Thursday, March 10, 2011

Pi slices

NCTM's Illuminations has some good pi-related lessons on a range of timelines. I'd like to build up to the Archimedean approximation in my classes some time, but usually I end up doing small activities and demonstrations on Pi Day. Here are a few.

  • Buffon's Needle Experiment.  Simulates dropping thousands of needles onto lined paper.  The probability of a needle crossing a line is 2/pi, so we can estimate the value of pi through repeated trials.

  • Multifactorials. Cool to show in conjunction with pi formulas from Ramanujan and others.

  • Doomsday Algorithm. Not related to pi but fun to teach on Pi Day.

  • What Pi sounds like. A cool new musical rendering of digits (there are a few other neat ones like this if you search).

  • Pi10k. An experiment mapping notes to digits. Like the video about but not as good-sounding.

  • Pi Rap Battle.  Near and dear to me.


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