A Piece of Pi with Wolfram|Alpha
Whether math is your favorite subject or the bane of your existence, we can think of at least one day on which you might look forward to math class. Every March 14, many teachers take it upon themselves to indulge students’ sugar cravings with a variety of pies, but not before forcing them into some kind of plate-measuring, digit-memorizing, or Pi-ku-writing event (yes, these are real things).
Here at Wolfram|Alpha, we want to celebrate right along with math educators! In honor of this delicious day, let’s investigate some questions related to pi and see how Wolfram|Alpha can help you get ahead in your Pi Day festivities.
So, what exactly is pi?
Wolfram|Alpha has quite a few facts about pi. Start out with the most simple definition: pi is the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter.
Investigate further: measure the circumference and diameter of a paper plate. Once you have that information, you can use pi to calculate the area of said plate. For example, let’s say you have a plate with a radius of 4 inches.
Those plates are looking empty… let’s head over to the local grocer for some real fun: PIE!
Personally, I can never decide between apple and pecan pie. So I can use Wolfram|Alpha to help me compare the two, though let’s be honest, I’m eating both.
Wolfram Alpha has the nutritional information for a variety of pies.
This nutritional data comes in handy with the dreaded “pie slice for every pi digit memorized and repeated” competition! I can remember back to sixth grade, when my math teacher gave us (very thin!) slices of pie based on the number of pi digits we could memorize.
Start out with the first 10 digits of pi. Then you can add on 5 digits at a time. Have a friend test you.
The Guinness World Record for memorizing the most digit of pi is held by Chao Lu for memorizing 67,890 digits. Imagine being his friend checking his answers.
That job would be a lot easier using Wolfram|Alpha.
All I can say is that hopefully Chao’s sixth grade teacher didn’t promise him as many slices of pie as digits of pi he could memorize.
Last but not least, the strangest Pi Day tradition: the Pi-ku. An English haiku poem usually consists of three lines with 5, 7, and 5 syllables, respectively. Well, you guessed it: a Pi-ku is a poem consisting of 3, 1, and 4 syllables.
A Pi Day poem
If you didn’t know already, the Wolfram Language is available on the Raspberry Pi. So go check out the cool things that people are up to and join in on the conversation. And in celebration of Pi Day, leave in the comments your best Pi Day Pi-ku—extra points if you can work in Raspberry Pi somewhere.