“The vast majority of us
imagine ourselves as like
literature people or math people.
But the truth is that the massive
processor known as the human brain
is neither a literature organ or
a math organ. It is both and more.”
“Mathematics expresses values
that reflect the cosmos, including
orderliness, balance, harmony, logic,
and abstract beauty.”
Circle tomorrow’s date on your calendar. It’s Pi Day! March 14th is designated Pi Day by the mere fact that 3.14 are the first three numbers of everyone’s favorite mathematical constant. Pi, the ratio of a circle’s circumference divided by its diameter, has been approximated as 3.14, but what follows is an infinite number of digits which continue without pattern. It has been represented by the Greek letter π since the mid-18th century.
But, guess what, folks – this year’s celebration equates to something of an historic occasion. For this year makes up the next two numbers in Pi’s infinite sequence: 3.1415. We won’t have another moment like this for another hundred years.
But there’s more. Set your watches for 9:26am and listen carefully. You will hear math nerds leaping out of their skin like its New Years, because that very moment in time marks Pi’s next three digits: 3.1415926, to continue a numeric hooplah. As for us, at that precise moment, we shall be feasting upon a pie of our own, for obvious reasons (berry or apple – we haven’t decided yet).
I admit it. I have never been a fan of math. Quadratic equations, algorithms, stats? Not my thing. And forget about asking me to calculate a hypotenuse. Oh, in school I got good grades in math and science, but it was only because I took thorough notes, turned in my homework on time, and faired well on tests. But it was in one ear and out the other, because numerics did not seem to stick in this artsy gal’s brain.
On the other hand, I have always appreciated math and sciences. I may not be brainy enough with math, but I am smart enough to know that equations and formulas are inherent throughout the universe. Life, nature, space, even relationships run on algorithms.
In fact, the number Pi – because it is an infinite ratio – carries within its stream of unending digits every possible combination of numbers. What this means is that the digits of Pi tell a story – every story.
I want to share a film clip that talks about it. In the scene, Person of Interest‘s Harold Finch steps in as a math teacher and explains to the resisting class why pi matters:
Like me, you may or may not like math, but let’s face it, life, nature, the universe, runs on numbers and formulas and equations. Pi is at the center of all that.
I like Finch’s final answer to the question of why Pi matters. It matters because you’re in there. I’m in there – every story. But what you do with that information – how you live your story – is up to you.
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