## Monday, March 14, 2005

### Happy Pi Day

Happy Pi Day!

π, or pi (if you cannot type Greek), is the mathematical contant equal to approximately  3.141592653. Pi (originally pronounced like the letter "p") is a transcendental irrational number; that is, it cannot be written as a fraction. π is not constructible; that is, it is impossible to express π using only a finite number of integers, fractions and their square roots.

Archimedes "Mr. Eureka" of Syracuse has the distinction of having pi named "Archimedes' constant" since he was the first to reach a four-digit approximation of pi in the 3rd century BC. The Chinese mathematician Liu Hui was first to reach five digits in in 263 AD, and Zu Chongzhi reached seven digits in 480 AD. It took hundreds of years to improve the calculation of pi byt the man who invented the Claw of Archimedes used in the Second Punic War.

Who says there isn't a career for math majors?