). The prime factors of base-60 are: 2, 2, 3, 5 (or easily 3,4,5) which matches up really nice with a 3,4,5 triangle for example.

Re:Stupid (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31472116)

...or Fahrenheit instead of Celsius ?
Anyone knows that water freeze at 0 and boil at 100

Re:Stupid (1)

quacking duck (607555) | more than 4 years ago | (#31472360)

I prefer writing yyyy-mm-dd, especially for anything programming-related.

In regular writing, I'm fine with seeing dd-mm-yyyy. mmm dd, yyyy is still okay since there's no ambiguity about what which the day and month are, but this leads to the laziness that results in....

mm-dd-yyyy or mm/dd/yyyy. Which are about the stupidest written conventions I've ever come across. Along with imperial measurements, why is the US hell-bent on foisting backwards systems on the rest of the world?

Math vs. practicality (1)

Mathinker (909784) | more than 4 years ago | (#31471510)

As a mathematician, I understand Plant Kingdom's problem with making Mar-14 Pi Day (and even worse since it's not using a computer-friendly date format).

And as a mathematician, I also understand that sometimes there is no way to push mathematical elegance over practical considerations. In this case, it's obvious that if we want to have a Pi Day which is looking to be at all known in popular circles, it absolutely has to be based on being a fixed day in the Gregorian calendar year (or at least as fixed as something like the US President's day --- the n-th particular-weekday in particular-month).

Celebration (1, Informative)

dandart (1274360) | more than 4 years ago | (#31471516)

To celebrate, I'll be having pie for dinner.

a French computer programmer? (2, Interesting)

short (66530) | more than 4 years ago | (#31471560)

Calling Fabrice Bellard "a French computer programmer"? Is it a joke?

Re:a French computer programmer? (1)

mukund (163654) | more than 4 years ago | (#31471670)

Yeah even I thought the summary doesn't do justice to him. He found algorithmically faster ways to compute Pi [bellard.org] . I doubt this was just to 'prove his efficient coding abilities.' He's someone to be honored for giving us LZEXE, FFMpeg and QEMU. The summary treats him as some random guy, which is weird.. this being Slashdot and all.

Re:a French computer programmer? (3, Informative)

mukund (163654) | more than 4 years ago | (#31471722)

OTOH, reading Bellard's FAQ [bellard.org] on his latest result does seem like he was interested more in fast algorithms and not in Pi. So I stand corrected. Still.. he's not some random programmer to us. :P Following links from his FAQ, I found two cool books:

What's the significance of 1/pi? (2, Interesting)

Saint Stephen (19450) | more than 4 years ago | (#31471618)

1/pi is not pi. It's like celebrating the third time something happened by doing something one third of the way through and then stopping!

"When a circle's diameter is one unit, then the cirmcumference is pi units." [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pi]

So if a year is "one unit", we should celebrate pi every 3.14 years or something.

Re:What's the significance of 1/pi? (1)

RAMMS+EIN (578166) | more than 4 years ago | (#31472000)

``1/pi is not pi.''

pi r square!

No, pies are round!

Re:What's the significance of 1/pi? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31472838)

Or you could celebrate after going through pi radians (half of the orbit).

Re:What's the significance of 1/pi? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31472848)

The diameter of Earth's orbit is one unit. In 1/pi of the year, the Earth travels a distance equal to this diameter. That's the signifigance, it's using pi in terms of arc length.

RE: yeah, okay (4, Insightful)

Anarchduke (1551707) | more than 4 years ago | (#31471634)

Oh Jesus. Really?

Okay, I'm about to troll, but...

First, do we really need a holiday for every fucking thing out there? Where the hell is dung beetle day? Aardwolf week? Permian Extinction Day?

Secondly, you invested enough energy into worrying about WHICH day should be Pi day that you created a website over it?

Finally, if Pi gets its own day, I think its entirely fair that 1.618 [wikipedia.org] get its own celebration. Phi is easily as fascinating a number as Pi, so why didn't you get your panties in a twist over not having Phi day?

Sometimes, you CAN be too much [gocomics.com] of a geek.

--------------
End of Troll.

Re: yeah, okay (1)

renderitchaos (786314) | more than 4 years ago | (#31471850)

Phi Day - Cool, but when will we celebrate it?

I'm thinking we can mount a 3 day celebration from January 6th through January 8th.

Who's with me?

I'll start putting together a website...

Re: yeah, okay (1)

mrsurb (1484303) | more than 4 years ago | (#31471886)

I'm assuming that the celebrations will involve lots of roots [urbandictionary.com] ? A phi day without roots would be irrational. Completely absurd. Uh...

Did he find a message? (3, Interesting)

wisebabo (638845) | more than 4 years ago | (#31471640)

I understand that in the book "Contact" by Carl Sagan, when the scientists meets the aliens he asks them a question:

Scientist: Do you believe in God?

Aliens: Yes.

(Astonished) Scientist: Really?! Why?

Aliens: We have proof.

Scientist: Proof?!!!

Alien: Yes, when we decoded Pi to (a very large number) we found a Message...

Of course this idea was exploited in a different way by the movie "Pi". (Sorry didn't see it either.). In any case, if Pi is truly Random (it is isn't it?) won't every possible message occur? Just like those monkeys with their typewriters (if you don't know what a typewriter is look it up).

Re:Did he find a message? (4, Funny)

pcolaman (1208838) | more than 4 years ago | (#31471704)

What the fuck is a monkey?

Re:Did he find a message? (3, Interesting)

jc42 (318812) | more than 4 years ago | (#31471828)

In any case, if Pi is truly Random (it is isn't it?) won't every possible message occur?

Hmmm ... You must be using an unusual definition of "random", which usually means that the value is unpredictable. Pi is the opposite of random. It's precisely defined and always has the same value for anyone who calculates it correctly. (Which leaves out the religious folks, but that's to be expected for anything requiring validity. ;-) Pi would even be the same in a different universe with different physical laws, because its value isn't dependent on anything physical.

As for every message occurring, I think you're thinking of normal numbers [wikipedia.org] . There is a conjecture that pi is normal, but it hasn't been proved. So far, statistics of the digits of pi are consistent with it being normal to as many digits as have been tested. A normal number does contain every possible message, in every possible encoding. If pi is normal, then so is e. [The proof is trivial for anyone who knows the well-known equation relating e and pi.]

And yes, this mathematical (ab)use of the word "normal" is one of the silliest things that mathematicians have ever done. But there is a long tradition of such silly misuse of common words as mathematical terms.

Re:Did he find a message? (0, Troll)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | more than 4 years ago | (#31471948)

Pi would even be the same in a different universe with different physical laws, because its value isn't dependent on anything physical.

Umm, no. Pi has different values in non-Euclidean geometries, depending on the curvature of the surface used in the particular non-Euclidean geometry in question.

Re:Did he find a message? (1)

iris-n (1276146) | more than 4 years ago | (#31472768)

No, it doesn't. What does have a different value is the ratio of a circumference to it's diameter, that can be grater than pi (hyperbolic surfaces), or smaller (spherical surfaces). But that ain't the definition of pi, 'cos even in a given surface of constant curvature, this value varies.

Re:Did he find a message? (1)

wisebabo (638845) | more than 4 years ago | (#31472300)

Ok, you're right, I wasn't using the right definition of random. Thanks for telling me about "normal" numbers!

Re:Did he find a message? (1)

mrsurb (1484303) | more than 4 years ago | (#31471866)

In "Contact" the conceit was that the message occurred much earlier than would be statistically expected. The protagonist found another "message" in a non-base-ten expansion which decoded to bitmap image of a circle. Circles within circles!

new date... (1)

TheSHAD0W (258774) | more than 4 years ago | (#31471682)

I vote for July 22nd.

Sponsored by GLaDOS (1)

lennier1 (264730) | more than 4 years ago | (#31471714)

We all know the Pi is a lie. ;)

Pi *Researcher* (1)

wiredlogic (135348) | more than 4 years ago | (#31471808)

What exactly is there to research about pi? Its digits are random. They change simply by switching to a different base so no pattern can be truly meaningful just an artifact of the chosen representation.

Re:Pi *Researcher* (1)

mrsquid0 (1335303) | more than 4 years ago | (#31471852)

It is primarily a way to test computational algorithms.

Re:Pi *Researcher* (1)

iris-n (1276146) | more than 4 years ago | (#31472804)

No, they are perfectly deterministic.

To calculate the numerical value of the digits I could understand as useless, but there are plenty of properties that are basis-independent, like it's irrationality, transcendence and normality.

Also, there are some quite beautiful representations, look for the continued fractions one.

hognoxious (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31471908)

This is america hognoxious. we do the date the right way

Call me back end of April (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31471976)

Most of the world use DD.MM.YYYY. Therefore PI day is the 31st April.

Efficient coding abilities? (1)

beatsme (1472991) | more than 4 years ago | (#31472416)

Maybe I'm missing something here, but if the point is to calculate more digits than the last guy, can't the algorithm (efficient or not) just run for a longer time?

Takahashi (1)

Subm (79417) | more than 4 years ago | (#31472706)

If Professor Takahashi uses the Takahashi [blogs.com] Method [wikipedia.org] to present his results, it will be the longest presentation ever -- 2.5 trillion slides!

Why 1/pi? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31472770)

I don't understand why one would choose 2 radians (which gives one pi'th of the orbit) as opposed to the much simpler and more obvious pi radians (one half of the orbit). Does that make it too simple? Or is it just the fact that we already celebrate that day?

historical precedent for Pi day celebration (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31472788)

"Oh, a wise guy [youtube.com] , eh? Yuck-yuck-yuck".

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