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The Joy of Pi

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Format: Paperback

Condition: Very Good

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Book Overview

No number has captured the attention and imagination of people throughout the ages as much as the ratio of a circle's circumference to its diameter. Pi or ? as it is symbolically known is infinite... This description may be from another edition of this product.

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

This book is cool!

This book was fascinating, and I learned alot on pi day. On march 14 (Pi day) I had memorized 50 digits, and wowed my classmates. I reccomend this book to any budding Pi researcher/memorizer

A romp in the park with the world's most enchanting number!

I used to hate math. I had no use for it other than balancing my checkbook, and even that was a laborious task. Then while visiting my brother, who happens to be an engineer, I noticed this book lying on his coffee table. Tired of feeling "out of the loop" in the math world, I picked up the book. What a page-turner! I spent the entire next day discussing Pi with my brother, and in turn learned more about math and the laws of physics in one day than I ever had in school! Who knew that a number I once dismissed could be so transcendental and enigmatical??? My only regret was that the book ended, and now my view of math has forever changed. What a whimsical and paradoxical subject! I cannot WAIT to show this book to my son. He's only a toddler now but believe me, he will come to fully know the true magic and mysticism of a little number called Pi.

Brief but filled with fun facts

This book contains the first million digits of pi. At first, this is intriguing, but after a hundred digits or so, it gets a little tedious, and after the first thousand it's a struggle. Nonetheless I got to the conclusion, and was pleasantly surprised to find out the last digit was 1.Seriously, this is a fun book filled with interesting facts about this transcendental number. It is a history of the struggles to find this number with greater and greater precision, but it is also a grab bag of other material showing pi's "ability" to show up in unlikely places.The presentation of the book is a bit flawed, almost causing this book to lose a star. In particular, some of the text is hard to read because it is on top of an illustration. Since this probably as much the fault of the publisher as the writer, however, I won't rate this lower that five stars. If you enjoy math, this is a fun little diversion, and you might even learn a thing or two in the process.

a fun little book on a fun little number

I just received this book yesterday for winning a mathematics award at my high school. It's an interesting little book about this number that has captivated people for centuries. There's nothing new here - it's essentially a compilation of all the pi anecdotes and proof sketches that the author could find. But it's a fun little book. Scattered throughout the book in really small print are the first million digits of Pi. The text is broken by many little sidebars and quotes, and there are formulas to calculate Pi throughout. If you have computer software that will allow you to calculate these series to at least 100 decimal places or so, see how fast the series converge. One of the great themes in Pi calculation is finding series that converge faster and faster. Some series for Pi are, of course, quite elementary: 4(1 - 1/3 + 1/5 - 1/7 + 1/9 - ...) comes to mind, but this takes forever to converge. Then there are the "mystical" formulas - the ones where I have no idea how they equal Pi, but they do. For example, this formula, from the Chudnovsky brothers on p. 71: 1/Pi = 12 * (the sum on n = 0 to infinity) (-1)^n * (6n)!/((n!)^3*(3n!)) * (13591409+545140134n)/(640320^(3n+3/2)) which looks much more formidable, but gives 14 decimal places per term. This mystical aspect of Pi has attracted many geniuses over the centuries (including Ramanujan - there's a sidebar about him), and it isn't lost on Blatner. Buy this book. You don't have to read it cover to cover - in fact, it's probably better to just dip in at random points here and there and see what you find.

Pi ain't square

What a delightful book: exemplary in its depth, and fascinating in the writing. As an undergraduate math major, I have been in love with numbers, the lore of numbers, and the history of numbers, and this easy to read but tantalizing in its depth, shows that my passion has not been in vein. I particularly enjoyed the psychology of the pi seekers. It is almost too good for its audience, and should be enjoyed by all ages at all levels. The description of the savants who memorize thousands of digits is memorable. To think of a billion digits without a repeat or a pattern gives me awe. Yet the concept is so simple as to be obvious. I intend to give this to my granddaughter when she turns six.

The Joy of Pi Mentions in Our Blog

The Joy of Pi in Happy National Pi Day!
Happy National Pi Day!
Published by Beth Clark • March 14, 2019

Celebrate #NationalPiDay with 3.14 pieces of your favorite pie (à la mode, according to our recent poll), 3.14 slices of your favorite pizza (pie), 3.14 chapters of The Life of Pi, or by seeing how many decimal digits of Pi (π) you can memorize and say aloud. (FYI, there are over a trillion, so hydrate first.)

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