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Circles, Maths and Pi Day

Updated on June 2, 2014

Circles, Maths and Pi Day

Pi, or the Greek letter π, is the symbol that represents the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter. Pi Day is celebrated by mathematics suporters around the world on March (3rd month), 14th. Pi = 3.141592653589793238 ...

Pi is an irrational number and a transcendental number. An irrational number is a real number that cannot be written as a fraction. Its decimal expansion neither terminate nor repeate following a pattern; it continues infinitely. A transcedental number is an irrational number that it is not an algebraic number meaning that it is not the root of any integer polynomial.

The symbol for pi was first used in 1706 by William Jones (below left picture), but was popular after it was adopted by the Swiss mathematician Leonhard Euler (below right picture) in 1737. Learn more about Pi.

Euclid's most celebrated book of the Elements.

Six Books of Euclid

"A rare and beautiful geometry primer from the 19th century.

Red, yellow, blue - and of course black - are the colours that Oliver Byrne employs for the figures and diagrams in his most unusual 1847 edition of Euclid, published by William Pickering and printed by Chiswick Press, and which prompt the surprised reader to think of Mondrian. The author makes it clear in his subtitle that this is a didactic measure intended to distinguish his edition from all others: "The Elements of Euclid in which coloured diagrams and symbols are used instead of letters for the greater ease of learners."

Oliver Byrne (c. 1810-c. 1880) was an Irish author and civil engineer. Little is known about his life, though he wrote a considerable number of books. As Surveyor of Her Majesty's Settlements in the Falkland Islands, Byrne had already published mathematical and engineering works, but never anything like his edition on Euclid. This remarkable example of Victorian printing has been described as one of the oddest and most beautiful books of the 19th century.

Each proposition is set in Caslon italic, with a four-line initial, while the rest of the page is a unique riot of red, yellow and blue."

Reference:, Editorial review, product description.

Interesting Pi Facts

1. Pi to 2000 Digits

Pi is the most recognized mathematical constant in the world.



























ReferenceTURNBULL WWW SERVER, School of Mathematical and Computational Sciences

University of St Andrews

2. Squaring the Circle

Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519) briefly worked on "squaring the circle."

Klaus Schröer in his, Das Geheimnes der Proportionsstudie, published by Waxmann Publisher, Germany in 1998, was the first to recognize that Leonardo da Vinci, in his Vitruvian Man, is attempting to square the circle, to demonstrate how a square and circle of equal area can be created.

'The Vitruvian Man is a world-renowned drawing created by Leonardo da Vinci around the year 1487 It is accompanied by notes based on the work of Vitruvius. The drawing, which is in pen and ink on paper, depicts a nude male figure in two superimposed positions with his arms and legs apart and simultaneously inscribed in a circle and square. The drawing and text are sometimes called the Canon of Proportions or, less often, Proportions of Man. It is stored in the Gallerie dell'Accademia in Venice, Italy, and, like most works on paper, is displayed only occasionally.'

Reference: Image and citation from WORLD, Vitruvian Man by Leonardo da Vinci

3. Albert Einstein

was born on Pi Day

The well renowned mathematician Albert Eistein was born on Pi Day, 14 March 1879. A famous quote from Einstein "Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted."

5. Baffling Crop Circles

I have always been fascinated by these crop shapes. The geometric pattern in this image shows a coded image which represents the first ten digits of pi - 3.141592654. This complex crop circle appeared in a field near Barbury Castle, an iron-age hill fort in Wiltshire, England.

The astrophysicist Michael Reed, said:

"The tenth digit has even been correctly rounded up. The little dot near the centre is the decimal point.

"The code is based on 10 angular segments with the radial jumps being the indicator of each segment.

"Starting at the centre and counting the number of one-tenth segments in each section contained by the change in radius clearly shows the values of the first 10 digits in the value of pi."

Reference: "Baffling Crop Circles Equal Pi." June 18, 2008. Accessed: June 15, 2009.

How Does It Work?

This puzzle looks complicated but it is so easy to read once you learn how to read it. The coded image depicts 3.141592654, the first ten digits of Pi.

Step 1. The exterior circle was divided into ten equal parts (a bit like a dartboard). It is quite easy to find the ten staggered edges located at strategic points around the crop circle. There are ten sectors of the circle because there are 10 digits: 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9. This sets the basic framework.

Step 2. Each number in Pi is represented in the diagram by a corresponding number of coloured blocks. It begins in the centre with the first number three, 3, which is represented by three red blocks moving in a clockwise direction. These are the blocks between the first edge and the second edge.

Step 3. Moving around the circle, the decimal point is represented by a small circle.

Step 4. Moving around the circle to the next edge, there is only one sector covered, the green one, which means that the next number is one, 1.

Step 5. The next edge is 4 steps away, the purple sectors.

Step 6. By following this pattern, Dr Mike Reed found the next seven digits of the number Pi: one orange sector, 1, five blue sectors, 5, nine yellow sectors, 9, two purple sectors, 2, six red sectors, 6, five green sectors, 5, four dark blue sectors, 4. The three circles at the end represent three dots meaning that the number goes forever, to infinity.

How easy was that!?

Reference: Image and info from Mail online

6. Pi the Movie

There are different and diverse opinions about this movie, however one thing is for sure: p is a very intriguing number.

'Patterns exist everywhere: in nature, in science, in religion, in business. Max Cohen (played hauntingly by Sean Gullette) is a mathematician searching for these patterns in everything. Yet, he's not the only one, and everyone from Wall Street investors, looking to break the market, to Hasidic Jews, searching for the 216-digit number that reveals the true name of God, are trying to get their hands on Max. This dark, low-budget film was shot in black and white by director Darren Aronofsky. With eerie music, voice-overs, and overt symbolism enhancing the somber mood, Aronofsky has created a disturbing look at the world. Max is deeply paranoid, holed up in his apartment with his computer Euclid, obsessively studying chaos theory. Blinding headaches and hallucinogenic visions only feed his paranoia as he attempts to remain aloof from the world, venturing out only to meet his mentor, Sol Robeson (Mark Margolis), who for some mysterious reason feels Max should take a break from his research. This movie is complex--occasionally too complex--but the psychological drama and the loose sci-fi elements make this a worthwhile, albeit consuming, watch. Pi won the Director's Award at the 1998 Sundance Film Festival.' --Jenny Brown Editorial review

7. Pi Day Sudoku

Rules 2008: Each row, column, and jigsaw region must contain exactly the first twelve digits of pi, including repeats: 3.14159265358. Notice that each region will contain two 1's, two 3's, three 5's, and no 7's. This puzzle is the most fun you'll ever have memorizing the first twelve digits of p.

Brainfreeze Puzzles have come up with Pi Day Sudoku. Their Pi Day Sudoku puzzles are free to use and distribute. If you want to download the printable PDF version just click on the sudoku of your choice and the link will take you to the puzzle.

Pi Day Sudoku 2008

Rules 2009: Fill in the grid so that each row, column, and jigsaw region contains 1-9 exactly once and p three times.

Pi Day Sudoku 2009

Rules 2010: Fill in the grid so that each row, column, and block contains 1-9 exactly once.

Pi Day Sudoku 2011

Rules 2011: Fill in the grid so that each row, column, and block contains 1-9 exactly once.

Pi Day Sudoku 2011

9. Find Your Birthday in Pi

If you click here you can find where in Pi your birthday first occurs. This is fun. Enjoy!

10. Pi Songs on YouTube

The Guestbook is a great tool to give feedback on Squidoo. Whether you are new on Squidoo or not, a comment is always appreciated. At least I do. I always look forward to reading the comments left by my visitors.

I Love Pi Day - How do you cellebrate Pi Day?

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    • Michelllle profile image


      5 years ago

      We celebrated pi day in my third and forth grade class. We spent about a month learning about diameter, radius, circumference and mathematicians. Pi day was a celebration. I brought in different sizes of pies. Little tarts too. If they wanted to eat something,they had to find the circumference first.

    • AceofHearts profile image


      5 years ago

      That's for sharing your interesting Pi facts.

    • scrapquilter profile image

      Myreda Johnson 

      6 years ago from Ohio USA

      Pi day is my sister's birthday so we usually have cake and ice cream.

    • theholidayplace profile image


      6 years ago

      Is hard to understand the tru significance of pi, as it has such a key role in so many equations totally unrelated of the circunsference of the circle

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Very informative and fun

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Happy National Pi Day! Thanks for making math fun and interesting!

    • bbsoulful2 profile image


      6 years ago

      Love it! Thanks (I'm forwarding to my math friends...)

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Excellent lens!

    • GOT LM profile image

      GOT LM 

      6 years ago

      Nice work! Please visit my lens too. :)

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      The need for study and education is important and like today is needed within our society in order to become wiser, education, and well rounded. I appreciated reading your article today.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Pi is baffling amongst the fractions we use and the most important one.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I've always loved math, nice lens!

    • Ram Ramakrishnan profile image

      Ram Ramakrishnan 

      6 years ago

      Inherently a very nice guy,

      he must be, this enigmatic Pi;

      Never get to know him fully,

      even if you earnestly try.

      Simple enough for a child to use,

      Yet could pick Einsteinâs brain.

      Moves about with ease, does he,

      Sporting his endless digit-train.

    • Rangoon House profile image


      6 years ago from Australia

      A great lens - wish you were teaching math to my child!

    • darciefrench lm profile image

      darciefrench lm 

      7 years ago

      Such a cool Pi lens, for any day :)

    • chezchazz profile image


      7 years ago from New York

      Would you believe my wife's friends actually named their son "Pi"!

      Great lens. I've lensrolled it to my "Pie" lens :-)

    • CruiseReady profile image


      7 years ago from East Central Florida

      Well. I just discovered this lens, and found out about Pi day 20 days too late... so, now. it's a while year to remember about it. Unique lens, and cool Zazzle stuff, too!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      i may have been a few days late but i enjoyed this lens

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Cool lens. Math is good. :) Like to know more about that crop circle. Have to check into that.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      I used this in class today, thanks for the great information! Thumbs up and fav'd.

    • darciefrench lm profile image

      darciefrench lm 

      7 years ago

      Amazing- I'm in love with math- how did that happen?? Like Einstein said, it's not gravitation -:). You're lenses are like a bridge between the linear realm of science and the nonlinear of love.

    • Kiwisoutback profile image


      7 years ago from Massachusetts

      I forgot Pi Day was almost upon us! Those crop circles are pretty labor intensive. If man-made, that's still one very intelligent person.

    • Salvatore LM profile image

      Salvatore LM 

      7 years ago

      I love maths; I used to give private math lessons to my relatives. Great lens indeed!


    • profile image


      7 years ago

      That crop circle is amazing, whether done by aliens or mathematicians with too much free time. A perfect example of math as art. Pi shows up in so many places. You should do a lens on the golden rectangle/ratio. Nice work!

    • norma-holt profile image


      7 years ago

      Wonderful descriptive lens on this great subject. I love maths and the philosophy behind it and the rationality of its solutions. Featured on Brain Matters

    • Brite-Ideas profile image

      Barbara Tremblay Cipak 

      7 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      Well I absolutely love all your math lenses and this one is so interesting! I had never heard of Pi Day, but now I'm going to annoy my kids and talk about it in March (ha)...The crop circle I found very interesting. I am going to reference your lenses if my children need guidance in math - they're so well done, and you make math fun!


    • Psycho-Gamer profile image


      7 years ago from Earth

      i didn't even know there is a Ï = 3.14 day . seems there is a special day for everything......i never liked maths....i won't say hated it but i wasn't really fond of it.... now that i have grown older and wiser i ve realized that it is not the student's fault when he says " i hate maths " but it is the teachers fault....

      And i mean that teachers use the same tutoring pattern for all their students...but every student has and needs a different approach ...and not punishing them and humiliating them in front of the class just because they do not get it. it happened to me a few times so i ended up disliking french..ancient greek and maths.....

      on the other hand teachers do not have the time to approach every single student with a different way...when there are too many kids in the same class and they have to put in their heads tons of information in short school year........Really enjoyable lens

    • GonnaFly profile image


      7 years ago from Australia

      Actually, I've only just recently learned about Pi Day! This lens has been blessed by the maths angel and added to my best maths resources lens.

    • Eighteen18 profile image


      7 years ago

      What a cool lens!!! I'm a maths geek and enjoy this kind of thing

    • joanhall profile image

      Joan Hall 

      7 years ago from Los Angeles

      My boys and I have celebrated Pi Day in the past by buying a pie, calculating the circumference and area of it, then eating it!

    • Jhangora LM profile image

      Jhangora LM 

      7 years ago

      I don't. Used to dread mathematics during school. Read a nice article about Pi and Pi socities around in the world in the recent edition of the Geo magazine.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Love this lens .. sorana :) Here is fulfilled a lot of interesting of Pi. 5 Pi Day loving stars for you ;) Have a wonderful times.


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