On 14 March at 1.59pm GMT, Professor Marcus du Sautoy will host Pi Day Live, a free interactive online event that is open to all. The event is a hands-on exploration of pi, the number which has fascinated mathematicians throughout the ages.
This event has been designed by TALL and we’re pretty excited about it because:
1. It’s genuinely interactive. Participants will work together online to calculate pi using techniques from the pre-computer age. We want to discover if we can collectively calculate pi to one, two, three or more, decimal places using tools no more sophisticated than marbles, sticks and string.
2. It’s open. Just as long as your computer can run YouTube, (and your timezone doesn’t mean you’ll be up past your bedtime), you can take part.
3. It’s scalable. There’s no predicting how many people will join us on the day. There is an element of registration involved which will give us a rough idea in the run up to 14 March but we’ve designed an engagement model that will scale in response to the level of participation we get on the day.
Pi *Day* (?)
Mathematicians (and the American House of Representatives) have christened 14 March Pi Day because the date, when written in the US date format, is 3.14. Add the 1.59pm time of the Pi Day Live experiment and you get 3.14159, or pi at around the accuracy Archimedes calculated it over 2000 years ago using simple geometry.