Mar 16, 2023 | Red Deer

At Mathnasium of Red Deer, students celebrated Pi Day this year by making Pi-symbol bread and calculating the Pi of a round object. Can you imagine how wonderful the smell of freshly baked bread in the centre? Well, the taste was even better!! Without no doubt, they were sooo goooood .. and some kids were disappointed; there was no chance to get some more because there was no left-over .. lol



At Mathnasium, we like to use a simple language. Instead of saying that Pi is the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter, according to our experience when we say “the distance around a circle divided by the distance across”, students, big and young, understand better than using sophisticated words like “circumference” and “diameter”.


The history of finding the actual value of Pi

Below is the summary from an article titled Pi Day: How did they first calculate pi?


Between 1900-1600 BC in Babylon and 1650 BC in Egypt

Mathematicians used trial & error approximation to find Pi value as 3.1

250 BC

Greek mathematician Archimedes used polygons to come up with 3.14

150 AD

Greek-Roman scientist Ptolemy used polygons to find 3.1416

265 AD

Chinese mathematician Liu Hui used polygon-based iterative algorithm found 3.141

480 AD

Zu Chongzhi adopted Liu Hui’s method and came up with 7 digits accuracy. This record held for another 800 years


Austrian astronomer Christoph Grienberger arrived at 38 digits, using polygonal algorithm

Moving beyond polygons:


Indian astronomer Nilakantha Somayaji proved that Po had an infinite series of number


English mathematician and physicist Isaac Newton used infinite series to compute Pi to 15 digits, using calculus that he and German mathematician Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz discovered.


Pi value reached 71 digits.


Pi value reached 100 digits.


Pi value reached 620 digits. This is the best approximation without the help of a calculator or computer.

Computer calculation in modern era

Pi value reached more than 13 trillion digits!!


And it turned out it was a challenge to find the perfect Pi number of 3.14--- when calculating the Pi of a round object. Look at some of students’ work below 😊 So we appreciate it so much that the ancient mathematicians around the globe – without knowing each other – were able to agree on the number without a calculator or computer!



Now it’s your turn .. can you find a near perfect pi value of an object near you?       

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