10 Questions About Pi

Pizza Pi Consumes UsAah, tomorrow is Pi Day, which has nothing to do with pizza pie other than sharing some common letters. But that didn’t stop me from mocking up a tasty pizza pie image for this blog post, because it’s lunch time right now as I’m typing this and, frankly, I am hungry.

Also,when Pi Day annually sends a thrill up the leg of many a statistician all over the world, celebrations often include the eating of such homophonic foods. So, some kind of PIE visual seemed appropriate here. It was going to be either pizza or an image of the Greek alphabet character. And pizza just looked better.

So now, try these ten trivia questions about Pi…

  1. What is the definition of pi (not the estimated numeric value)?
  2. What 18th Century English mathematician first employed the Greek letter Pi to symbolize the value of #1 above?
  3. Pi is which letter (first, second, third, etc.) of the Greek alphabet?
  4. Is it any coincidence that the first two letters of the word “pizza” are P and I? (yes or no)
  5. Is the value of pi a rational or irrational number?
  6. The Greek letter Pi is also used in legal shorthand to represent what?
  7. In what Star Trek (TOS) episode is an evil energy being tricked by Kirk’s crew into attempting a full calculation of pi?
  8. What is the general literary technique that places artificial constraints on an author’s use of words, e.g., limiting word lengths to mimic the sequential digits of pi? (Yes, this has actually been done.)
  9. In 2010-2011, how many days were needed to calculate the current record of 10 trillion decimal places for pi?
  10. What is the name given to the practice of memorizing large strings of digits of pi through the use of various mnemonic techniques?

Hopefully, I shall remember to post the answers later.


About statsoftsa

StatSoft, Inc. was founded in 1984 and is now one of the largest global providers of analytic software worldwide. StatSoft is also the largest manufacturer of enterprise-wide quality control and improvement software systems in the world, and the only company capable of supporting its QC products worldwide, with wholly owned subsidiaries in all major markets (StatSoft has 23 full-service offices, on all continents), and its software is available in more than 10 languages.

Posted on March 14, 2013, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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