### Slices of pi

God! I need a drink --

Alcoholic, of course --

After all those lectures

Involving radical equations.

There is in mathematical circles (no pun intended) a great and lengthy tradition of making mnemonics to memorize the digits of pi:

pi = 3.14159 26535 89793 23846 26433 83279 502....

In a traditional pi mnemonic, such as the one above, the number of characters in each word is used to represent a digit of pi, with the ocassional 10-, 11-, 12, or 14-digit word denoting two digits of pi. Punctuation is ignored.

#### 3.1416

May I draw a circle?

-- Anon, found in Dmitri Borgmann's >Language on Vacation, 1965

Yes, I have a number.

-- H. E. Licks, Recreations in Matheematics, 1917

#### 3.14159

Wow, I made a great discovery!

--Anon

#### 3.14159 2

Now I need a verse recalling pi.

--Irene Fisher & Dunstan Hayden, Geoometry, 1965

#### 3.14159 265

How I wish I could enumerate pi easily today.

--Anon

Yes, I know I shall recollect my number right.

--Wallace Lee, Math Miracles,, 1960

May I draw a round enclosure as circle known?

--Dmitri Borgmann, Language on Vacattion, 1965

#### 3.14159 26535

May I have a large container of coffee, sugar and cream?

Anon

#### 3.14159 26536 (rounded)

But I must a while endeavour

To reckon right the ratios.

--Anon, Mathematical Gazette,, vol. 10, October 1921

#### 3.14159 26535 8

Sir! I send a rhyme excelling

In sacred truth and rigid spelling.

--F. R. S., Nature, vol. 72, no. 1875, October 1905

#### 3.14159 26535 8979

*The mathematician's version:*

God! I need a drink --

Alcoholic, of course --

After all those lectures

Involving radical equations.

--Anon

*The physicist's version:*

How I want a drink,

Alcoholic of course,

After the heavy chapters

Involving quantum equations.

--Sir James Jeans, c. 1932

#### 3.14159 26535 89793 2384

Now I have a score notations

Of digits large and small,

teaching diameter's precise relations,

And we can remember 'tall.

--G. E. Gude, Scientific American Suupplement, vol. 77, no. 1994, March 1914

#### 3.14159 26535 89793 23846

How I wish I could recollect pi.

Eureka! cried the great inventor.

Christmas pudding, Christmas pie

Is the problem's very center.

--Anon, found in Alan D. Baddeley's >The Pyschology of Memory, 1976

Now I sing a silly roundelay

Of radical roots, and utter "Lackaday!

Euclidean results imperfect are, my boy...

Mnemonic arts employ!"

--Willard R. Espy, An Almanac of Worrds at Play, 1975

#### 3.14159 26535 89793 23846 264

Now I know a spell unfailing,

An artful charm, for tasks availing,

Intricate results entailing.

Not in too exact a mood...

(Poetry is pretty good!)

--Anon, Nature, vol. 72, no. 1878, October 1905.

How I want a drink,

Alcoholic of course,

After the heavy chapters

Involving quantum equations.

All of thy geometry,

Herr Planck, is fairly hard.

--Anonymous extension to Sir Jeans' famouss mnemonic above.

#### 3.14159 26535 89793 23846 26433 8

For circumscribing a round enclosure or circle, every man

might remember ingenious numbers measuring one by one

diameter into circle or circle upon its own diameter...

--Anon, Mathematical Gazette,, vol. 4, no. 65, July 1907.

#### 3.14159 26535 89793 23846 26433 83279

See, I have a rhyme assisting

My feeble brain, its tasks sometime resisting,

Efforts laborious can by its witchery

Grow easier, so hidden here are

The decimals all of circle's periphery.

--L. R. Stokelbach, The Scientific AAmerican Supplement, no. 1994, March 1914.

Now I -- even I -- would celebrate

In rhymes unapt, the great

Immortal Syracusan, rivaled nevermore

Who in his wondrous lore

Passed on before,

Left men his guidance how to circles mensurate.

--Adam C. Orr, Lierary Digest, vol. 32, no. 3, January 1906.

Now I will a rhyme construct,

By chosen words the young instruct,

Cunningly devised endeavors

Con it and remember ever

Widths in circle here you see

Sketched out in strange obscurity.

--Anon, The Dark Horse, 1951.

#### 3.14159 26535 89793 23846 26433 83279 5

Sir: I wish I could recapture my memory about Sir

Jeans' diabolic mnemonics! However, invention

now of any reliable easy phrase is beyond what shy

and fumbling aid my present intellect gives.

--Bill Powers, found in Willey Ley's

May I have a month, professor,

To figure these, you brain assessor?

Calculate, student, calculate now!

As the figuring gets longer,

My friend, hope you get stronger

And no figures incorrect allow!

--Aaron L. Buchman, School Science aand Mathematics, 1953.

You I sing, O ratio undefined

By strict assay and lined,

Sequence limitless. Stunned regarding you,

We see eternity -- alas -- unwind

In random cast and rue,

Dejected out of measure, reckoning blind.

--John Freund, The Mathematics Teachher, vol. 62, 1969.

May I tell a story purposing to render clear

the ratio circular perimeter-breaths, revealing

one of the problems most famous in modern days,

and the greatest man of science anciently known.

--C. J. Jackson, Mathematical Gazettte, vol. 4, 1907.

#### Other useful ways to approximate pi

Archimede's estimate: **22/7**

This gives 3.14.

Chinese estimate: **335/113**

This gives 3.141592, and can itself be rememebered as "1-1-3-into-3-5-5," with pairs of the first three odd numbers.

And, of course, God's estimate: **3**

Really! Check out 1 Kings 7:23, or 2 Chronicles 4:2.

#### Pi Limericks

'Tis a favorite project of mine

A new value of *pi* to assign.

I would fix it at 3

For it's simpler, you see,

Than 3.14159...

If inside a circle a line

Hits the center and goes spine to spine

And the line's length is *d*

the circumference will be
*d* times 3.14159...

#### One last thought

Now I need a drink --

Alcoholic, of course --

After all these snippets

Involving precise mnemonics.

--Travis, Pi Day 2006