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The Joy of Pi (Penguin Press Science) Paperback – 24 Sep 1998

5.0 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd; New edition edition (24 Sept. 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140266801
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140266801
  • Product Dimensions: 16 x 1.2 x 16 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 911,145 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Paperback
David Blatner goes into brief detail of the whole of the history of pi; his insights and collections of the data surrounding the number are truly fascinating. Mr Blatner highlights the forefathers of pi calculus and their problems encountered in a discovering world - he also details accounts of the more famous failures. A beautiful little book which throughout its pages displays pi to one million digits, and discusses patterns of numbers within.
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Format: Paperback
Okay, what do you get when you measure the circumference of a jack o lantern?

Pumpkin pi(e).

This is just one of the many little pleasantries that David Blatner has for readers in this most attractive little gem of an exploration of 3.1459.... There's also some pi poetry, some of which is not half bad. There are pi mnemonic devices, words strung out in prose or rhyme with the length of the individual letters to remind one of the string of pi digits. For example, "How I wish I could calculate pi." Or, "Sir, I bear a rhyme excelling/In mystic force and magic spelling...." In the same chapter, "Memorizing Pi" Blatner recalls some of the great mnemonic exploits of pi-dom, culminating in the incredible feat of one "Hiroyki Goto, who in February 1995 spent just over nine hours reciting 42,00 digits of pi from memory." (p. 111)

One of the questions I always had about pi was, Are the digits random? The number is irrational and transcendent so apparently the numbers never repeat. To me that always sounded like something close to a definition of a random sequence. Here I learned that in the first million digits, there are 99,959 zeros, 99,758, ones, 100,026 twos, 100,229 threes, 100,230 fours, 100,359 fives, 99,548 sixes, 99,800 sevens, 99,985 eights, and 100,106 nines. I would consider that distribution indistinguishable from random. Incidentally the first one million digits are printed in the book, albeit in such small type that you'll need a magnifying glass to make out the numbers.

But could the seeming randomness of the digits change as more and more places are calculated? Apparently not since "now, at over 51 billion digits on record, it appears that there's no statistically relevant difference..." between any of the numbers. (p.
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Format: Paperback
This little book was recommended to me by the friendly Amazon computer, based on my previous buying pattern. Also it was cheap, so I bought it (probably the computer factored that in). However I have to say I was disappointed. The content seemed to suffer in favour of the style, and the small page size didn't help. I wanted more of the mathematical background, as well as the historic narrative. After the first thousand digits or so I was bored with the print-out of the value of pi anyway.
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By A Customer on 25 Sept. 1999
Format: Paperback
Some people are spending most of their lifes on exploring PI. After reading the Joy of PI I am considering to do the same. Well, even if you don't want to sped your entire life on PI I will strongly recommand thet you at least spend a few houers enjoing the Joy of PI.
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