An Infinite Sum Approximation of Pi

The value of Pi rounded to four decimal places is 3.1416, which makes today (3/14/16) one of the most prominent International Pi Days you’ll experience in your lifetime. This year I’m looking at Issac Newton’s infinite series approximation for π. Originating in the long ago 1730s, it’s still one of the fastest converging Pi approximations to this day. Continue reading

Thinking About the Value of Pi

The number pi (π) is far more than just an esoteric button on calculator keypads, little used by everyday people on the street, and thought useful only to scientists accustomed to the Greek alphabet. March 14 (3/14) is Pi day, and a good day to remember a little of that grade school mathematics that plays such an important role in so much of the world around us. Have you ever wondered why does π have the value it does, 3.14159265…? Not a little bit more, or a little bit less?  In this Pi day adventure you will see for yourself with a little arithmetic, algebra and Euclidean geometry (of the sort learned in high school) just how π comes out to be the number it is. Continue reading