To start off, pi is the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter (Bennet, Burton, & Nelson, 2012). This is approximately equal to 3.14159. In equation form it is calculated like this: π = C/d (Shell, 2013). Pi is also an irrational and transcendental number. This means that it will continue infinitely without any repetition or pattern. It also cannot be expressed accurately as a fraction and the decimal never ends (Shell, 2013).
The history of pi is a very confusing one. No one knows exactly who discovered it; they just know assumptions and possible coincidences. Many believe that the Babylonians were the first to find pi (Shell, 2013). They calculated the circumference of a circle and then they took three times the square of its
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All that is known of his days are that he studied much of his life in Egypt and was killed by a Russian soldier in 212 BC in the city of Syracuse. It is said that he was captured by Roman forces during the Second Punic War and was then killed because he would not give up his mathematical instruments, which were thought to be valuables. His last words were, “Do not disturb my circles.” An Indian mathematician named Madhaven of Sangamagramam is said to have then calculated pi to eleven decimal places in his infinite series named Mahava-Leibnize series in the 15th century. He was born in 1304 and died in 1425, both in Sangamagrama of Kerala. He was considered to be the founder of the Kerala School of Astronomy and Mathematics. He was also the first to use the infinite series approximations. Thankfully, all this led to the first eleven decimals of pi. William Jones was the next player in the history of pi. He was born in 1675 on the Isle of Anglesey. He later died in 1749 in England. Madhaven attended a charity school called Llanfechell. He then married twice and had two children. Initially he served at sea teaching mathematics in navigation. He continually applied his math in ways of calculating location at sea. This is what led him to his love of math and his future support in the finding of pi. William Jones was the first to use the greek letter for pi. Then came William Shanks. He was said to have calculated the first 707 digits of pi