OK, so the world celebrated International Pi day yesterday and I sat thinking that I should really write something for our social media channels on this, but try as I might the muse was not upon me, I could not come up with anything that had not already been said.

I received the expected promotional emails with tenuous links to Pi – like curved monitors (which incidentally I hate), but still nothing. In fact the only thing that really caught my eye is that language scholars believe that the correct ancient pronunciation should be 'pee' – which would be the source of much sniggering at school.

But this morning as I made my cup of tea I overheard several of our mathematicians discussing the merits of 'British Pi Day' being the 22nd July. There were even 'proofs' scribbled on the white board. What they'd written took me back to my school days and the fact that 22/7 is a good approximation to Pi. So for us Brits 22/7 should be Pi day not 14/3.

The argument being presented was that 22/7 is actually a more accurate representation of Pi than 3.14. Oh yes, the gauntlet is down. I fired up Excel and the results are in: 3.14 is 0.001593 out but 22/7 is a winning 0.001264 out. Yay for fractions!

This is one of the things I love about working at Cambridge Consultants, you can guarantee that the mathematicians, scientists, designers and engineers will challenge everything, even International Pi Day.

So here's to the real British Pi Day, the 22nd July. May your circles be ever even rounder.



The proof of Pi

P.S. For those of you who are not happy with a 0.001264 error then here is something better (see photo).

Natural log of 640,320 to the power three plus 744 divided by the square root of 163. Apparently accurate to 1 x 10-30. Easy to remember eh?



David Gladwin

Dave is a physicist by education, an experienced software developer who now specialises in technical marketing for industrial and consumer products.