Presentation Title

π = 3.141592653589793…: How Do We Know That?

Presentation Type

Oral Presentation

School

School of Sciences and Social Sciences

Discipline

Mathematics

Mentor

Vincent Ferlini

Date & Time

April 9th at 3:15 PM - 4:15 PM

Location

David F. Putnam Science Center, Room 102

Abstract

Since ancient times, mathematicians have been aware that the perimeter of a circle divided by its diameter yields a constant quantity. The value was first measured to be about 3; however, the exact value, known as pi, was unknown. Pi was first calculated by the ancient Greek Archimedes to be between 3 10/71 and 3 1/7. Since then, mathematicians have been trying to find the best approximation for the irrational number. Today, pi has been calculated to trillions of digits, but that could not have been done without the work of mathematicians such as Archimedes, Euler, Wallis and others. This presentation will examine the ways pi has been calculated—geometrically, through infinite series, and as a probability—throughout history.

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Apr 9th, 3:15 PM

π = 3.141592653589793…: How Do We Know That?

David F. Putnam Science Center, Room 102

Since ancient times, mathematicians have been aware that the perimeter of a circle divided by its diameter yields a constant quantity. The value was first measured to be about 3; however, the exact value, known as pi, was unknown. Pi was first calculated by the ancient Greek Archimedes to be between 3 10/71 and 3 1/7. Since then, mathematicians have been trying to find the best approximation for the irrational number. Today, pi has been calculated to trillions of digits, but that could not have been done without the work of mathematicians such as Archimedes, Euler, Wallis and others. This presentation will examine the ways pi has been calculated—geometrically, through infinite series, and as a probability—throughout history.