**What is the origin of ***pi*?

*pi*?

*Pi* is the Latin name of the sixteenth Greek letter, **π***.* (Mathematic notation borrows from a multitude of alphabets and typefaces.) The first recorded use of **π** as a mathematical symbol comes from the Welsh mathematician William Jones in a 1706 work called *Synopsis Palmariorum Matheseos,* in which he abbreviated the Greek *περιϕέρεια,* (meaning “circumference,” or “periphery”) to its first letter: **π**.

**What does ***pi *mean in mathematics?

*pi*mean in mathematics?

The mathematical *pi* is defined as “the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter.” It’s also known as *Archimedes’ Constant*, after the ancient Greek mathematician of the same name, who, in addition to coming up with an algorithm for calculating *pi*, also invented an early type of irrigation pump called the *Archimedian screw*. Very medieval-sounding, but we digress.

What makes *pi* so magical is that it doesn’t matter how big or small the circle may be: the *pi* ratio remains the same.

*Pi* is what’s known as an *irrational number,* which means, in part, that “it can never terminate or repeat when written out in decimal form.” As far as we can tell, it goes on forever, which is a bit mind-boggling. Computers have calculated *pi* to decimal places in the trillions.

It is also a *transcendental* *number*, a concept that exceeds the scope of this post but is interesting in and of itself.

**What is ***Pi* Day?

*Pi*Day?

Pi Day is the March 14 holiday commemorating the mathematical constant **π** (pi), written numerically as 3.141592+, and pronounced “pie.” And yes: lots of people mark the occasion by eating pie because why would you pass up an occasion to eat pie?

**What is the world record for memorizing ***pi*?

*pi*?

Memorizing as many digits of pi as possible has become an obsession for many. The Guinness World Record for memorizing digits of **π** is held by a man named Lu Chao, who set the record in November 2005 in the Shaanxi province of China. It took him 24 hours and 4 minutes to recite the 67,890th decimal place of π without a mistake. Kind of makes us feel inadequate for all the times we’ve forgotten our 4-digit PIN.