# Category Archives: math

## Pi Day Snow Day!

After a winter with no snow (no snow that’s stuck, anyway, there’ve been flakes in the air a few times), it’s a pi day miracle: a snow day!

Last night, when the call was made, we were predicted to get 6-12″, but with more sleet than snow, we’re on the low end of that range or a bit less. Here’s a joke I’m stealing from my friend Matt:

In honor of pi day, and with the extra free time of a snow day, I baked a quiche pi!

I tried to arrange the broccoli in the shape of the symbol π (pi), which you can see if you look closely 🙂 I’ve outlined it below.

And, of course, I had to break out my pi cutter to slice it with!

If you’re more ambitious than I am with your pi day baking needs, you could  try a “celebrity chef” pie, or Vi Hart’s Venn Pi-agram (she has both a dessert pie and a pizza pie version):

In Pi Day news, there have now been over 22 trillion digits of pi calculated! Hooray!

Whether or not you, too, are snowed in, have a wonderful pi day, and check out some of the following links!

Even though there are skeptics out there,

Me love pi (and pie)!

Filed under math

## New Year

Greetings readers, and happy new (school) year! This is year number eleven for me (who knows where the time goes?).

This year I shall be teaching the following subjects:

• Computer Integrated Manufacturing (my tenth year with this, my most-frequently-taught class) – Fall, two sections
• Foundations of Computer Science – Spring (ninth graders, to be recruited)
• Precalculus – Spring
• AP Computer Science Principles (a brand new AP course this year, though it has been in the works and piloted for several years, including last year by me) – Full Year

Here’s the College Board’s Intro Video to the new CSP course:

I’m super-excited for the new year, and the new CSP course in particular (if you’d like to follow along with our daily agenda, it will be updated each day at http://www.tinyurl.com/PHSCSP ).

This year I am thinking I shall try to keep up with #teach180 on Twitter, posting a photo tweet every school day (more explanation here). We’ll see if I can keep that up, after my abysmal recent record of updating this blog. 🙂

I’ve also just started my fall course from Georgia Tech, Computer Vision. I’m very much looking forward to it, and learning how computers can make sense of what they “see”!

To all the other teachers out there, hope you have a great year!

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Filed under engineering, math, teaching

## Happy (Round-Up) Pi Day!

Greetings once again, one and all!

Pi Pies (photo by djwtwo on Flickr)

It is PI DAY, y’all – gather round and roll out the red carpet for that most glorious of numbers,

3.14159265358979323846264338327950288419716939937510…,

a.k.a π,

a.k.a pi.

In fact, though we made a big deal of last year’s celebration as the “Ultimate Pi Day”, or the “Pi Day of the Century”, a case can be made that today is even more special! Today’s date, 3/14/16, is a rounded-up version of pi to four decimal places (rather than a truncated version like last year); it also only comes around only once a century; and in fact 3.1416 is about nine times closer to the actual value of pi than 3.1415 is! 😉

If you’re a little bummed out that we won’t have a “pi day of the century” next year (after all, 3.1417 doesn’t seem too special), check out this article (via MAA) which proves that, for some norm other than the Euclidean distance, there is a “pi” for that norm that will match that year–thus every pi day can be the “pi day of the century”!

I wore a shirt with a similar message today! (Image via Cliff Pickover)

Apple Pi (Image by elips, via Cliff Pickover)

HAPPY PI DAY !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!/!!!!!!!

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Filed under math, teaching

## PI DAY OF THE CENTURY

Happy Pi Day everyone!

This year is extra special, since it’s 3/14/15! Some have called it the “Ultimate Pi Day”, or the “Pi Day of a Lifetime” or the “PiPocalypse” (although I may be mixing that last one up with the snowstorm of a few years ago).

I wish you all an extra-wonderful ten-digits-of-pi-moment at fifty-three and a half seconds past the twenty-sixth minute of the nine o’clock hour this evening, or 3/14/15 9:26:53.5.

On this pi day, I encourage you to celebrate pi, and math, and the amazing things you can do with both! From last year, here are:

#### MY TOP PI WAYS TO CELEBRATE PI DAY

1. Share pi (and pie) with friends
3. Contemplate the wonder of the universe and mathematics’ role within it
.14159…. Shout “Happy Pi Day!” and/or “Happy Pi Moment” at the top of your lungs when the appropriate time occurs

Some awesome pi-related things to check out this year:

• A cool pi day sudoku
• How to estimate pi by weighing a circle [video]
• “Why Pi Matters” by Stephen Strogatz
• This argument of pi vs. the Pythagorean Theorem
• An article on this pi day by Borwein & Bailey, famous pi mathematicians
• This video making fun of our obsession with pi, tau, e, golden ratio, and other *amazing* numbers – it might take a little math knowledge to get the joke but it’s hilarious once you do

Hope you have a great pi day, and many more!

– Nick the Pi Guy

Filed under math

## Pi and Pancakes

Happy Pi Day – 1 everyone! Only one more day until the pi day of the century!

In the meantime, check out this awesome pancake 3D printer (article, kickstarter).

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Filed under math

## Roots of Unity Final Projects

These are the results created last November for the art/math integration project described here.

By the way, happy pi week everyone!

Pi Week

Filed under math, teaching

## Art Integration: Roots of Unity & String Art

I talked with an art teacher this afternoon about ways to integrate art and math into a project. She had some great ideas, plus we came up with more ideas in the course of our discussion, many of which I plan to try for Algebra 2 or Precalculus (both which I teach this year, fall and spring respectively). Geeking out while discussing the intersection of math and art reminded me of this awesome collaboration and its result from a few years ago!

Our first idea (in terms of implementing soon) was some colorful string art crossed with a discussion of the roots of unity, since my students are (today) using and graphing complex numbers for the first time. Math teachers, art teachers, and any interested others, check out this rough draft of the project and let me know any thoughts and advice:

Roots of Unity Project

Colorful “string” art on the 17 th roots of unity