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Written by David Blatner

Narrated by Oliver Wyman, Laura Dean, and Hank Jacobs

Ratings:

3 hours

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 and, in *The Joy of pi*, it proves to be infinitely intriguing. With incisive historical insight and a refreshing sense of humor, David Blatner explores the many facets of pi and humankind's fascination with it-from the ancient Egyptians and Archimedes to Leonardo da Vinci and the modern-day Chudnovsky brothers, who have calculated pi to eight billion digits with a homemade supercomputer.*The Joy of Pi* is a book of many parts. Breezy narratives recount the history of pi and the quirky stories of those obsessed with it. Sidebars document fascinating pi trivia (including a segment from the 0. J. Simpson trial). Dozens of snippets and factoids reveal pi's remarkable impact over the centuries. Mnemonic devices teach how to memorize pi to many hundreds of digits (or more, if you're so inclined). Pi-inspired cartoons, poems, limericks, and jokes offer delightfully "square" pi humor. And, to satisfy even the most exacting of number jocks, the first one million digits of pi appear throughout the book.

A tribute to all things pi, *The Joy of pi* is sure to foster a newfound affection and respect for the big number with the funny little symbol.

Publisher: Penguin Random House AudioReleased: Jul 16, 2002ISBN: 9780739301715Format: audiobook

This is a quirky history of pi in 130 pages. From the ancients to the modern day, the number that would be able to decipher a circle's circumference by its known radius has fascinated mathematicians. Blatner discusses a variety of history revolving around pi, including the development of equations to calculate it and devices people use to memorize it to several decimal points.The first thing that drew me to the book was its design. Its cover is yellow, square, and just a bit bigger than the old Beatrix Potter books I read as a young child. Peppered throughout the text are tidbits of information highlighted in squares, rectangles, or circles a different color from the page. And - the most fun aspect of it, in my opinion - throughout the text is, as if a footnote, is pi calculated to one million decimal places. Because most of the information is accessible to a layperson, I was willing to overlook the many equations that went completely over my head.

This is a neat little book outlining the history of man's attempt to define pi (the ratio of a circle's circumference to its diameter). In a few short pages it covers thoughts on pi from Egypt to Greece and on to Rome (they used 3 1/8, which is way off as far as construction calculations go-any jab I can get in on the Romans I'll take), through the middle ages and into the modern world, with segues through India and China. Ironically, the 5th century Chinese mathematician Tsu Chung-chih and his son Tsu Keng-chih calculated pi to within 8 millionths of a percent, approximating it at 355/113. They used a hexagon and kept doubling the sides 12 times to approximate a circle. I'm always amazed at how close mankind came to discovering the rules of integral calculus in the ancient past. The book also has the first one million decimal places of pi scattered throughout the text, some of which is too small to read. There are even a few math puns, comics and poems, along with MIT's football cheer. All in all, this is a really good book for anyone who cares to learn a bit about the magic of pi without being overwhelmed by technical minutia.'Tis a favorite project of mineA new value of pi to assign.I would fix it at threefor it's simpler, you seethan 3.14159''Integral z squared dzfrom 1 to the cube root of 3times the cosineof 3 pi over 9equals log of the cube root of e'These poems either prove 1) Math nerds have a sense of humor, 2) Math is a language easier to learn than French but not as easy as Japanese, or 3) You can easily make a limerick out of almost anything

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